How many tasks do you do, each and every day, simply because you’re supposed to, or you need to, even though those tasks bring up a good deal of resistance?
We all do.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m the kind of person who likes to get things done, to check things off my list, to feel like I’ve accomplished what I set out to do. As a human, that feels good.
However, in running my own business, I’ve learned that...
When I do things from a place of RESISTANCE, of not wanting to, but feeling like I have to, I NEVER accomplish great things.
It takes ages to make a small amount of progress.
On the other hand, when I align my productivity with my purpose, my passion, my true desires, and work from a place of inspiration, I can perform tasks so much more efficiently while enjoying the process, and... the result has more energy, more inspiration than anything that comes from a place of resistance.
So how do you come to work from an energized and aligned place of inspiration? I’ll tell you how I do it, but first I’ll give you an example from my life, of how sometimes you just have to let go of what you’d imagined, to allow what is happening right in front of you, to happen.
I recently got back from the most wonderful 4 day rafting trip on a river in eastern Oregon. We were deep in the wilderness, my family of four, my uncle’s family of four, my cousin’s family of four. Six adults; six kids between the ages of 3 and 12.
It was a relatively mellow river, with just enough excitement and rapids to feel the thrill of adventure. We saw countless birds, including nearly two dozen eagles, a big horned sheep and her lamb from 20 feet across the river, otters and no rattlesnakes. It was an incredible contrast to my typical day-to-day where I spend at least 4 hours in front of my computer, if not 6 or 8.
Getting back from vacation was a bit less thrilling.
It was of course nice to be home (have I ever mentioned how much I love our space?!), lovely to have a hot shower, satisfying to see the tub turn to dirt when the kids scrubbed off the sand and sunscreen from 5 days of camping.
We returned on Thursday evening after 6 hours in the car. It was my birthday, I went out dancing and to sushi with some girlfriends without even taking a shower first.
Friday came along and we were exhausted, winning the fight against a potential cold.
We began to unpack, did laundry, took a nap. My body was done. After 4 days of paddling, and a night of dancing I wanted to do nothing productive.
I’d intentionally given myself the space to be able to return to my work, my computer, my email, my to-dos the following Monday, knowing a transition time would be in order. That felt amazing, and slightly guilt-provoking, but I owned it.
We took a weekend day to head to our favorite quiet spot at the lake, all of us feeling the urge to be back outside, under the sun and shade, in the wind and water, with the wildlife.
Sunday was spent again, continuing to unpack, to nap (listening with intention to my body’s needs), enjoying a meal with extended family.
Monday morning came along and with it some anxieties about how much time I would need to spend in my email, knowing I would feel the urge to apologize for my delayed responses. But I didn’t want to apologize for my time away. It was exactly what I needed. It refreshed me, made me able to come back to the table ready.
Yet... I didn’t exactly feel ready.
So, despite taking the time to pre-plan my day the night before (always good for productivity), I looked at my plan, my to-do list, and threw it right out the window.
I heard my resistance and listened to my deep desire.
I focused in on one of the items: catching up in a course I’m in the midst of, taking that much needed time to feel into my deepest desires, where I am and where I am going, the future, triumphant self I am mapping out (let me tell you, she is so much more inspiring than who I am now!).
(I'm sharing one page with you here--even though it feels quite private--with the hope that you too take time to envision your future self, your super-hero self, who can accomplish and embody all your desires.)
This is the ever “Important, but Not-Urgent” type of work, the kind that, in the end, turns out to be the most important time you can invest... for yourself, your business, your family, your livelihood.
This is long term goals and planning, the kind of thing that can feel difficult to get to when you’re just putting out the fires of your typical day-to-day.
It feels AMAZING to do this work.
I spent much of the day curled up on the chaise lounge in my office... the one that sits in my Journey/Career and Self Knowledge/Wisdom area--specifically for visioning--the one that has seen precious little attention of late.
- I drew out my current self and the self I am becoming.
- I listed my achievements over the past year (wow, I've made SO MUCH progress!).
- I noted where I am in my life right now--heeded the cycles and recognized that one door is closing while another opens. I feel like the phoenix at the end of its current carnation.
- I detailed advice to myself to navigate uncertain waters.
- I got clarity on my desire for impact.
- I explored my own native genius.
All the while, I allowed my week in the wilderness to integrate. I digested the experience, what it told me about my desires for family adventures and time outside, what it told me about how my business is shifting.
This was the most important work I could have done that day, despite the fact that I had god-knows-how-many emails waiting in my inbox.
This is where my desire led me. This was what my resistance was telling me.
I am more in tune than ever before with my desires and my resistance (when it arises); it has taken me a long time to get here. Because I listened to my intuitions, because I allowed everything to be exactly as it was and trusted those intuitions would lead me down the right path, I was able to accomplish much more that day than I would have spending the whole day in front of my computer.
I broke twice that day to head to my computer, once to look at my calendar to make sure my son’s camp was next week and not this very morning, and again to double check that I had no important client meetings scheduled.
Toward the end of the day, I DID look at my email. You know what? I took 10 minutes to respond to a few potential clients, people who have reached out to shift something in their life, to bring themselves out of paralysis, out of overwhelm, out of the uncertainty and fear.
Because I had a limited time to review my messages, I was able to quickly identify the most important ones and feel good about the time I spent validating the people in my tribe who had taken that first step and gotten in touch.
Here’s the best part:
At the end of my work day, I made sure that I noted my accomplishments (rather than focusing on what I didn’t do). Turns out...
- I had a conversation that day and booked a speaking gig in a summit about setting intentions and manifesting desires around the Eclipse (coming soon, get excited, it’s going to be an incredible experience!).
- I also booked a call with a potential private client. That beats the busy work I intentionally didn’t do.
Even better… At dinner that evening, having spent the day meditating, journaling, breaking for a mid-day yoga class, envisioning, planning, connecting, I was more gentle and present with my children than I have been in a long time (even on our family vacation). It felt easy to have incredible patience. Playfulness was my preferred manner (which is something I strive for but don't always achieve naturally).
Following my desire led me to the most wonderful day of integration, long term planning and visioning, opportunities to reach a broader audience and to work more closely with tribe members I can help, incredible patience and playful fun with my family, openings to shift patterns that weren’t working.
That is what I call a successful day.
I promised to share with you the steps you can take to work from a more energized and aligned place of inspiration, so that you can achieve your greatest productivity and joy. The ability to bring yourself into alignment, to generate inspiration and energy for what you desire most, is an incredibly powerful tool.
After integrating advice from business coaches and books, mentors and my own inner guidance system--this is what it looks like for me:
Every morning, I prioritize my meditation, journaling, visualizing what my day will look like when I get to work in a focused and productive place of alignment.
- Some mornings I just sit and visualize my breath, my connection to earth and heaven, the conduit I am between these energy sources.
- When fears or old patterns or limiting beliefs arise, I’ll journal on them.
- After my nervous system has settled, I turn my focus to the ultimate productivity I will have when I get to work. I visualize what I want my day to look like, how quickly I will achieve my tasks at hand.
- I’ll ask questions about how I can achieve my goals, what people I should connect with. Sometimes the answers come in an instant and sometimes they percolate.
I prioritize this time even if it’s already 9:30 and I’m just getting myself dressed and ready to go after a morning spent focusing on the more immediate needs of my children.
I prioritize this time of mine even when (especially when) I have a day full of more than I could accomplish in a week. It’s that old zen saying: “You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour.”
Not a meditator? I’m sure there are other ways to increase your alignment, your focus, your inspiration and your energy for the work you do… that is simply the easiest and most enjoyable tool I have found.
It's all a work in progress. It was fits and starts over the past 4 years of having and caring for our second child, but now that I've returned to a regular practice, I can easily tap into my alignment, my energy, my inspiration.
My next growth edge? A much earlier morning where I can do my inner and most important work before my kids are even awake. That feels light-years away since my daughter is currently in a place where she is up within 10 minutes of my waking, I’m still reeling in my bedtime after the summer in Idaho where, at it’s peak, it doesn’t get dark until 10:15pm and I’ve never been one to jump out of bed when my alarm rings. I’m not 100% sure how I’ll get there, but I know that’s where I’m going and that clarity alone helps me see the steps I need to take. A year from now, I will be on to new struggles. :)
Today, I urge you to follow your desire. Take the time to get clear on what you desire deep down in your soul; what desired impact do you want at this point in your life? Then...
Allow everything to be exactly as it is and revel in the beauty of it.
Achieving this clarity is more difficult for some. You may be in a place in your life where you are growth oriented, where you know what your next growth-edge is, what this ever-changing person you are becoming looks like. Or you may feel unable to allow yourself to dream big.
If this work doesn’t come naturally to you, or if you know where you want to grow but you feel incredible stuck-ness around how to get there, it may be time to reach out.
The work that I do with my clients is the work of gaining ultimate clarity, pointing your arrow of desire and sending it directly for the bullseye. This work takes the form of shifting your mindset, it takes the form of shifting your space. It’s all interconnected, but it often takes someone outside yourself to help you gain the perspective you need to shift your life into a more enjoyable and fulfilling existence.
When you’re ready to rise above those struggles, drop me a line (firstname.lastname@example.org). We can find a time to hop on the phone for a free discovery call where we delve into where you are and where you want to be. You’ll gain clarity around what is most important and you can begin to see how to get there. It’s eye-opening, life-changing.
Looking forward to connecting with those of you who are ready!
Here’s to following your desires,
Ps. I’m not sure if the August 21 Solar Eclipse is a big deal where you live, but here in the mountains of Idaho, we are right in the path of totality and it’s dictating life at the moment.
The good news? Apparently the two weeks prior (right now!) and the two weeks following the eclipse are a portal for supercharging your intentions and manifesting your desires which makes it an AMAZING time to journal your intentions, identify what’s not working and what you’d rather your life look like.
It's a time of uncertain waters, of changing tides, of endings and new beginnings. Can you feel it? I know I can.
I mentioned briefly the Eclipse Activation summit I’ll be a part of soon. Stay tuned for all the details on how you can join in this free, virtual women’s circle that will help you clarify your intentions, harness the magic of the moon energy and supercharge your manifestations. My friend Sylvie Dore is a wealth of knowledge on all of these things and she will be leading us through an incredibly powerful experience. Get psyched!