To Do More, First Do Less
It has occurred to me that this is one of my favorite topics to write about. Most likely it is because it is “creating space” is my actual job right now, not planning events, or being a wife, or being a friend, sister, writer, yogini…The real work is carving out space in your mind, heart, body, physical space, schedule, so that each of those roles has not only time to do what is tasked to them, but to roll around in the grass, to muse and dwell in the space of what it means to be in that role.
It is counter-intuitive to think that to do more, you first has to do less, yet this is the truth I have found.
As more responsibilities and projects come to me, I find I have to first make space, to separate myself from the tasks and rolls and just be. Sure there is the tightening in the chest that says, “whoa… how are you going to do that too?” but that is exactly what the space addresses. I figure that I have a choice. I can be overwhelmed and controlled by the tight chest, or I can say “stop!”- to my mind, my body, my thoughts, my chest, my emotions and tell them to chill out. It is an interesting conversation I have with these parts of my physical and emotional body, but it’s vital. I usually then think expansive thoughts about “how other people do it”. I think -“Oh, well! Imagine if you had a kid!” Then I think about the President of the country, or people who own 13 companies! Yea, I can address this new thing as my responsibility. I can handle this!
In addition to this self-talk, I have a few other methods that I would love to share, for you and as a nice reminder for myself as I continue to make way into being a more contributive, responsible, organized and joyous being!
* Start with the breath!
When the chest tightens or the head starts to ache, or perhaps you just feel tired at the thought of what you have to do, stop everything and breath deeply. You don’t have to know any breathing exercises, just count while you inhale, count while you exhale. Add a mantra or simply keep your focus on your breath. You are creating space physically, emotionally, schedully, mentally! (For those of us who have had the habit of eating when stressed, breathing deeply will help you get the same effect that food does without the regret and tummy ache later)
I know, but there are so many other things to do! I don’t care. You will be a more effective, efficient, useful and happy person if you clean up the pile you have been “meaning” to get to. This now is your priority. Clean it up! it will help you gain momentum, as well as, give you space away from your “to-do” list. This time is actually a time your sub and super conscious will order your other tasks, making them easier and manageable when you get to them.
* Move your body!
I am not talking something strenuous, if you don’t want (kill the “shoulds” that are controlling you!). But get outside. Walk. Stretch. Do yoga. Laugh. While you might think you don’t “have time” to do something like that, it is actually your priority! It creates space for you, on a cellular, spiritual, mental and emotional level.