I’m feeling stretched and tempted and pulled and I have to draw a line. I have to make a choice. I have to determine what’s essential and begin there.
So, what is essential?
My temptation and overwhelm comes from taking several courses at one time. They, in turn, lead me to other courses. I sign up for a third course and then, suddenly, there’s too much. I have to decide what is essential and then see what else there’s time for. I dropped the third course before it even started.
“Essential” will change
Look at your big plan, your overall objective, the purpose that drives and guides you. My core objective at this point in my life is to expand my spiritual awareness and participation in the world. That’s my measuring stick. If something comes along that feels tempting, I hold it up to my measuring stick and do a reality check of my time.
And then I pass it by or start unsubscribing to things to make room for it.
Clean out your inbox
I’ subscribed to more vegan blogs than I can possibly absorb. So, for the moment, I’m going to make a list of the ones I like, unsubscribe to most or all of them, and when I want to find a new vegan recipe I’ll go to my list. Voilà. A lot of emails are now off my plate.
When I was working on my books, I subscribed to a lot of book writing and book publishing blogs. Again, I will make a list and delete many of my subscriptions. That will also keep me from being pulled off course by being tempted to learn something from those sources — for now.
I get new opportunities. I love The Shift Network (www.theshiftnetwork.com), who are busy folk offering lots of opportunities But when my plate if full, it is full. I have to be discerning of my time.
Allow time to absorb and savor
When I sign up for a course, I want to immerse myself in the content. I want to attend the webinars, and do the homework, and practice what I’m being taught until I absorb the parts I want into my life. Savor. Absorb. It takes time. Are you allowing enough time to assimilate the step you just took?
Allow time to grow
Since we learn from everything we do, if I don’t have time to take a course that appeals to me it’s possible that I’ll learn what I need to learn from another source. We have to trust that our learning will continue on the path we’ve chosen and that education can come from all sorts of directions.
Leave space for new opportunities
An idea based on one of the classes suddenly expanded into something I needed and wanted to do next. Suddenly my plate was full of planning, creating, evolving and sharing this new idea.
But with that choice, something had to go.
Back to what is essential
The Deeper Song Community is my priority. But I’m a prolific writer and am way, way ahead in posts even though I put out two a week. I’m content with two podcasts a month. I publish a weekly newsletter. The rest of the time I can create whatever I want, more books, a new project, a video. Free time. My choice.
I keep flexible and let my life unfold.
Taking my cues from what shows up and how I feel, I am flexible enough to keep adjusting my schedule to find the most willing time of day to exercise — or tidy my home — or whatever habit I want to create.
Allow life to unfold
But life can’t unfold if it’s full up of “to-do’s”. What do you need to let go? What do you need to unsubscribe from?
Can you voice your primary purpose for this part of your cycle? Maybe you think in months or quarters or years. Or just moments. What’s your purpose?
When I was publishing my books, there was much to learn about the technical aspects. And that was a priority. Now that I know how to do that, learning the back end of publishing is no longer a priority.
I’ve absorbed and incorporated elements of the two courses I’ve taken. One has enriched my personal spiritual practice and the other has opened doors of opportunity for planetary involvement. Those are important to me. I have to make room to cultivate them. I prioritize and choose and decide how much time I’ll spend on each new project. It’s a choice — a choice about finding and keeping a balance.
Trim those distracting bright shiny objects
Look for the wasted time in your life. Look for those bright shiny objects that pull you off track. Trim them out of your life. In Feng Shui they suggest you begin with an empty space and then put in one thing at a time until you achieve the balance you want.
This is a form of Feng Shui for your time. Look at an empty day. Even when you put something in it, look closely to see how you can modify it or do it faster or better.
If I want more exercise, then I want to add five minutes of walking when I go for the mail or choose a regular time to put on some music that makes me want to dance and move.
If I want to keep my home neater, I will spend five minutes after lunch to tidy or clean.
Look at the time you’re not using wisely. I started to write time you are “wasting” but that’s a matter of how you perceive “using” time. We’re back again to unloading.
Pay attention to how you feel. You can’t do that if you don’t sit still and feel how you feel.
When you change tasks, check in with yourself. How do you feel? What do you need next? Do you need to stretch, take a short nap, go outside, call a friend? Play a run of Spider Solitaire? What do you need in the moment? Leave time for those unscripted, unplanned, tuned-into-yourself moments throughout your day.
Relax and re-choose
Begin to find your own rhythm on a weekend when you don’t have anything “scheduled.” On separate pieces of paper, write out your ideas about what you want to put in your life. Begin to place them before you as you think of them. Put some ideas in a “love to” row. These are the things that nourish you and make your heart sing
As you work, there will evolve a “have-to” row. Some of that will be caring for yourself, some may be caring for others and some might be ready to be put in the “do-not-do-anymore” pile.
Use these visuals to find balance. Use these visuals to prioritize. Use these visuals to unsubscribe to what’s no longer relevant in your life.
Do this process several times a year so you’ll never again spread yourself too thin.
To Sing a Deeper Song consider:
Accept Yourself as You Are
Why Do You Believe What You Do?
Feeling Powerless is Not a Reason for Inaction
Reserve Space For Yourself in Your Life
How to Design an Unfolding Routine