Slow down, achieve more!
Whilst considering a subject for this post my mind was a mess. I couldn’t hone in and commit because I was running through all the other things happening right now, all the things I felt “needed” to get done, all the jobs that weren't yet finished, the emails I hadn't answered, the calls I had to make. I was thinking about the fact that just a few weeks from now would be Thanksgiving! And then Christmas! And then the New Year! And I had SO MUCH TO DO!
I was already mentally in 2018.
It was at this moment I remembered I had a choice. I could spiral into overwhelm or I could stop, breath and re-commit. I chose the latter whilst giving thanks for the reminder that (1) yes, I am just human and (2) I am now a human who uses the tools I have learned to quickly regain my balance when needed, which hasn't always been the case and for which I am very grateful.
And then I realized that if I was feeling this I'd bet I wasn't alone, that to some degree or another, some of you must be feeling it too. So, what better a subject to discuss than regaining the joy in our lives whilst becoming productive in a more powerful way - could there be a better holiday gift to yourself?
It seems to me that we are at the center of a cultural storm, our minds whipped up in reminders to #hustle, to #grind, to #gogetit and we have forgotten the reasons why we are working through this list of tasks (which, by the way, isn't ever going away. But that is a subject for another day!), we have forgotten the joy in the unfolding of our day-to-day lives because we have filled each moment with being "productive".
Within the daily framework of the 24 hours we are each granted we allocate time where we deem it most important - usually to our kids, our partners, our bosses and colleagues. When we settle into this reality of lists, goals and deadlines our souls aren’t able to show us what we really need and want or what could be possible beyond our current existence. We often tell ourselves we don’t have time to dream, that it is too late to change or too outlandish to open up to something new. Is this existence really serving us? Or is it keeping us trapped?
So many of us are exhausted, sick and, no matter how much kale we eat, matcha we drink and items we cross off that list, we won’t find fulfillment because we have forgotten this important fact - that the pleasure in the process.
So, we have a choice to make - we can either remain in the same cycle or recognize that there is an alternative which begins with rediscovering dreaming and playing as essential elements of our lives. It is time to slow down and get intentional, to investigate new landscapes. I am also suggesting that this will result in a greater, more powerful productivity than we currently achieve.
Dreams, whether whilst asleep or awake, nourish our soul and allow us to see what is possible. They allow us to set plans for the landscape of our future life, for what could be if we were to open up. Dreams free us from the logic of the day-to-day, they are the soil where the flowers of our souls grow, allowing our subconscious limitless space to roam, for expansive thoughts and ideas to blossom.
Play allows our minds to open in a similar way. Walking in nature, dancing, playing with your kids - the times when we are truly at ease with ourselves, playful and light, this is when we stretch and move into fresh areas of brilliance or solve a problem that has been bothering us, when we have an “a-ha” moment that could bring what was once a dream to fruition.
Look around at your ambient landscape. What sustains you? What drains you? What inspires you? What depletes you?
Keep the questions simple and the answers will be the same. Compare your life to a garden and ask yourself “do I have space to grow? Or is it time to pull some weeds before I am strangled”? Is your community water on your seeds or boots on your seedlings? In other words, if you want to elevate and change, surround yourself with the people who help bring shape to your dreams, and cut free those who dismiss them.
With these simple practices we strengthen the connection to self, we return to taking responsibility for ourselves and step fully into personal power. We become brave enough to truly listen to what we need, what is calling us. We purge and cull, taking the first steps to a rich, fulfilling, rewarding life.
So as we step into the party season and towards the end of the year, let's embrace these last few months of 2017 and step into 2018 basking in the glow of the joyful process of our lives, free of unwanted entanglement, playful and light, nourished by and nourishing those around us.
What do you think? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing”
George Bernard Shaw