Making Time for Priorities
In my last post, I wrote about choosing from sooooo many good things, and I mentioned that even when we are able to choose, we sometimes face challenges when adding that new thing to our lives. Below are some of the common challenges that get in our way and my thoughts on what to do about them. Enjoy!
1. Lack of Commitment (to Yourself)
Some people feel they can't commit to a daily tidbit, or to a larger chunk of dedicated spurt time, for their creative pursuit. They will come up with all kinds of reasons why it won't work, how they can't find time, how no one will support them, how they have so many responsibilities, etc. etc. etc.
Congratulations, you are human! Here are my tips for enabling your commitment to yourself:
First, ask yourself: What am I making more important than this thing?
And then ask, Why?
There's a story you've been telling yourself about what's more important than this thing you want...might time to take a look at it and rewrite it. Maybe you aren't reciting this story in your mind, but it's showing up in your actions. Look at your patterns of behaviour. Where is your energy going now? What small shift can you make to accommodate this more important thing? Often, we feel the pull of obligation (to clean the house, to fold the laundry, to watch the Netflix...ahem) ahead of something personally fulfilling. Trust me, the world will not end if the dust stays on the floor of another hour. No mother what your mother told you.
Then, commit to trying it for a week, and then notice what is working and what is not working. Keep the parts that are working and adjust where they aren't.
Commit for another week.
New habit formed.
Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
2. Guilt (aka Lack of Boundaries, Being a Martyr, Putting Yourself Last, etc.)
How DARE you put your individual interests ahead of those of your children, your spouse, your extended family, your in-laws, your employer, your team, your clients, your volunteer organization, your banker, your mechanic, your dentist, the person who fills your gas tank, and that random lady you passed in the grocery store aisle?
How many of us have this dialogue running through our minds? How many of us unconsciously live this?
Enough. We must learn to put on our own oxygen masks before helping others, right? The same is true with our creative endeavours. There will always be responsibilities, like earning a living, keeping the fridge stocked and mowing the lawn. Why can't our creative expression be a responsibility? What example do we set if we never put ourselves and our needs and desires ahead of others? What message do we send to ourselves, to our souls?
Ask yourself: What is lost to the world if I don't say yes to my own creativity?
Too much, I say.
Say yes to what you want, and say no to feeling guilty about it. Try it for one day, one hour, one week. How does it feel to honour your wants and needs? How does it feel to establish boundaries around your energy, around your expectations of yourself? Need some help with this? Check out my Curating Contentment workbook.
A client is struggling to give herself permission to rest, to have down-time, because the story she is telling herself is that rest isn't "productive." And, logically, she totally understands that she needs rest in order to be productive, to show up as her best, most powerfully awesome and amazing self...in her job, with her family, for herself. So we worked on creating a new story about what rest is and what it means. We're rewiring her thinking, undoing years of conditioning, so that she has a life that SHE wants, not one she THINKS she's supposed to lead. It's not easy and it takes time and effort, but she wants it. Yay her!
3. Achieving the Mythical Entity known as Balance
"But how can I fit all the things I love to do into a single day, every day?" you ask. Who says you have to? Balance doesn't have to mean doing all the things every day for equal amounts of time. It may mean doing all the things across a week, or most of the things, across a month, or a year, or a lifetime. Rather than trying to jam all the good stuff into a single day, think on a broader plane...pull up to 20,000 feet and see how balance plays out across a longer time horizon.
Ask yourself: Where can I fit in tidbits, and where might I schedule a spurt, so that I'm doing what I love MORE of the time? How can I shift my perspective of what balance looks like so I'm not beating myself up?
Then book it! Make it happen. And notice how it feels to say yes to nurturing and prioritizing your creativity (or whatever thing you're yearning to do more of)!
When things feel out of balance, you'll know. Then soar up to that 20,000-foot view again and reassess, adjust and carry on.
4. Striving for the Mythical Entity known as Perfection
A client used some language this week that I really liked. She described how, when she's with a student who's learning something new, she affords them "grace and leeway make mistakes." What a lovely concept!
How often do we afford ourselves grace, or behave in a way that is grace-ful toward ourselves?
So many of us strive for being, or appearing to be, perfect....whatever that means...and then demean and demoralize ourselves when we don't achieve that ideal, usually on the first try. I choose to believe the definition of "perfect" is as nuanced and multi-faceted as each individual on this planet -- living, dead and yet to arrive. Perfect is whatever you are, wherever you are on your evolutionary journey, right now. And you were perfect yesterday and tomorrow you'll be perfect too. So just relax and enjoy the ride!
Can we all agree to let go of getting it "right" all the time, and rather, give ourselves permission to learn and grow and discover and try and fail and make fools of ourselves along the amazing journeys of our lives? My friend and colleague wore a fabulous T-shirt to a meeting last week, that looked something like this:
Where could you wear this T-shirt in your life? What might we all learn about ourselves and the world if we adopted this mindset rather than one of hoping for perfection (in the traditional sense of the word)?
That's what fell out of my brain today. Let me know what you think or feel about it. And let me know if you want to explore any of these concepts in YOUR life -- I've got a few spots open on my roster to begin working with new, amazing, fabulous people who want to wake up to their lives...maybe that's you?
In love and light,