It’s this completely annoying tendency to say we can do something we enjoy and makes us feel good after we get the ‘important’ stuff done.
You know the kind of stuff I’m talking about: The yoga session, the phone call to a girlfriend, the walk outside, the crossword puzzle, the cup of hot chocolate, the journaling, the creative project. The kind of thing that makes us feel hopeful, connected, comforted, inspired, energized, and happy.
Dinnertime used to be my least favorite part of the day, for a gazillion reasons – I wanted our meals to be as healthy and delicious as possible and so I knocked myself out to make meals that dazzled. In part because I’d worked so hard, I stressed about how much of this food actually made it in my kids’ mouths. Because my kids were small and needed to be in bed by about 7 or else they were total basket cases, I wanted the preparation and the consumption to happen in a timely manner. And then, there were the dishes. Oh, the dishes!
My husband and I had a basic understanding – whoever cooks doesn’t do dishes. Perfectly reasonable, right? The thing is, my husband is a soaker. He actually says, “I come from a long line of soakers.” Which is code for, “Sometimes I do the dishes, sometimes I just stick them in the sink.” Which means I’d emerge from putting the kids to bed and often see the kitchen in the exact same state as I had left it. This bugged me to no end.
At the end of 2012, I wrote about how I downloaded and listened to a year-end visualization by my most amazing friend and colleague, Julie Zeff. (I also know from her that 15 of you also downloaded it – way to take clarity-promoting action!)
During that visualization, the word that came to me that encapsulates my approach to 2013 is TRUST. Trusting my gut, trusting the signs I get from the universe, releasing judgments, and moving forward with confidence – or at least faith when the confidence is still building.
I spent a lot of years not really having an opinion, saying “whatever” a lot, and ducking pointed questions about what I thought about something in particular. I was trying to flexible, to go with the flow, keep the peace.
Bleh! It’s no fun, keeping yourself in the dark about how you really feel just for the sake of not ruffling any feathers.
When an old habit, pattern, or train of thought is holding you back, you’ve got to give yourself a new experience to bust out of it. And a great way to have that new experience is to do the opposite of that pattern.
So I wrote a manifesto.
My family and I had a great holiday break, we really did. We spent tons of time together. We made blanket forts. Did puzzles. Went bowling. Went sledding. Baked. I made chicken stock and even homemade mustard. I also managed to take 2 naps with my 2-year-old—one of them in his 4-foot-long toddler bed. (I didn’t regain my full height for a good 8 hours, but it was worth it!)
And yet, we also devolved. I lost track of how many days it had been since the kids’ last bath – or my last shower, to be honest. After being gluten-free for months, I went on a wheat flour binge on New Year’s Eve day. I had only a couple of sessions on the yoga mat. It took me several attempts over three days to write a blog post that in the end still didn’t make any sense. It felt like my brain grew cobwebs.
This is a call to every woman, everywhere, ready to
- ignite your passion,
- turn up the heat on your pleasure and
- tap into your magnificent, miracle-making feminine power
Every woman, everywhere, who’s done playing a wallflower to life.
Are you ready?
Can you hear it? It’s the sound of the chapter closing on 2012. I’ve been yearning to take stock of the past 12 months and do some big-picture planning for 2013, but had been finding all kinds of excuses to put it off. You know the drill – emails to return, calls to make, noses to wipe, Homeland season finales to watch.
I know enough to know that all the excuses are a sign of resistance. Here are some old ideas that were conspiring to keep me from outlining my calendar:
I’ve never been much of a planner – I’ve leapt from lily pad to lily pad most of my life, jumping from well-paying corporate jobs to non-profit gigs with meager earnings, from yoga teacher training to freelance writing. I liked to think that it was just because my mind-body practice gave me a hotline to my gut, which was mostly true. But the flip side of that is that I had a long-held belief that plans just never came true.
“The problem is not the problem. Your attitude about the problem is the problem.”
– Captain Jack Sparrow
A week ago, I was having “one of those days.” I was working like crazy, but couldn’t finish anything – my audio recorder kept crashing, I lost a draft of a newsletter, no one was answering the calls I needed to make. I know you’ve had those days, am I right?
I was really feeling under the gun, because I had an afternoon out of the office planned: I had scheduled a networking tea and a massage. What had sounded like such a good plan the week before (“take Tuesday afternoon off to make space for inspiration”) was suddenly seeming like a really bad idea.
Typically, if a day goes haywire I can do a little catch-up work at night after the kids go to bed. But this night, a dear old friend who lives far away was passing through town and coming over for dinner and grown-up hang time. There was no way I was going to get any work done for the rest of the day.
Here’s how my thoughts were running an hour before I was scheduled to leave: “I’ve got to get something finished before I leave.” “This day will be a waste if I don’t get this done!” “I can’t possibly stick to my plans.” “Holy sh*t, this day is a trainwreck!” Read more…
“To keep oneself safe does not mean to bury oneself.” – Lucius Anneaus Seneca
“It is when we all play safe that we create a world of utmost insecurity.” – Dag Hammarskjold
I’ll tell you what’s not to love.
Making safety one of your top priorities means you gravitate toward the status quo. You avoid change of any sort simply because it’s different, and who knows if that new reality will be “safe”? Which means you also avoid growth. After all, everything is changing all the time. The universe expands a little every day by its very nature. If you’re trying to hold yourself in the same spot while everything around you slowly evolves, it’s going to become quite painful to try and stay where you are. Read more…
When my kids were very small, as in ages 2 and 0, dinner was my daily dose of insanity. I got so stressed cooking and plating the food, cajoling bites into little mouths, doing it all in a timely manner so we didn’t miss their insanely early bedtimes, and then cleaning everything up after. Blech! I hate to even think about it.
That’s why writing this post for Gaiam on how to take the crazy out of those evening hours was so gratifying. Hope you enjoy it — and I’d love to hear in the comments either here or there about how you bring a sense of tranquility to the dinner-bed-bath rodeo!