Disappointment is inevitable. Suffering is optional: Glimpse TV with Christine Hassler

So 2014 is winding down. Shocking, but true.

It’s that time when we reconnect with friends and family and take stock of what happened this time we went around the sun.

While this season is festive and filled with love and amazing, it can also be really hard.

A Royal Setup for Disappointment

First, there’s the family stuff. We can put so much pressure on ourselves and our families to have these perfect Norman Rockwell-esque gatherings, where all of our rosy-cheeked kin get together for a cheery love fest.

But the truth is, even if ours is the most functional of families, we’re going to get our buttons pushed one too many times by our nagging sister-in-law or our helicopter mom. We may crave meaningful connections but leave feeling empty or sad that, once again, it just didn’t feel as good as we’d hoped.

Then there’s the fact that we’re coming up on the end of the year. We can’t help but take stock of the months that have passed and ask ourselves, “Was this year as good as I’d hoped? Did I give it everything I had? Did I achieve the things I set out to?”

If you’re an appetitious, goal-oriented type like me, you probably didn’t accomplish everything you’d hoped to this year. And that can leave you feeling disappointed in yourself and not so cheerful.

It Happens to Everyone

What do these scenarios have in common? You hoped something would happen in a certain way and it didn’t. And you feel really bummed out as a result.

It’s an “expectation hangover.”

My friend Christine Hassler just came out with a book on this very topic. Christine defines an expectation hangover as one of these three things:

  1. You don’t get what you want.
  2. You do get what you want but it’s not as great as you thought it would be.
  3. Life throws you an unexpected curveball.

We all have expectations. Sometimes they’re met; sometimes they’re not. Christine tells us what to do when we inevitably find ourselves in Bummerland from time to time.

Christine and I had a chat on Glimpse TV and we talked about:

  • The opportunity in disappointment
  • Why you should milk your “expectation hangover” for all it’s worth
  • How to determine whether your coping strategies are working or not—and what to do instead if they aren’t
  • The difference between an expectation and an intention, and which will serve you more
  • How to avoid an expectation hangover in the first place

Click the image below to watch the Expectation Hangover episode of Glimpse TV.

 

twitter_standingWhen it comes to disappointment, there’s always a doorway for healing and transformation. ~Christine Hassler (Click to Tweet)

Grab your copy of Christine’s book HERE and get an interview with Dr. Robert Holden and a 10-part video course for free.

Over to you:

What expectation hangover have you experienced? How was it an opportunity for growth and transformation? Leave a comment below—I’d love to hear from you!

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 5.45.01 PMP.S. I’m cooking up something new for you. It launches in a few weeks. If you want to be one of the first to hear about it, click the image to the left!

 

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7 Specific Ways to Do Less and Net More (Part IV of the doing less series)

Doing less does not mean being lazy, being a schlub, not being a contributing member of society, or living a small life.

I have a hypothesis. It came to me about 6 months ago. I’m now in the process of gathering evidence to support it, doing experiments in my own life to see if it’s true.

Here it is:

twitter_standingDoing less nets more. (Tweet it)

 

This is not a conversation about balance sheets and bottom lines. This is a conversation about living a life of depth and breadth. This is not about making more money or getting more done. This is about homing in on what’s important. This is about making space for the unexpected. This is about actually being here for your life.

This is about making a life, not just a living.

So far in this doing less series, I’ve shared 8 signs you’re addicted to busyness, how to find space to do less in your life, and my 11 rules for sane living

Today it is time to explore what doing less actually looks (and feels) like.

What does doing less actually mean?

True confession: the idea of being still makes me twitch. But when I’m willing to be still in spite of the twitching, I hear things and feel things that I couldn’t hear or feel if I were constantly doing.

twitter_standingStillness accesses a realm of being that is not available to us when we’re doing. (Tweet it)

True confession number two: I’m quite remedial at this.

I’m sharing my process around this with you, though, because a) that’s just how I roll (thank you, Gemini moon – must communicate everything!) and b) I know I’m not the only person who wants to grow in the area of doing less and being more.

I’ve made a list of the ways I’m doing less these days. I’d love to hear your specific examples in the comments below.

It feels a bit ridiculous to need to make a list of ways to do less. But I’m a beginner at this. So I made a list. I’m posting this one up in my office to remind me to step away frequently. Perhaps you’d like to do the same.

Specific Ways to Do Less

Sitting with uncomfortable feelings: When I notice I’m feeling sad, angry, confused, depressed, irritated, anxious, or anything else uncomfortable, I practice sitting and feeling instead of doing something to distract myself. What does this actually mean? It means sitting down, closing my eyes, breathing into the feeling, and becoming curious about what that feeling actually feels like. Where do I feel it in my body? What is the sensation exactly? What message does it have for me? (Thank you, Barbara Stanny, for this exercise.)

Staring out the window: This one is pretty much what it sounds like. I take a break from what I’m doing and stare out the window for a while without doing anything else.

Drinking a cup of tea without doing anything else: I’ve recently switched from coffee to hot water with lemon and cayenne in the morning. (I still really miss coffee. I may go back. Not sure yet.) Some days I see what it feels like to sit and slowly drink the whole cup without reading, checking my phone, or doing anything else.

Simply sitting while waiting for appointments or for people to arrive: Instead of pulling out my phone or catching up on Star Tracks in People magazine, I’ve been exploring what it’s like to simply sit and wait in waiting rooms. Waiting rooms are for waiting. I’ve gotten curious about what waiting feels like.

Putting the phone on airplane mode: I try to put my phone on airplane mode by 9 pm and not take it off until 10 am or after. Some days this happens, some days it doesn’t. But I love the space it creates when it does happen. Some days I completely forget to turn it back into communication mode until lunch time or later. I remind myself that there are no blogger or vitamin emergencies and no one really needs to get ahold of me in real time.

Deciding not to rush: This requires resetting my habits and leaving earlier than I think I need to. Allowing myself more time than I think I’ll need to arrive somewhere or do a task feels really loving and spacious. To someone who’s been chronically five minutes late in the past, this one is a habit that’s tough to break—but worth it. Ask yourself: what payoff am I getting from rushing? Often we find we’re addicted to the rushing because it helps us avoid actually being with ourselves in the spaciousness of enough time.

Asking myself: Does this really need to be done? Does it need to be done by me? Whenever something comes across my plate, I use these questions. If the answer is no and no, I pass.

twitter_standingYou are not more valuable because you do more. (Tweet it)

 

Your life will be lived more in the spaces between doing. Create more of those spaces and you’ll have more life to live.

Now over to you:

What are your specific ways of doing less? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below!

 

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11 Rules for Sane Living (Part III of the Doing Less Series)

(This post is part of a multipart series on doing less. Get on the list to get the next installment in your inbox.)

Several months ago, in a fit of overbooked frazzle, I wrote down the following rules on the magnet pad I usually reserve for things I need to pick up at the grocery store.

When I make my breakfast in the morning, they wink at me and remind me that I am, in fact, the one who’s in charge of my own freedom.

These rules are part of my foundation for freedom. They allow me to do less and be more. I created them for efficiency, ease, and space.

When I abide by them I’m happier. When I don’t, I get cranky. Simple as that.

They serve me well. Perhaps they’ll inspire you to create a set for yourself.

My Rules for Sane Living

1. Don’t schedule anything the day before or after a trip, especially at night.

2. Batch calls and interviews so that I’m not switching gears all day long.

3. Schedule only one social engagement per day (or less).

4. Don’t schedule calls on weekends.

5. Book at least fifteen minutes between phone/Skype appointments to allow for tea and pee breaks.

6. Group together all the people who need the same information on calls.

7. Start the day with 10 minutes of sitting in silence.

8. Whenever possible, don’t eat standing up or driving.

9. Take 3 deep breaths before eating.

10. Tell Mike 3 things I’m grateful for before falling asleep (and ask him what his are).

11. Wake up when I’m done sleeping, without an alarm, as often as possible

twitter_standingWe need structure to feel free. (Tweet it!)

 

The next post in the “Doing Less” series will tell you how exactly I’m doing less and what doing less actually looks like. If you’re anything like you, doing less feels elusive. We’re gonna get practical and mystical all at the same time.

Over to you:

What are your rules for sane living? Leave a comment below—I’d love to hear your ideas and how you stay sane!

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Finding space to do less in your life (Part II of the Doing Less Series)

(This post is part of a multi-part series on doing less. Get on the list to get the next installment in your inbox.)

So you’ve determined you want to do less to get more out of life.

You’re tired of feeling harried, stressed, rushed, and like the seams of your life are busting from being overstuffed.

You’re ready to be a human being, not a human doing.

But what does that actually mean? What does it actually look like?

I’ve asked myself that question a lot over the last six months as I’ve been noodling around on the power of less.

In part one of this series, 8 signs that youre addicted to busyness, I promised to share some specific ways that I’ve recently been creating space to do less in my life.

If the conscious pursuit of doing less were my life span, I feel as though I’m in my infancy on this one. But we have to start somewhere.

SAY NO TO ALMOST EVERYTHING

You may love to say yes. (I love to say yes.) But years of saying yes to everything that came my way left me feeling like a slave to my overburdened schedule. Instead of pursuing my own priorities, I was spending all day every day serving everyone else’s.

While that may sound selfless and lovely, it actually made me feel spent and resentful. And guess what I had left to devote to my own dreams and desires? Nada.

Make saying no part of your spiritual practice. Will it feel uncomfortable at first? Yep. Will you disappoint some folks? Yep.

But here’s the key:

twitter_standingSaying yes to everything cheapens your yes. (Tweet it)

 

I used to be a bit of a yes ho, if you will. Not only did I feel at the mercy of other people’s agendas, it made me feel a little dirty over time.

Now that I’m far more discriminating with what I opt in to, my yes actually means something. I trust myself more. I’m in integrity instead of running around like a loose people-pleaser.

Thou shalt filter

How do you know what to say yes to and what to say no to? Create a filter.

Darren Hardy, publisher of SUCCESS magazine, shares a concept called “the vital few.” This is a very short list (2-3 items max) of activities that you and only you can do which move you forward toward your goals.

Your vital few are the highest leverage ways you can spend your time. Said another way, when you do this stuff you get a really big bang for the time you invest. You get more done in less time. You feel incredibly energized. You make leaps forward instead of baby steps.

Ask yourself:

-What can I, and only I, do to get closer to my most important goals?

-What do I absolutely love doing that also moves me toward my goals?

Your answers will point you in the direction of your vital few.

My vital few are writing/content creation and connecting with potential new members of The Freedom Family.

When an opportunity or task comes across your radar, ask yourself:

Will doing this help me spend more time doing my vital few?

Follow Your Enthusiasm

I recently said no to a really cool opportunity because it didn’t align with my top three priorities for the coming year. I felt really excited when I got the email and really excited after the initial exploratory phone call. But when I looked at my top three things I want to focus on right now, it just wasn’t on the list.

(I heard a great tip from Warren Buffet for choosing the top priorities: write down all of your priorities, pick the top three, then throw out the rest of the list. Freeing and terrifying, simultaneously. I highly recommend it.)

That said, weeks later I kept thinking about how fun it would be to pursue this project I’d said no to. It began popping into my head every day for over a week. I felt genuinely enthusiastic about it.

So I emailed the person back and asked if we could open the door of possibility again.

twitter_standingLet your enthusiasm lead you where your head sometimes cant. (Tweet it.)

Because, while having filters that help you determine what to say yes and no to is helpful, sometimes you have to throw those out and follow what moves you.

If you’re nervous about following your enthusiasm because you tend to feel enthusiastic about a lot of things, give yourself time. Ask for 48 hours before you make your decision so that you can see if that enthusiasm is just a quick dopamine shot of feeling wanted or if it’s the kind of sustainable energy you’ll need to follow through with a project and feel good about it the whole way through.

In the next installment of the “Doing Less Series” I’ll share a few loving guidelines I’ve put in place for myself which I call my “Rules for Sane Living.” They help me do what needs to be done while feeling spacious and calm.

OVER TO YOU:

Have you ever felt like a “yes ho”?

What filters do you have in place for helping you decide what to say no to and what to say yes to?

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8 signs that you’re addicted to busyness

(This is part one of a multi-part series on doing less. Get on the list to get the next installment right in your inbox.)

It’s recently come to my attention that I have a habit of, or perhaps even an addiction to, proving my worth through constant activity.

This habit has been on my radar for some time, but only vaguely.

Within the last six months, however, my awareness has gone from vague to crystal-clear.

But before I divulge my own path to realization, I’m curious to know how many of these statements describe you?

  • As much as you crave white space on your calendar it also gives you anxiety.
  • You notice yourself checking your phone obsessively throughout the day, particularly when you are tired, overwhelmed, or anxious.
  • More than once, a close friend or family member has said something about your compulsion to engage with your phone or computer and how it affects your relationship.
  • When someone suggests that you relax and do nothing, you say to yourself or out loud, “What the heck does that even mean? What do people do when they do nothing?”
  • When you do find yourself doing nothing, you feel guilty that you aren’t being productive.
  • You mentally tally the number of productive hours you’ve had at the end of the day and judge how you feel about yourself by how full your day was.
  • You find yourself “complaining” about how busy you are while simultaneously feeling proud of having so much on your plate that you can barely breathe.
  • You say that you’re too busy to meditate, move your body, nap, hang out with your girlfriends, make love, prepare healthy food for yourself, or go on dates (with yourself, your spouse, or new people).

If 3 or more of the above statements describe you, youre addicted to busyness.

For me this addiction started long ago. Before I was even 10 years old, I used to map out my playdates and make sure I had something scheduled every day after school. I bought my first Day-Timer calendar when I was 14. In college, I was incredibly proud of the fact that I was taking more than the required course load, performing regularly with a dance company and in musicals, and starting my first business.

This is all to say that if you’re addicted to busyness, I feel you. Big time.

Obsessed with Busy

We live in a culture that celebrates being busy. We are obsessed with getting it all done and fitting it all in.

Our tendency to gorge ourselves on food is mirrored by our tendency to gorge ourselves on activity.

My wise uncle Phil said the following to me after he had a very vivid dream about me and my breakneck schedule:

“You’re going to have to learn to stop validating your existence through action.”

That one hit me like a punch in the gut.

I’m outing myself here because what I’ve found is:

The human experience is not so individual. If it’s happening to me it’s likely happening to you.

Here’s the thing: 

twitter_standingConstant doing makes us miss the moment. (Tweet it)

How many meaningful conversations in the car with my husband have I not had because I was checking my email for the twentieth time that day?

How many breaths have become shallow from being caught in the spin of constant activity?

How many precious moments of stillness have I missed because I feared what might come up during the pause?

I’m practicing doing less. I’m sharing this practice with you because I bet you want to do less in order to feel and be more in your life too.

In the next installment of this series I’ll share specific ways I’m finding space to do less in my life. I’m really looking forward to hearing your ways too.

For now, let’s both be aware together, shall we?

We’re ambitious. That’s awesome.

We’re capable. Go us.

We know how to make sh*t happen. No doubt.

And our worth no longer needs to be proven through action.

Let us know our worth in simply being.

Let us know we’re enough because we are.

Let us begin to let down the burden of busy.

 

Over to you:

Which one of the “addicted to busyness” statements above best describes you? Are there any other habits of your addiction? Are you ready to lay it down with me? Leave a comment below. I’m really looking forward to hearing from you!

 

 

 

 

 

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Stop trying to be confident and do this instead: Glimpse TV with Tara Mohr

About a month before our wedding I got a book in the mail with a beautiful brunette on the cover. I get a steady stream of books to review, and sometimes I do so in a timely manner. And other times not so much. Technically, I didn’t have “time”to be diving into a new book.Continue Reading

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How to go from having enough to having more than enough: Glimpse TV with Barbara Stanny

Barbara Stanny is the world’s leading expert on women and wealth. And I’m profoundly grateful to call her a friend and mentor. Reading her book Overcoming Underearning and taking her workshop by the same name (three times!) were among the greatest influences on my journey to becoming debt-free. There are three stages of wealth, BarbaraContinue Reading

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What are you getting out of staying right where you are?

This past weekend I had the great privilege of attending Barbara Stanny’s Sacred Success Retreat. Her book of the same name is available for pre-order right now and will be featured on Glimpse TV in a couple of weeks — make sure you’re on the list so you don’t miss it. There are some profoundContinue Reading

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How to achieve a really big goal & other tips on pursuing a quest – Glimpse TV with Chris Guillebeau

When you feel called to say yes to an invitation, even if you’re not sure why, simply say yes. Four years ago almost to the day my friend texted me that Chris Guillebeau was in my hometown, Portland, ME, on his book tour. I happened to be in Portland that day with my mom. (IContinue Reading

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My baby is one year old today.

My mom always says that a few years after I was born it was clear to her that she either had another baby or a book in her — but not both. I always wanted a little brother, so when I was younger that story kind of annoyed me. But now I get it. (Epilogue:Continue Reading

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