What if I told you that you could get more done by doing less? Would you believe me?
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Would you nod your head as if you believed me, and even agree to try some of the crazy things I asked you to try, yet still fall back into your old busy, overdoing patterns? You know, the ones that keep you feeling overworked and overwhelmed, without a clue how to attain the peace of mind that the woman on the front of your yoga magazine seems to effortlessly emanate?
I get it. I am a recovering achievement junkie and doing addict myself, programmed to push and push until I get to my goal. One of the reasons it's so hard to change that programming is that I have this Inner Mean Girl inside my head, whom I call “Move-the-Bar Brenda.” She is always moving the goal right before I get there. No matter if I reach the goal I originally set, or that I do more than a team of ten horses on their best day could accomplish, in her eyes, and therefore in mine, I fall short. So I have to keep pushing.
In 2011, with the help of my Inner Wisdom and a few “telegrams from heaven” I received (and have included below for you), Move-the-Bar Brenda is going on vacation, far, far away. And she would like to invite your overdoing, overachieving, overresponsible Inner Mean Girl to go with her!
All you have to do is read these telegrams from heaven, decide how they apply to your life, and then take action — change your internal filter to see if maybe, just maybe, you can have a bigger impact (and be happier) if you do less in 2011.
* Select a few “seeds” — projects, goals, desires — and focus on protecting and nurturing those precious few. The best analogy I have heard was from Pamela Eakins, PhD (see PamelaEakins.net), who said to imagine that last year you threw down lots of seeds and your garden started to grow, and now this year the goats have arrived, and they are going to start to eat everything up. If you could save only a few seeds, which ones would it be? The following questions can help you sort out which seeds to grow, water, and take care of this year:
o What is calling me the most?
o How can I best serve? (Your gifts are your service; find those gifts and give them.)
o What will provide me the most stability? What will create structures that stabilize my life?
o What are my deepest desires for this year?
o What does my fear say I need to do, and what does my heart know is mine to do?
Build a fence around the seeds you choose; protect and grow them.
* Narrowing your focus and letting go is okay — trust it. Choosing which seeds to nurture means you will have to let go of ideas, projects, goals, and more. This, of course, freaks out us overdoers and overachievers. Just know that this process will bring up some fear, and notice when the fear shows up. Calm down your Inner Mean Girl by closing your eyes and breathing. See how letting go frees you to have more impact in what you do do.
* Focus on what you are being called to do, because not everything is yours to do. Remind yourself often that many people on this planet are doing great work, are here to do the things you can't, and want to help you. If we each do our part, we don't have to do everyone else's. Phew!!
* Slow down. Likely you are missing opportunities and working harder than you need to. By letting things go you will automatically slow down, as long as you don't pick up more. Walk through 2011 with a heightened awareness of your pace. What if your life rolled like honey in 2011?
I leave you with this quote from the 13 Grandmothers (Grandmotherscouncil.org):
“It is time for the women of the world to own their innate wisdom.”
Listen. Slow Down. Stabilize.
And enjoy the nectar of life!
The author of Choosing ME before WE, Christine Arylo is an inspirational catalyst, speaker, and professional coach who challenges women around the world to live and love their most authentic selves. Christine lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Article used with permission from Christine's blog at Daretoliveyou.com/blog/.