Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: productivity

Piqued

Twas a good week, finally. Yay.

Steph was back in town – we walked the neighborhood, watched Elizabeth Gilbert on Super Soul Sunday (highly recommend) and took selfies with Carter Cash.

Balance to the Universe restored.

I booked a flight, pretty much on a whim, to visit my friend Chelsea in Denver. Hi Chels!

We still have absolutely ZERO plans for Halloween. Maybe b/c we have to be up at 6am the day after.

And I’m getting some quality home alone time while H is at a math conference with his best friend.

Here are a few links for you this weekend:

7 Strange Questions That Help Your Find Your Life Purpose. While I’m so over the self-help culture and how it’s exploded into a black hole of lists to make you feel bad about how you’re living your life, these questions are funny and thought-provoking. Enjoy.

Found Shoestring Adventures (total weekend warrior porn) because they interviewed on of my fav bloggers ever Jillian Lukiski. She’s a metalsmith, blogger and photographer who lives and breathes nature, takes amazing photos and writes like a banshee.

“I make what I make because I live in the interior West and this space has carved my spirit and my life. This is the land I know by heart. These are the mountains I hike and run and ski. These are the trees I know by name. These are the wild animals I watch and cherish and hunt and fish and witness and take into my own life cycle on a daily basis.”

My college roommate and I knew this, but coloring is soooooo relaxing. I can just smell the crayons now.

Some straight office/productivity advice: don’t answer emails that lack questions.

And a little combo of hippy and good advice – do it anyway.

“At one point, she (Cheryl Strayed) was talking about uncertainty, about how to keep going when you don’t know how, when you aren’t sure of the outcome, about how to take that step when the deck is stacked against you: she said that you have to say a prayer to the god of doing it anyway.  You have to take a deep breath and go for it even though you have no idea how it will all turn out.  You have to find that teeny bit of faith so that you can take the very next step.”

I usually don’t link to funny videos, but H and I couldn’t stop laughing at this kid:

 

A Little Challenge

My energy and sleep are all over the place recently. And my head is full of the crap that tells you you’re not good enough. Meaning, I’m not good enough. No bueno.

Last night, on a whim, I decided to do 5 days of yoga this week.

This morning I did my first class via Yoga Today.

Maybe yoga’s not the right thing for you… but I bet there’s something that helps you relax, feeds your soul, quiets down those mean voices that you avoid. That you place at the bottom of your to-do list as the “reward” for getting everything else done. Maybe a bath, a swim, a nap, some writing, some walking, some meditating. Whatever it is, you dangle that nurturing action in front of you like a carrot… and then never get to enjoy it.

I read this post by Michelle – We have the time – and I agree. No one is going to paint your canvas for you, as she says. No one is going to run my miles, do my yoga, kiss my husband for me (let’s hope not, but you get the point hah). I am the one living this life, and I’m the one who gets to choose how I spend that time.

One day I will be gone. And the time I spent on yoga or hugging my husband or writing to you here will be much more valuable to everyone than the laundry done or not done.

What do you choose? Will you join me in picking one awesome thing for you to do each day? Would love to hear about it in the comments 🙂

Resting Up

It is silly for me to think that after 6 days of stressful, jam-packed events and schmoozing, that one day off would re-energize me.

It didn’t.

The truth is, I was kind of frustrated with myself when I didn’t feel positive yesterday or really couldn’t get out of bed this morning. Because, I mean, why does anyone even need ro rest? What does it say about me if I can’t rally?

But I worked around it – and somewhere during the 4 hrs (torture) of conference calls today, I started to feel better. Once I ate lunch and got some tea into me, I felt even better. And since then I haven’t been able to stop working through a small To Do list.

But I’m also promising myself that after this post, I’m going to lounge on the couch, read Bossypants with the Flyers vs Rangers game on the background and eat the left-over dinner my sister is cooking up.

Oh, and that’s us in the photo above. We’re too cool for school, obvi.

This Grateful Season – Good Again

Feeling better, finally. Which is exactly what I’m grateful for today, but it means more. It’s comforting I’m here again, back to “normal”, at the end of a few weeks of not feeling so awesome.

My therapist asked if my moods are related to my accomplishments.

“No.” Straight answer. Accomplishing things keeps me humming along, but if I’m already down, completing tasks doesn’t do it. I’m not happy because I’m productive. I’m productive because I’m happy. And I’m happy because I’ve taken the time to recharge.

Each time it’s different but it always comes down to just giving in to whatever’s going on. To stop being so hard on myself. To stop fighting and surrender.

This time it was finally allowing myself sleep as much as I wanted. And then staying up as late as I needed. To working on an e-course and creating collages and doing yoga. To having a few drinks. To see the ocean. To getting time to cuddle with H. It took a few days to balance out, but tonight is the first night I feel luxuriously sleepy before midnight and confidence was coursing through me all day.

This is not a new lesson. Back in April I was discovering how doing what I want brings so much more pleasure to my days. Before that, I experienced a serious down time in January. That turned out to be a shame storm. I run a cycle of confident energy, then down, panic about being down, accepting it and then, back up again. It’s not dramatic – I always function, there’s good in each day, but there is a thread of this gray through things. And yet, I always bounce back… after I allow myself the space, time and care I need.

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For the month of November, I write each day about something I’m grateful for and call it Grateful Season. It’s my way of reviewing the amazing year I’ve had and helps me focus on blogging during the crazy holiday season uptick. Feel free to join me – just make sure you let me know!

Keep On Trusting

Today started out well enough. I took a long walk with the doggie, got ready for work, and popped over to therapy. The session went well, circling the topic of using the GTD process to keep on top of the tasks piling up.

For instance, “send out e-vites for three different events” felt like the most urgent task(s), the ones I wanted to panic about. But, I couldn’t move forward on these “next actions” until I received the proofed HTML files back from another department and pulled a few mailing lists (two of which I couldn’t do myself). So while these tasks felt almost desperate, I couldn’t actually do anything about them…yet.

Then the internet went down. Oy vey. Without the internet there is very little work I can do.

So, I didn’t. I wrote and read some, had lunch and waited around for my 3pm meeting. Having an iPhone helps – I checked email and responded to things as I could. Then I made my way to my meeting (at a mansion in Brentwood aka soooooo Hollywood) and drove back home.

And for some reason today, all of this was perfectly OK. I wasn’t frustrated that I couldn’t do work, wasn’t panicking about the urgent tasks and didn’t feel the need to nap, cry, hide or yell. I was 100% cool with it all.

It was an easy day to accept things as they are. I understand this is not always the case (revisit my almost month of blues here). It started from a good frame of mind but I felt my confidence high, believed in trusting, and reassured myself things work out.

When I realized the moon would go void of course at 2:40pm I tested a theory. I thought once the moon changed the internet would come back on, the files would be emailed and I would bat out all of that work in less than an hour. Of course, launching event promotion may not be the best task for moon VOC but I’ve found it’s a super productive time for me to finish up tasks.

Crazily enough, I was right. Moon VOC, trusting in my abilities and believing things will work out.

Perfection.

{feathers still find me}

 

 

My 100th Post… and Why I’m Allowing Myself to Get Back Into “Productivity”

A while back I wrote about my obsession with productivity and how it wasn’t doing it for me anymore. Since then, I’ve continued on a more creative, less productivity path. This requires a lot of riding my bike around the neighborhood and gluing pictures into a notebook. My planner only appeared again when the new job kicked in, lifting me up in a wave of activity.

With Mercury Retrograde and all attempts to slow down, reassess, and feel the rhythm of this new chapter of my life, I find it interesting that I’m gravitating right back to productivity. This has Pros and Cons.

Pros = feeling organized, calm, productive and in control.

Cons show up with the pressures to “whip myself into shape” and measure myself against some standard that not only is unhealthy, but does not exist. I repeat, does not exist.

I used to look to productivity resources for answers to questions like, “What should I do with my life?” and “How can I not feel like shit every day?”. The answers do not lie in books, especially the kind that tell you to do a brain dump or sharpen the saw. Granted, these are useful tools, it’s just I was bringing a chainsaw to cut a birthday cake.

What I needed was an anti-hack. As Clay Collins writes in the link, I didn’t need to optimize myself, I needed to be fundamentally reconfigured.  There’s lots of way to do this. I did it through therapy – I literally talked myself into being, the way a storyteller conjures up a tale. I learned to listen to myself, to feel my feelings, to know what is good for my soul and what is disastrous (read: more beach, less “have tos”).

But my new job requires a lot of organization from me – I’m literally creating the position, planning major events and dealing with daily admin work. It’s much more than I’ve ever been responsible for and it’s thrilling! A year ago, I would’ve floundered but the past year primed me for this new stage. It’s awesome.

So I know I need the tools. My hope is that I’m coming from a new place of maturity, self-worth and purpose. I don’t expect these tools to make me feel better. They’re there to help me track my projects and accomplishments, but I’m the one in charge of my peace of mind, always.