I was curled up on my cozy couch with my just arrived in the mail, cutely designed Russel+Hazel planner in hand, planning out my upcoming week before I crawled into bed for some much…MUCH needed sleep. I started planning out everything for Monday and then the remainder of the work week, then the weekend, and then I thought, “I should really just get an idea of my entire to-do list and write it all out.” As I started going through it in my head for the next two weeks, my head started viciously swirling, then I was on to two weeks out past that, and what about the month of October I should take a look at that too! Before I knew it I was beyond stressed, couldn’t keep my to-do list straight, felt like my mind just got dumped on with a whole bunch of loads of clean laundry that I had to sort through. I was beyond overwhelmed and couldn’t think straight. I thought to myself, “Okay take it back a few notches. What are all the things that need to be done before my big deadline next week? Start there and gain a little peace of mind.” The truth is – now that smaller list even felt like I couldn’t fit everything in. I had to push out plans with other people to hit this upcoming deadline and I wouldn’t be able to fit everything in like I had originally wanted to. It felt like a vicious run (AND believe me I don’t even run) trying to chase life!
Do you ever feel that way?
You know – the trying to chase life, keep breathing, keep moving, you can do it, just one more thing, oh and then one other thing, and then that should be good, right? WRONG.
You always think of that “one more thing” don’t you? When do you shut that off? Or better yet HOW do you shut that off? When I roll into these vicious planning, to-do list making, fit everything in to make the most out of life cycles, I tend to do the exact opposite of making the most out of life. I’m so focused on getting things done and putting all the puzzle pieces into the right spot to creatively find ways to fit everything in and in the timeframe I would like them done that I forget to step back and connect.
Truly connect. You know, take in the everyday ordinary beautiful miracle moments of daily connection.
When was the last time you wrote on your to-do list to smell a beautiful bouquet of flowers at the local farmers market or to pick up a fallen leaf and look at the veins and beauty of the numerous blends of fall colors all captured in a single 3×5 inch maple leaf? I honestly have NEVER written those “connection to dos” on my list before and yet aren’t those the ordinary moments where you feel fully alive, connected, and grateful in this crazy to-do list/hustle driven life?
Here’s the thing, I’ve thought about this before and honestly struggled with this so much – but I’ve recognized this is something I will never get perfect at, HOWEVER I’m will to change. I’m WILLING and I WANT to work at it – every single day. If this is something you want to work at with me, here are some steps I’m taking.When getting into the vicious “just one more thing” cycle – learn to recognize and be aware of those moments. How do you feel emotionally and physically?
1. Recognize when these moments come up for you and then BREATHE. Close your eyes, breathe in for 5 seconds & out for 5 seconds. Repeat this 3 times. It may seem simple, goodness I even felt ridiculous and didn’t believe it would make a difference the first couple times I did it, but you know what? It did. Just do it. Try it. Repeat it. It will help.
2. Write down one thing you are truly going to do to connect to the world around you in the next 24 hours. Maybe its lighting one of your favorite scented candles and watching it flicker, maybe it’s grabbing a glass of wine and truly smelling the aroma and trying to figure out all the flavors you are tasting as you take your first sip. Or maybe it’s going outside to lie in the grass and actually watching the clouds roll by.
3. Make a list of all the ordinary moments that make you feel present, connected, and grateful for the simple joys in life and keep it with a pledge to yourself to look at that list every time your crazy to-do list gets you going on a tailspin of stress and the frantic “there’s never enough time”emotions.
Are you going to take these 3 steps with me too? Or are there other things you are going to add to the list?
Honestly, I’m exhausted from chasing life – I want to LIVE life EMBRACE life ENJOY life and not focus on only the millions of to – dos so that’s exactly what I’m going to do and I hope you do too! Let me know how these three small actions impact your everyday life flow. Do they work for you? What else did you try too? I want to hear from you! Send me a note. Really, send me a note and let me know!
Hugs & Mochas,