Dude. I moved over the weekend into a new house. And for like the last 72 hours, I haven’t stopped. (Because I really dislike not knowing how to function, and stuff everywhere makes me crazzzzy.)
And for about the last 24 hours, I’ve been tired. Like, take a nap in the middle of the day tired. (I never do that, but you bet your britches I did that today.)
This morning, when I was jotting down the things I wanted to prioritize today, when it came to self care, I wrote three things: yoga, outside, bath.
By 6 p.m., it was clear I needed some space to take care of myself.
It was a bit ambitious at that point to try to cram in yoga, outside and bath. If I’d been on autopilot, I would have chosen yoga, because it was Tuesday at 6 p.m., and that’s what I usually do on Tuesdays at 6 p.m.
I took a moment to pause and ask myself what I needed. I needed a bath. I needed to be by myself, I needed to be warm, and I needed to give my tired body the chance to do nothing. I needed my fingers and toes to get pruney as evidence that I’d done nothing for a really long time.
Routines can take you only so far in productivity, before the solution is calling for something totally unproductive.
When productivity begins to tank, we usually think we need to crank up the intensity. Go harder, do more, push further. But what’s really being called for is PRESENCE.
Slowing down, feeling, listening for what’s next. Space. Breath.
This is where you can really hear the truth.
There are any number of activities that can bring you to this place, or assist you in it. And often, we get over-attached to the activities themselves (and checking them off our lists), and not focused on the purpose for engaging with them.
The difference between putting it on the agenda…or adding it to the menu.
Let’s just use baths as an example for a moment. Baths can provide lots of things: relaxation, cleanliness, soaking sore muscles, time alone, warmth and comfort.
If I were to take a bath for the purpose of getting clean, that would be an agenda item. I’d be doing it to get something on the other side. (Clean.)
If I wanted to feel relaxed and have some space alone, taking a bath is one of the things on the menu that I could do that would contribute.
When we add self care items to our agendas (to accomplish something specific), we’re not actually getting all the benefits of doing it. Part of the benefit of self care is to become present to your needs. It is the act of saying, “I have needs. What do I need right now?”
When you answer this question, and you can pull from an array of menu options, you’re more likely to connect with the most meaningful activity to you in any given moment, and therefore, get the most benefit.
Your presence to the question (instead of the autopilot answer) is what opens up your ability to be more present for what is next. And next after that.
Anything that cultivates presence will eventually increase your effectiveness.
Notice I didn’t say that cultivating presence will increase your productivity. Because it won’t. But what it will do is make your actions more effective, because you won’t be throwing spaghetti on the wall and seeing what sticks. You will understand the right things to do more regularly. You will understand what things need your energy and what things don’t. You will understand when you need to act, and when you are to wait.
Your experience of your life changes when you can feel (and go in the direction of) what is true.
Presence as a superpower.
Last week, I promised to tell you more about the retreat coming up in Bali. We’re going to be working with the energy of surrender, and how to do that with grace. You know, you’re taking big risks to live those big dreams, and it feels uncomfortable as hell. You don’t just have to sit in the discomfort – there are actual tools and practices that make those risks that look crazy to other people feel completely normal and sure to you.
And…you guessed it. A lot of it has to do with your ability to be present. The other good news? This can be practiced.
When you are present, you have a different view of the playing field. You can see things that others can’t. You can concentrate on things that will make a difference, instead of focusing on what you don’t yet know.
This is just one of the juicy skills we’ll be cultivating in Bali. There are several more – all in service you going after those big dreams that call for big leaps. Stepping into greatness isn’t accidental; it requires that we let go of who we’ve been to become the bigger versions of ourselves.
If this greatness is a part of your path, and you’d like to discuss joining me in Bali, send me an email. We’ll set up a time to talk and see if it’s a good fit.
Until then: less agenda, more menu items. Choose what feels right in the moment.