By letting go it all gets done

The world is won by those who let go

But when you try and try

The world is beyond the winning. – Lao Tzu

I’m not sure why, but April is typically a challenging month for me. Last year my retina detached three times. To save my sight I spent the entire month face down on a massage table.

This year I had too many days where I woke up and hit the ground running and ended up tripping over Athena, my rescue cat and drowning in coffee and my over-stuffed to-do-list. Darting from task to task, by noon I felt like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland late for an important date and blabbering: “Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

Fortunately, I’m learning and making major changes in my life to be less stressed and more peaceful and productive. When I get into my same old busy rut – working too fast, pushing too hard, feeling overwhelmed and slipping down the rabbit hole I notice what’s going on. I pause, slow down and redirect myself. Rather than focusing on everything that has to be done, I prioritize, concentrate on one thing at a time and remain in the moment.

If you’re like most women I know and work with you’re incredibly busy. You probably juggle roles, responsibilities and priorities on a regular basis. It’s what we do, especially at midlife. Perhaps you’re a working parent, managing a business or working several jobs AND taking care of the house, aging parents, kids, the dog, the yard, the car, paying bills and…

Some days you feel like superwoman excelling at balancing competing commitments and priorities. Flowing with whatever life throws at you. Other days you may feel like a hot mess – clumsy, awkward and so stressed-out that your hair is thinning and your waistline is expanding from emotional eating. It takes 10 minutes to find your keys and another 15 to find your cellphone.

With the pressure and rush to get everything done it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and tell yourself you’re too busy and have no space for downtime. Ironically, one of the most productive things you can do when you feel crazy busy is to take a break. Making time for YOU is an act of self-compassion. It allows you to recharge and helps you get a new perspective so you can deal with and enjoy your life.

If you struggle with taking time for yourself, you’re not alone. As a personal health and wellness coach I see clients play beat the clock on a daily basis. Their common limiting belief is, “There’s no time for me!” To make matters worse when I’m coaching for transformation, my clients frequently block positive change with a negative mindset. Rather than joy they feel guilt because they are going to yoga instead of fixing dinner or taking a walk at lunchtime instead of finishing the report that’s due at five.

Feel that way too? It’s not your fault. Our culture tells us to put everyone and everything else first. However, not taking time for you has a steep price and leaves you feeling exhausted, uninspired and depressed. Not only is poor self-care a barrier to self-compassion, when you don’t nurture yourself, you don’t have the energy to care for others.

Fortunately, there’s a solution: Change your relationship with yourself and time! You’ll feel empowered and will unleash the power within. Start now, and you’ll be amazed at the powerful impact it will have on your wellbeing and energy level.

Here’s my 3-step process to make more time for what truly matters.

1. Set an Intention

Intentions are a form of prayer or meditation asking for what you want in your life. They’re like setting your GPS towards success. When you set an intention you literally tell yourself what you intend to do which points you towards achieving your goals and manifesting what you want.

Intention setting is easy. Keep them short, positive and fresh by changing them frequently. For this process consider how you want to feel and treat yourself. Do you want more self-love, self-care, self-compassion or… time for YOU? State exactly what you want, write it down and repeat your intentions throughout the day. For example:

  • I intend to stay calm and be productive today
  • I intend to manifest peace and happiness
  • I intend to slow down and enjoy my life more
  • I intend love myself unconditionally
  • I intend to be in the moment and love my journey

2. Reevaluate Busy

What I’m realizing is the busy label can easily become a badge of honor and even make you feel like a martyr. Think about it. When someone asks: “How are you?” how often do you reply:  “Busy!” Rather than connecting in a real way and sharing what’s truly going on internally and externally do you play the hectic tape: “Hello my name is busy. Look at me, everything I do and how $%# stressed I am!”

While being busy can make you feel like you’ve got lots going on it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being productive. As Henry David Thoreau says, “It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?”

There are numerous negatives to being busy. When I’m in busy, nose to the computer stone mode I have blinders on and cut others off. My Beau comes in to give me a kiss and refill my cup of tea (because I’m too busy to get it myself) annoyed I bat him away like he’s Athena, my rescue cat clawing the furniture. Busy also feeds overwhelm, and when you’re overwhelmed it’s hard to accomplish anything let alone feel happy.

Being busy has become the default mode for many of us, but it’s actually a choice. You can change your schedule and make space in your calendar to love and enjoy yourself more. Think about it. Every single thing on your calendar you scheduled. You can stop extoling busy and start appreciating rest and relaxation. You can reevaluate your priorities, learn to say no and carve out sacred moments of time in your day even if it’s only a few minutes to start.

Here’s an easy mindset shift to get you started: Stop saying: “I’m crazy busy.” It only fuels FRANTIC. Instead say: “Everything is going smoothly” or I am in charge of my life and I choose peace.” Or sing Feeling Groovy.

Changing your inner self-talk will help you calm down and find time to love yourself.

3. Journal

Keep a journal for a few days of ALL your activities. This will help you see where your time is going. Evaluate what each activity does to your energy level. Does it have a positive or negative impact on your energy? Notice how engaged you feel while doing it and whether or not you are in a state of flow. List your top energy giving and draining regular activities. What do you notice in your energy patterns? What changes can you make to improve you energy flow? Make a list of everything that you are doing that you don’t enjoy and can let go. Then take some things off your list to make space for more of what’s important and energizing for you.

Ask yourself:

What do I love to do and what activities help me connect with love?

Focus on love because love transcends time. When you love yourself, love what you do and love your life you come into the present moment. You’re mindful and focused. In this state time seems to slow down, but at the same time fly by. Time expands and magically what’s truly important gets done.

Need help transforming your life and going from crazy, busy to peaceful and productive? Click HERE to schedule a complimentary Clarity Call.

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