We can’t do it all… at once

IMG_1508_blog tulipSo it turns out that if you try to jam in too much activity into too short a time frame, you will suffer physically and possibly emotionally.  Relationships will suffer.  You’ll be forced to make some decisions.

I should really make these “doing way too much and need to rest” posts a monthly feature.  Every time I write one, I think, “Didn’t I just say something similar recently? When will I ever learn?” You remember that post where I told you how excited I am to be starting so many new things? Ha! Some of you totally saw this one coming. I really don’t know what I’m trying to prove.

IMG_1496_blog tulipWisdom from Brave Girls:

“Pay attention to how it feels to go faster than you really have strength to go….”

“It is always always always worth it to go where the peace is….where the best stuff is…….where we can just BE and not feel like we have to BE ENOUGH. We are ALL already enough.”

calendar of eventsBack-to-back late-night events, a photo gig that left my quads shaking, first day of class teacher nerves, severe lack of sleep, PTO meeting, volunteering in my daughter’s classroom, taking the required classes to be a Girl Scout troop leader, my first tap class in 25+ years (and wow is gravity not at all helpful!), daily school lunches and uniforms and so much paperwork, blogging, editing photo shoot pics, trying to fulfill custom art orders, reorganizing our home office and playroom, air conditioning malfunctions, play dates, dance classes, dentist appointments… a girl could just collapse in exhaustion.  And that’s just what’s happening.

tap stepsRather than attend my first yoga class, I found that I just couldn’t get going.  So I put my PJs back on, got back into bed, and slept for 3 hours.  I did get to the second class and all the gentle stretching was wonderfully healing to my frazzled nerves.

IMG_1504_blog tulipsI want to do so much and try so many things, but I suppose it’s true that you can’t do it all, at least not all at one time of life.  A girl can be everything to everyone, but not all at once.  I’ve got to be ok with saying no or even “maybe next year.” I have such enthusiasm for it all, but I know I don’t have unlimited stores of energy or time.  So frustrating!

IMG_1502_blog tulipI am going to listen to another Brave Girls email and stop comparing myself to what I wish I could be and begin being ok with who I am.  I had a rough first couple of weeks of teaching… turns out I am a softy and I need to develop some classroom management skills asap.  I’ve been rather down about it.  I didn’t need them to tell me that I’m too hard on myself.  :)


Brave Girls

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August adventures: books and blog posts (part 2)

August readingMy long list of August reading led me to divide my monthly report into two posts to save my sanity.  Here’s Part 1 in case you missed it, and thank you for your lovely comments.

Cruise Ship Blues: The Underside of the Cruise Ship Industry by Ross Klein

I read this out of curiosity, having just come back from a cruise.  The problem with this book is that it was written 13 years ago and SO MUCH has changed in the cruise industry! The author was impressed THEN with the rising numbers of passengers and the size of ships, so I can only imagine what he’d say now.  Seriously, it is very outdated, but I was still fascinated at the marketing spin, environmental disasters, safety dangers, and other stories he tells.  I skimmed some parts of it, but enjoyed it overall.  And I wished I had tipped our wait staff and cabin steward much more.

My Mistake by Daniel Menaker

This is just a quiet little book about Menaker’s experiences growing up, teaching, working as fiction editor at The New Yorker, as well as his own writing career and later career in book publishing.  He tells of his life with humor and compassion.  I was interested in his stories of life at the magazine and the people he worked with.

The Last Letter from Your Lover: A Novel by JoJo Moyes

Amazon calls this a “stay-up-all-night” novel, and I can confirm that that is accurate.  The story centers on a woman who wakes up in the hospital with amnesia, only to discover that her life is one of privilege with little meaning.  And then she finds hidden love letters.  This is a poignant romance full of substance and realistic characters.

And while what she was doing meant she might be disgraced in the eyes of those around her, she could show her daughter that there was another way to live. A way that did not involve anesthetizing yourself. A way that did not mean you lived your whole life as an apology for who you were.

Nothing in her life had prepared her for what she had done; nothing had suggested she might even be capable of it. And yet, from the moment she had climbed aboard the aircraft, for all her fear, she had felt curiously elated, as if this might be it: this might be the business of living. 

How does one lift one’s own life out of the mundane and into something epic? Surely one should be brave enough to love? But I realized suddenly, in the midst of that little tableau of insanity, that to have someone out there who understands you, who desires you, who sees you as a better version of yourself, is the most astonishing gift. 

The Highly Sensitive Person’s Survival Guide: Essential Skills for Living Well in an Overstimulating World (Step-By-Step Guides) by Ted Zeff

I am an HSP and I was looking to see if maybe Elaine Aron had written a book about being a parent and managing one’s “HSP-ness” if you will, but I came across this book and she wrote the intro.  The book is full of coping skills for HSPs (which constitute 20% of the world’s population), hundreds of practical suggestions, and is written in a respectful attitude toward HSPs.  Zeff is sensitive to how difficult it can be to appreciate one’s sensitivity in a world of constant stimuli.  I will write a separate post on this one as well so I can share some of my favorite of his practical suggestions.

* * * * *

The following three I really can’t say I’ve read.  I started them and just could not make myself finish them.  Here are my thoughts:

The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel by Neil Gaiman

This story is made up of a man trying to recall surreal memories of when he was a 7-year-old boy.  There were horrifying events, but that they were so distanced from the present made it hard for me to get invested in the story.  Many of the characters I really wanted to know more about, but Gaiman left them undeveloped.  I was disappointed and had to put it down halfway through.

Some Fun: Stories and a Novella by Antonya Nelson

I really wanted to like this because Nelson is from Houston, speaks at events here often, and (as the cover shows) has won numerous awards.  Maybe it was her writing style, but I just didn’t find the reading comfortable.  She writes about real humans in real dramas and perhaps my issue is that I didn’t really want to go there.

Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety by Daniel Smith

As a person with some mild generalized anxiety myself, I thought this might be a humorous look at a common condition.  The way Smith drills down into his own past to find the origins of his anxiety (through some mighty strange happenings) struck me as odd.  He blames many of his issues on his mother.  Oh please.

* * * * *

I am also reading an entry a day in The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have by Mark Nepo.  My favorite passage from August:

“Once during the day, think of who you are as living energy and not as a goal to be achieved or an obstacle to be overcome.  Feel yourself without inventory.”  

* * * * *

What have you been reading lately? And are you on Goodreads? I’d love to connect there.

Everything I’ve Ever Read (I think)

Currently Reading

More monthly book reports

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Me? Run a marathon? YES!

Miracle Marathon banner.45 AMAnd I need your help!

OK friends, you can pick yourself up off the floor now.  Did you fall over laughing or collapse in shock at the image of little me with my bad knees and aversion to sweat actually running that many miles? When I told Mr. B that I signed up for a marathon, he literally stopped in his tracks.  It was too funny!

No, no.  What I’ve signed up for is something called the Miracle Marathon.  It is a 27-day virtual fundraising campaign to help you get active while helping kids get well. Each day (beginning September 16) for 26 days, you move one mile however you want to (bike, skate, jump, hop, etc).  I plan to do it on that large black thing looming in my bedroom my treadmill, but you could always split it up throughout the day.   On the final day (October 12 at 1:27 CST), everyone begins the final 1.2 miles together (wherever you are) and we finish the marathon together.

When you sign up, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals will send you daily challenges, inspiring stories or motivational messages to help you meet your goals and connect you to an interactive, online community of supporters.  The challenge is to raise $10/day for kids in your community to receive lifesaving medical care.  That’s $272.  Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals raises funds for 170 children’s hospitals across North America, which, in turn, use the money where it’s needed the most. When a donation is given it stays in the community, helping local kids.  I’d jump up and down if you would visit my fundraising page and help me get to that goal.

I’m going to be walking a mile a day to benefit the Texas Children’s Hospital right here in Houston. I joined my friend Karen’s team.

TX Childrens

If you’d like to cheer me on, here are some fun ways to do it:

1)  Join Karen’s team!  Since you probably already walk a mile a day, why not help support the awesome Texas Children’s Hospital while you do?  And the best part is that you’ll do this at your leisure, in whatever way makes sense for you. So if you’d like to join us, simply sign up to be on our team (you don’t even have to be located in Houston).  If you sign up as a MiracleMaker (as opposed to the free limited registration), you can even use her discount code (enter MiracleKarenW when you register, for 10% off), and you’ll get some cool swag, including a nifty little pedometer to help keep you on task.

JUST CLICK HERE TO JOIN TEAM CHOOKOOLOONKS.  You’ll be so happy you did.

OR

2) Don’t join our team, but walk anyway!  Maybe you love the idea of the MiracleMarathon, but there’s a hospital closer to home that you’d like to sponsor — that’s TOTALLY awesome as well.  You can click here to check and see if there’s a Children’s Miracle Network hospital near you, and register to support that hospital.

OR

3)  Support me with a donation.  If you’d rather not walk, but still want to help, then I’d love to invite you to donate to the cause.  Every little bit helps, truly, and I’d be really grateful.  Maybe you’ll be my very first supporter! Because this just isn’t going to cut it…

Donations.04 AM

To read all about our amazing Texas Children’s Hospital, I’ll refer you to Karen’s post all about her tour of it.  Prepare to be awed.

I’ll let you know how it goes. :)

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August adventures: books and blog posts (part 1)

August books 2 rows

Hello friends! The summer has flown past and kept on going right out the window.  My daughter began kindergarten and is thriving, thank goodness.  Now we just need the hot and humid Houston weather to get the message that it’s time for pumpkins and jackets and jeans.

I started the month by writing about adapting my schedule to my need for lots of quiet and recovery time.  Thank you all for your supportive comments!  Then, as if in answer to that very post, life got slowed down quiet a bit when my daughter and then I got sick.  I bounced back and wrote a post about finding joy in every single cotton pickin’ thing.  Also, in case you missed it, this post is about my upcoming adventures.  It’s a full and wonderful life.  Finally, my post about how to be a slacker generated some of my favorite comments from you all.

* * * * *

I read 10+ books in August! Partly that is thanks to having my Kindle, which allows me to read with it’s soft backlighting while I’m putting my daughter to bed.  She doesn’t even realize it.

I am dividing this post into two posts.  Also, a couple of these books deserve their own post so I can tell you much more about them.

So without further adieu…

Diary of a Psychic: Shattering the Myths by Sonia Choquette

Oh my goodness is this a good book! Choquette has such a sense of humor and starts with her childhood and tells how it feels to have these gifts.  I honestly couldn’t put it down.  Reading about Sonia’s life, lessons, readings and teachings really inspired me. She is a great teacher… honest, real, and full of wonderful and fascinating stories.

Trust Your Vibes: Secret Tools for Six-Sensory Living by Sonia Choquette

After reading that first one, I want to read all of Sonia Choquette’s books.  This one is SUCH a helpful book about transitioning from a five-sensory person to a six-sensory one by trusting your intuition.  I am writing a separate post on it and you will see it very soon.

Infinite Possibilities: The Art of Living Your Dreams by Mike Dooley

This one is about how our thoughts and beliefs create our reality.  It’s amazing how powerful we really are.

“Your feelings come to you through a window that opens to Divine Intelligence.  Keep that window open, practice gazing from it, and open yourself to following your heart and thinking as you perhaps have never thought before.  Begin appreciating its priceless view.  And follow your dreams; they’re yours for a reason, not the least of which is to make them come true.”

“You are in control, and you’re riding a wave of incalculable proportions.  You are powerful beyond imagination, loved beyond comprehension, eternal and free to live the life of your dreams based on the thoughts you choose to think — all thanks to the elements, principles, grace, and magic that now sustain you and your entire world.”

Living with a Wild God: A Nonbeliever’s Search for the Truth about Everything by Barbara Ehrenreich

Perhaps you know Ehrenreich as the social thinker behind Nickel and Dimed. Here, she recounts her quest to find “the Truth” about the universe and everything else.  She found a journal from her childhood (which was WAY more impressive than any journal I kept as a child or teenager) where she recorded a mystical experience that she’d never told a soul.  I must say that I forced myself to finish this one.  It was tough to get into her rambling on and on about something that happened to her ages ago.

Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty by Diane Keaton

I loved her first memoir, Then Again, and her down-to-earth personality.  This memoir is about beauty, aging, and remaining true to yourself.  This was a quick and entertaining read.

Two favorite passages:

“I’ve always loved independent women, outspoken women, eccentric women, funny women, flawed women.  When someone says about a woman, “I’m sorry, that’s just wrong,” I tend to think she must be doing something right.”

“I live with the beauty of regret, and the memory of love… I see Mother’s hands.  I see her fingers throwing bread crumbs to the pelicans on the seawall.  I believed in Mother’s permanence.  I believed in the radiance of her face in the photography Dad took of her with her head thrown back in laughter.  When I try to make her photograph laugh in three dimensions, I feel the sorrow of beauty lost.”

Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman

I read this along with a few girlfriends so we could talk about it.  We agreed that it’s an interesting read but that it was sort of choppy, like reading someone’s journal.  Piper was in a minimum security women’s prison. Apparently, this book is very different from the show, which I understand must be sensationalized a little bit.  The women in Danbury formed friendships and “tribes” and helped each other through.  It was rather heartwarming in a way.  I enjoyed her thoughts on our prison system in general.

You try to adjust and acclimate, yet remain ready to go home every single day. It’s not easy to do. The truth is, the prison and its residents fill your thoughts, and it’s hard to remember what it’s like to be free, even after a few short months. You spend a lot of time thinking about how awful prison is rather than envisioning your future. Nothing about the daily workings of the prison system focuses its inhabitants’ attention on what life back on the outside, as a free citizen, will be like. The life of the institution dominates everything. This is one of the awful truths of incarceration, the fact that the horror and the struggle and the interest of your immediate life behind prison walls drives the “real world” out of your head. That makes returning to the outside difficult for many prisoners.

What made me finally recognize the indifferent cruelty of my own past wasn’t the constraints put on me by the U.S. government, nor the debt I had amassed for legal fees, nor the fact that I could not be with the man I loved. It was sitting and talking and working with and knowing the people who suffered because of what people like me had done. None of these women rebuked me—most of them had been intimately involved in the drug business themselves. Yet for the first time I really understood how my choices made me complicit in their suffering.

However, most of all, I realized that I was not alone in the world because of the women I lived with for over a year, who gave me a dawning recognition of what I shared with them. We shared overcrowded Dorms and lack of privacy. We shared eight numbers instead of names, prison khakis, cheap food and hygiene items. Most important, we shared a deep reserve of humor, creativity in adverse circumstances, and the will to protect and maintain our own humanity despite the prison system’s imperative to crush it. I don’t think any of us could have managed those survival techniques alone; I know I couldn’t—we needed each other.

* * * * *

Part 2 coming soon!

What have you been reading lately? And are you on Goodreads? I’d love to connect there.

Everything I’ve Ever Read (I think)

Currently Reading

More monthly book reports

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They aren’t kidding

treadmill caution

Remember my slacker post where I mentioned how being an overachiever and a multi-tasker could eventually harm your health? I meant that the stress could be dangerous. However, it has (ahem) come to my attention that it may not be truly possible to do two things at once anyhow.

To make a long story short, I was trying to talk on the phone with a treadmill repair person, get dressed, and look something up on my computer… at the same time.   I was distracted and I fell hard onto the fast-moving belt, bruising my shoulder and legs and scraping one palm rather badly.  I am hugely thankful that it wasn’t a worse injury.

I have read that driving and talking on the phone are not actually possible to do at the same time, and I think it’s true because whenever I’ve done it, I do not remember how I got where I was going.  It’s as if the brain goes on autopilot or something.  Sort of scary.  Think of all those slow drivers you’ve had to go around, only to realize that they were on their phones and their minds were elsewhere, not focused on the task at hand at all.

I had always prided myself at work on being able to manage several things at once, but I think maybe my brain is just good at switching between tasks quickly.  I must have given each one my full attention.  Heck, I have trouble managing multiple stove burners when I’m cooking!

So I urge you all to slow down and pay attention to the task at hand, especially if there’s heavy machinery involved.  I’ll see you Monday with my monthly book report.  :)

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How to be a slacker: a guide for perfectionists and overachievers

hidingMaybe you are like me in that you begin getting something done the moment that someone makes a request of you, if not before.  Or perhaps you have very high standards for yourself and those around you.  Maybe you want your life to be full of generous acts and helping people.  Maybe your to-do lists are threatening the future of our national forests.

Perfectionists rarely let themselves celebrate a job well done.  They We have high standards and are never done with anything.  They We are always comparing their surroundings or their exertions to what could be.  Overachievers are also never done, but in the worst way.  They We think pushing ourselves harder is the way to success.

I’ve developed my own personal tips of how to stop doing and thinking this way.  I share them with you in the hopes that you will be kind to yourself and stop trying to juggle so many balls.  It really is ok to gently put them down every once in a while.  It’ll be all right.  We’ve got to realize that we are already enough without doing a single thing.

blog_sidelight_daily gifts_kkreentry-001Remember your highest priorities.  Do you have a values statement or a personal mission statement? Take some time to figure out what is absolutely the most important few things in your life.  Let’s say you value the welfare and happiness of your family and pets, growing spiritually and intellectually, and helping spread kindness and peace.  You can hold up each new opportunity to those values to see if they align.

Your job brings in money to pay for your family’s needs and your home, as well as funds to take classes, join groups and communities that are important to you, and give to organizations that help better the world.  It is crucial that you are saving for your own retirement and peace of mind.  Yet, at some point, you can reach a point where the money and position don’t outweigh time with those family members, an afternoon in nature, or taking a day off to rest and recoup.  Balancing it all is the key.  Don’t go getting yourself fired because of this blog post, but do remember that you may be able to say no to extra work or overtime, especially if it doesn’t fall within your overall life goals.

I am also learning how to set limits and expectations.  A photo shoot does not have to involve the customer receiving 200 edited images on CD, an outcome that takes me many, many hours to provide.  I can say upfront that the package is for 1 hour of my time onsite and a CD of 30 edited photos.  Far more doable! They get high quality pictures and I don’t spend days on my computer in Photoshop.  Remember that you can ask upfront for extra time or for anything that may help you to live according to your own values.  If you don’t stand up for and protect yourself, who will?

I have to admit that I am not the best at saying no.  In fact, I did it yesterday and it felt pretty awful.  Still, Mr. B was proud of me for setting some limits and for protecting my time.  More important, I was proud of me.

You have to continually reassess your values too.  It is far more easy to work your tushie off if you are saving money for something important to you.  Once you achieve your goal though, remember to reassess and let yourself rest.

Agap being_bf206Practice living in the present moment.  Notice I said “practice.” If you are like me, your mind is usually whirling into the future.  It can be hugely helpful to remember that this very moment is all you really have for sure.  Whatever you are imagining in your mind may not happen.  If you can try to focus on NOW, especially when you are in the midst of making a to-do list, you will breathe deeper, notice more, and feel better.

Maybe you can find a signal to use, some way to remember to take a deep breath.  A ringing phone makes my heart beat faster and I usually forget to use it as a reminder to take a breath.  Instead, I set my phone to make one tiny little ding on the hour.  If I hear it, no matter where I am, I look around and notice, well, life happening around and within me.

Sometimes it can be less about becoming perfect or helping everyone you encounter and more about just being happy.  Simply being at peace, fulfilled within your own self, you are already spreading joy and goodness to everyone you interact with.  I’d rather be around someone who is happy and makes others feel good, no matter what they’ve accomplished that day, than someone who gets a lot done but is miserable company.

Create Your Life houseSet smaller goals.  While it’s admirable to dream big, you may be setting yourself up for failure if you have huge lofty stretch goals.  A few months ago, I set myself a goal of losing 30 pounds.  I bought a treadmill and dove into exercise and counting calories of every thing that I ate and, while I was losing weight and feeling good, it only lasted a few weeks before I lost steam.  Remember how I’m all or nothing? All switched to nothing and that was that.  That’s when I felt like a failure and went back to munching on M&Ms before bed.  Cause why not?

I decided to break my main goal down into much more achievable steps.  Say no to at least one food item each day that I want but is not good for me.  Make better food choices.  That’s not deprivation; that’s being sensible.  Move my body in some way every day, preferably for 30 minutes.  I don’t look at numbers, speed, intensity, treadmill incline, calories burned or ingested, and definitely not a scale.  As long as I’m moving, I know I’m making progress.

It will take longer to lose 30 pounds this way, but it is far more likely to happen.  I do feel like I’m slacking off in terms of rigidity, especially when people ask me about all those numbers I mentioned, but that’s ok.  I’m treating my body with kindness and respect and getting healthier my own way.

Rosebud kk_cherish scriptedBalance “on” and “off.” Your body and mind come with the need for certain physical care.  Times of high productivity must be matched with downtime and space.  Every person needs a different amount, so you’ll have to know what you need and let yourself have it.  If you don’t grant yourself times of renewal and proceed ahead under relentless stress, your health will eventually suffer.

I have learned the hard way many many times.  After working for a few years at a very high-intensity job where it seemed that every world crisis or political issue came across my desk to solve, I sunk into a major depression.  Then what good am I at helping anybody??? During my daughter’s first year and in my new-mama, very sleep deprived state, I never let myself have a messy house, miss a playdate, or just do nothing.  Then I wondered if something was wrong with me that I was crying all the time.

Now I know that every high achiever needs some time to incubate.  The motor of any machine or appliance will burn out if you don’t turn it off and let it recharge for a bit.  Why would we not perform the same service for ourselves? I find that I’m even more able to focus and work on anything after a time where I’ve let my mind think about something else.  When I know I will need to be “on,” whether it’s taking photos, teaching a class, or volunteering at school, I schedule an equal amount of time to be “off.” Otherwise, my body will take it without asking, usually at an inconvenient time.

relaxMake sleep a priority.  I find that I protect my daughter’s sleep like a mama bear protects her cubs.  I know I should do the same for myself but I rarely do.  Usually the evenings are the only time you have for yourself or to catch up with your spouse.  It can be hard to make yourself go lay down and seemingly get nothing done.

My husband and I went to a reproductive psychiatrist when I was a new mom because we thought I had postpartum depression.  I was weepy and unable to handle minor things like changing a diaper without thinking my life was over.   A mom of four herself, she smiled and told us I simply needed more sleep and to make sure I got 8 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period.  It didn’t have to be all at once.  It was miraculous how quickly I felt better when I followed her advice.

Your body needs rest.  Sleep deprivation is cumulative and can hugely impact your perspective, interactions, and ability to perform well.  If you find yourself short-tempered, overly emotional/frustrated/controlling/anxious/frenzied/sleepy/forgetful/argumentative/inflexible,  or with a headache/stomachache or unusual cravings, you are probably sleep-deprived.  You may think you are overly stressed, but it’s usually something you can fix with letting your body have the hours of rest it needs.

Sleep is like sunshine.  It brings energy and happiness.  It seems counterintuitive, but you will get far more done with your waking hours if you get as much sleep as you need.

blog_Be good to yourself_kkepiphanyBe self-compassionate.  I’m not telling you to lower your standards all the time, but at some point, you’ve got to be able to tell yourself that you’ve done enough and it’s time for a rest.  Who’s judging all this effort anyway? If you don’t feel like going to the gym today, how about letting yourself have some gentle stretching at home? Do what you can and respect your limits.  Praise yourself when you remember to rest, ask your spouse to stop at the grocery store on their way home rather than dragging your tired self and children through.  Find opportunities to be nice to yourself.  You’ll be so glad you are taking good care of you.

let go artworkDelegate to trustworthy people.  And then let it go.  If you are like me, you must do something yourself.  It is very tough to let go of how you think something is supposed to be done.  I’d found that when I want something done right, I have to do it myself rather than have to re-do what someone else ineffectively tried to make happen.

Then I became a parent and I realized that I have limits.  I needed my husband to care for my daughter here and there so I could actually leave the house in search of sanity.  (I swear my daughter is as intense as three other children combined.)  It was just as important for him to feel that he could be a good parent, even if he didn’t hold the bottle or burp cloth the exact way I did.  Letting go of my rigidity meant I could have a little freedom and my husband could have the opportunity to do it his own way without doubting himself or hearing criticism.  I think it’s a fair tradeoff.

Who cares if your t-shirts aren’t folded exactly how you like them or your coffee cups are put away in the “wrong” cabinet? Letting someone else take care of little things gives you time for other stuff.  Let it go.

Blog_stillness2Find new role models.  That boss who encourages you to work three jobs is not the one I mean.  I have family members who do not stop until the job is done (me included).  I can be hugely judgmental (toward myself too) about productivity.

I think it’s important to counter that internal taskmaster with voices that encourage you to cut it out.  There are people who practice self-care who understand the importance of rest, renewal, and self-care.  In case you don’t know who to look to, visit the websites of some of my favorites: Jodi ChapmanLiz Lamoreux, Jen Louden, Susannah Conway, Pema Chodron, and Tama Kieves.

I hope there’s some nugget of advice here that you can take and implement in your life.  I am really really good at feeling compassion for other people and telling others to lower their standards of themselves and take a break, but I’m terrible at telling it to myself.  We are in this together for sure.  It’s a constant struggle for me too and I’m not the best at remembering to do these things.  The more I read about self-compassion, write about mindfulness, or talk about slowing down, the more often I remember.  And my daughter and Mr. B (and you all) remind me too.

If you know a wanna-be slacker, encourage them! It is so so so hard to come down from those impossible standards.

Please share your thoughts in the comments.  I’m all ears.

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