Right now there’s 197 things tacked onto your to-do list, 9 windows open in your browser, 47 unread e-mails, 3 half-written blog posts while your phone’s a buzzin’ with notifications, and you’re trying to figure out what to do for dinner tonight. Does this sound anything like you? We’ve all got some kick-ass superwoman powers deep down in our bellies just waiting to be released, and when we do – watch out, world! We want to do it all and shine while we’re doing it. But running at full speed 24/7 isn’t maintainable or realistic.
There’s something (huge) to be said for taking time for yourself. For waking up on a Saturday morning, and just lying in bed with your thoughts before you get ready for your massage appointment, only to come home, take a quick nap before hopping in a hot bubble bath. It’s all those times you thought about treating yourself and when you finally do you think to yourself, “Why didn’t I do that MONTHS ago?!” The trouble is, we’ve piled so many expectations on ourselves, that we forget to stop and live. To seize the day, to write just for the sake of writing, to be more present, to simply take care of our souls. When we stop paying attention to ourselves that feeling of being “stuck” creeps on in, the overwhelm piles on our shoulders, and the ever-looming burnout is just waiting to rear its ugly head.
A few weeks ago, I had loads of ideas swirling around in my head, but every time I sat down to write them out, I felt forced. I would write out a sentence, delete it, write two more, delete it again… this went on for a while. The ideas were all there, the execution just wasn’t. I knew what I wanted to say, but couldn’t form the words in a genuine way. Instead of letting my frustration take over, leading to other negative feelings, like blame and guilt, I decided to listen to myself first.
What is my body trying to tell me?
What do I need right this second?
Why am I suddenly in limbo?
What are my next moves?
As soon as I decided to let go of forcing it and tap into my own feelings, I discovered that what I needed was to pull back and start listening to those feelings. For me, that involved a lot of down time, indulging in some spa treatments, diving into good books, conversations with loved ones, zoning in on my desires.
Two BIG things really stood out to me…
1. Life will always be busy. There will always be an excuse.
“I’d love to (read that book, start meditating, begin an exercise program, write each evening, get a massage, bungee jump, switch careers) but I just have to accomplish this in my life first.”*
“I’ll get to that when I have some extra time.”*
“I’m not ready to do that yet.”*
*These thoughts are code for “I will never actually do that."
2. Creativity grows exponentially when you STEP AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER.
Even though I had 523879 things to do, I listened to what my body needed instead, and you know what? It was the jolt straight to my soul that I didn’t know I needed. I feel more at peace, I feel clearer, and more rejuvenated. Best of all? I feel more capable of tackling what I need to get done – and to go to the next level.
Letting go of forcing it will invite more harmony and balance into your life. Letting the pressures of “But I have to do this” will only stifle that breakthrough that’s just waiting to burst out of you. If you ask yourself what you want, you might be surprised at the answers that present themselves to you – those answers are the key to happiness, fulfillment, and all the things that light you up and make your soul sing… but you have to ask the questions first.
Over to you, beautiful! Have you ever had to let go of forcing something and it’s worked out for the best? Or is there something you’re itching to do but are just waiting for that extra nudge to get started? (Nudge, nudge!) I’d love to hear in the comments.
Image 1. Julian Bialowas