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

bookcover2About 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. I had so much to do — prepare for the wedding, wrap up business so that I could take time off after the wedding — reviewing a book wasn’t really on my priority list.

This one, though, called to me more than the others. The title, Playing Big, whispered to me from my coffee table until finally I picked it up a few days after it arrived.

I was hooked after the first few pages. I spent mornings in June sitting on our deck eating my breakfast, alternating between underlining poignant passages and dabbing my eyes as tears of recognition pooled.

Regardless of how busyI was, I knew I needed to make time for Playing Big and make time I did.

Within the first chapter I had a running list of women in my life who needed this book (including me!). The way that author Tara Mohr describes the subtle and insidious ways that we as women, especially sophisticated women, play small made me want to stand up and shout:

“Yes! That is SO TRUE!”

Here’s what I love about this book: It’s not just theoretical. Tara offers really smart, practical advice for playing bigger in our lives.

And in case you get tired just thinking about playing big, it doesn’t have to be what you think.

Tara defines it like this:

twitter_standingPlaying big is being more loyal to your dreams than to your fears. (Tweet it)

Um, yes please! I’ll have some of that. You with me?

If you find yourself racked by fear, self doubt, and a persistent feeling that there has to be more than this, this is your book.

I recently had a chat with Tara on Glimpse TV about her new book and what playing big really means for women today. I was so nourished by our conversation. Today I’m sharing it with you, knowing that you’ll find Tara’s words as resonant as I have.

In today’s episode of Glimpse TV Tara and I talk about:

  • What to do when you wake up and realize your life is happening right now, but you’re not sure you’re actually living it
  • What fear and self doubt have in common with chronic illness and how to manage them
  • Three specific and sophisticated ways that you’re likely playing small that you’re unaware of
  • How to define your own version of playing big that’s energizing rather than exhausting
  • Why you actually don’t have to have confidence to play big
  • The type of fear that’s actually helpful for you and how to identify and work with it
  • Why you don’t need a mentor and who to seek out instead

Click below to watch the episode so that you can uncover ways youre playing small so you can cut it out ASAP!

When you order Tara’s brilliant book before October 13th, you’ll get immediate access to three bonus videos that will help you identify your calling, incorporate some Playing Big strategies in your every day communications, and more before your book even arrives.

Plus, you’ll get access to two live Q+A calls of coaching and deep dives into Playing Big directly with Tara.

Click HERE to get your book and learn more.

3_bloggerpromo_minimal3

Over to you:

Which of the ways that smart women tend to play small feels most familiar to you? What’s one specific way you’re ready to start playing bigger in your life? Leave a comment below. Tara and I would love to hear from you!

 

 

 

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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, Barbara says:

Instability: Not having enough.

Stability: Having enough.

Affluence: Having more than enough.

What’s really interesting is that for women, she says, once they’ve reached financial stability, they’re rarely motivated to make more money. Moving from stability to affluence requires feeling drawn by something bigger and the opportunity to be of service. Barbara calls this “the call to greatness.”

In her new book, Sacred Success: A Course in Financial Miracles, Barbara outlines the four stages of Sacred Success and how to navigate the journey from stability to affluence.

I got a chance to read an early copy of the book back in May, and I gobbled it up practically in one sitting.

Here’s something Barbara shares that made me raise my eyebrows:

twitter_standingWomen’s problems with money have far less to do with money than they do with their ambivalence about power. (Tweet It!)

Whoa Nelly! How true that has been in my own life, and I’ve heard the same from thousands of women who I’ve talked to about their financial lives.

I have wanted to host Barbara on Glimpse TV since the show was born. And apparently now is the perfect time because I feel like she wrote Sacred Success for me (and of course for all the other women out there who want to know how to heed the call to greatness, whatever that means to them).

In this episode Barbara shares:

  • The most common drug of choice for women and how to break our insidious addiction.
  • Our two power sources and how to determine which one to plug into.
  • The most important thing we need to do to hear the voice of our soul.
  • Why she’s finally coming out of the spiritual closet and why it’s so terrifying.
  • What fear and money have to do with each other.
  • A revolutionary approach to money that almost no one is talking about.

Click the image below to watch this very special episode of Glimpse TV:

Please share this episode with all of the women in your life within whom you see the spark of greatness.

Click HERE to get yourself a copy of Sacred Success: A Course in Financial Miracles.

Click HERE to find out about upcoming Sacred Success Retreats.

Click HERE to read my post from last week about how to clear up the discrepancy between what you say you want and what you’re actually getting, which was inspired by my work with Stanny.

Over to you:

What’s one way that you can create more stillness in your life so that you can hear the voice of your soul more clearly? I’m asking because this is what I’m focusing on, and I’d love to hear your ideas! Please leave a comment below.

 

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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 profound truths about women and power Barbara shared with me that you’ll want to hear.

Barbara reminded us there’s an internal conflict when we say we want something but our  results do not match our desire.

We say we want love, but deep down what we really want is to feel safe. And love feels scary. So we stay single. And safe.

We say we want to lose weight, but deep down what we really want is to feel connected to our family. And our family has always been overweight and judged slim people. So we stay heavy. And connected to our family.

We say we want to get out of debt, but deep down what we really want is to feel like we belong. And our group of friends is always commiserating about how bad the economy is and how hard it is to get out of debt. So we stay in debt. And we feel like we belong.

We all have desires. I, for one, have an insatiable appetite. I bet you do too.

twitter_standingOur desires are sacred. (Tweet It)

Yet it can be incredibly frustrating to have had the same unrealized desire for years, and years, and possibly even decades, and still not have met it.

It’s likely you’ve made a vision board, written your “list”, meditated, repeated your affirmations, practiced guided visualizations, walked a labyrinth or two, penned your Morning Pages, asked for messages in your dreams, pulled Goddess cards, attended a ritual, Feng Shui’d your home, and consulted at least one astrologer/psychic/energy healer/intuitive person.

Am I right?

So why hasn’t “it” freaking shown up yet?

twitter_standingWhen we say we want something but we don’t have it yet, we’re getting something out of not having it. (Tweet it)

This is the critical question:

What do I get out of things staying just the way they are?

What is my payoff for not changing?

Beneath your desire, there’s a deeper desire running the show.

You may want to feel safe, loved, connected, or like you belong. I promise that if you look closely, there’s a deeper need being met by you not going for what you think you want.

These questions are powerful. When you ask them, you might be surprised, and even horrified by the answers. But they’ll be the keys to unlocking the life of your dreams.

For me what has come up when I’ve asked these questions in the past is that my payoff for staying where I am is that I get to be liked. I said I wanted to play bigger in business, but really I wanted to be liked. I said I wanted to unabashedly speak my truth, but really I wanted to be liked. See how this works?

Here’s the good news:

Awareness is all that’s required right now.

Bringing these deeper drives to light for observation is often all that is needed to make a change.

(When I became aware that what was driving me was my desire to be liked, I noticed a positive change in my behavior immediately. I re-calibrated my internal compass to point to growth instead of acceptance. I continue to remind myself that it’s safe to shine and that my true community will love me no matter what. And with each passing day I am indeed playing bigger and bigger.)

You don’t have to “work” on this.

You don’t have to spend years in therapy.

You don’t have to go talk to your inner child. (Though, feel free to!)

Simply ask the questions and be open to what arises.

Inquiry creates awareness. Awareness creates change.

Simple. Elegant. And, if you’re open to it, easier than you thought it would be.

Does this resonate with you? What are you getting out of staying where you are even though you may have said you want to be somewhere else? Leave a comment – I’d love to hear from you!

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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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Missing something? I’ve got your ingredients right here.

We need each other. There’s a lot of talk in the self-actualization space about masculine energy and feminine energy. When I first heard about this concept I got very tied up in worrying about which one I was using and whether or not I was doing it “right.” Most of the time I felt likeContinue Reading

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An intimate look behind the scenes of my business model

This week I’m taking my annual sojourn to Salt Lake City, Utah, the home of my product partner, USANA, for its international convention. I don’t talk a ton about my network marketing business, but since I’ll be posting a lot on social media this week about my USANA family and what we’re up to atContinue Reading

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Is it my intuition or is it my resistance? Here’s how to know the difference.

On the one hand, there’s listening to your body, your inner wisdom, your gut feelings, your intuition, or really whatever you want to call your divine instinct. And then on the other, there’s resistance. What’s the difference? This is something I grapple with daily. I’m a worker. I can push through and produce. I canContinue Reading

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