Only the Needful

Only the most needful things got done today.
And I wish that I would have given myself permission to do that and that only at the beginning of the day. Perhaps, because it is Saturday and before me stretched a full day of hours without other pressing engagements, I felt compelled to “use the time wisely” and catch up on what feels like an overwhelming amount of work.

Yet, over the past seven days, I have driven 1,500 miles, met with dozens of people, been engaged, dynamic, and active listener and participant… and today my brain rebelled and said, “Nope. Not having it. Not even an hour of it.”

So, I meditated. I breathed. I meditated some more. I ate good food. Engaged with the family. Walked outside. Collected shells found on the shoreline. Washed dishes. Decluttered the minutest of items. Took children on a short outing. Waited for the mail. Sang my current favorite song out loud on repeat in the car. Repeatedly.

But could I concentrate on deep work? No. It was like a bolt cutter and disengaged my brain and the act of turning on the computer just caused me to go numb.

So, I set the timer: 15 minutes. What do you absolutely, positively HAVE to do before the day ends, before a new week starts in the morning? And I did that. And only that. And now, sweet friends, I’m going to bed. I have hit my limit. Hard.


On Being Late

Respect your client enough to not be late.
Honor them with the good intention of being present for them…and waiting on them, not vice versa.

The signal you send otherwise, despite your good intentions, speaks louder than you would ever wish it to.

Be early. Build in that yutori (space between).

Have you done your invoicing?

Are you on top of it? They’ve all been sent out? If not, you are not treating your business like a professional. Soon, your clients won’t either. Consider this your “go to jail” card. Do not pass go, do not collect $100. In fact, you’d best go do that invoicing right now.

Trust me, you’ll thank me for it later.

Hot & Bothered

Taking a collective breath away from the anger and rage floating around, let’s rather steady ourselves. When reacting out of anger, we do not see clearly. Anger gives a flashpan of energy, but does not sustain results that are for any of our long-term good.

Scorched earth tactics do not work well with humans.

Take a moment. Breathe. Let’s find the generous room inside ourselves to see beyond our righteous, justified, and possibly well-deserved anger. We can consider the choices of grace, compassion, and mercy instead.

Yutori: the space between

It’s going to take more time than you think. Please plan for that.

Pad your time a little bit so that you don’t run into a crunch and the added stress that brings. Besides, if you get it done quicker, then it only exceeds expectations vs creating a situation where you disappoint someone, including yourself.

This is experience talking… learn from my past tendency to not allow enough “Yutori”. Consider those “spaces” to be just as important as the actual task at hand.

“Give me the pill”

The woman was trying to convince the pharmacist that she needed to be given a prescription, not for its primary benefits, but for its side-effect: weight loss. The pharmacist tried explaining that the loss wouldn’t be permanent and that the other side-effects were worse than that “benefit”. The woman continued to debate. I interjected a sentence, “I know how you can lose the weight and keep it off.” I said. They both turned to me, “How?”

“It’s simple,” I replied softly, “you just have to give up sugar and those things which turn into sugar quickly inside your body. I lost over a hundred pounds that way and have kept it off for over six years.”

“Oh, no! I can’t do that!” she explained, “I like sugar to much. Just give me the pill.”

We know there is no magic pill, yet still we search for it, pay for it, and hope that maybe this one will be different than the one we tried before.

I have learned; however, that it’s actually changing my actions that gets me different results. Slow, simple, steady.

Drip. Drip. Drop.

One hundred pounds lost and so much more gained.

Do the work. You really are worth it.

Be Audacious

Be bold enough to fill out that application for the dream job you’ve always wished for.
Be brave enough to send in a pitch to your client regarding an effort that when carried out would be of benefit to them and their audience.
Be courageous enough to go in and ask for the raise you and they know you deserve.
Be honest enough with yourself to stop settling for a life that is less than your full potential.

If you do those things, “they” will call you names. Be audacious enough to push ahead anyway.


Breathe into the Good

A two-part tale, in which dignity gets twinged and enlightenment happens.

Yesterday afternoon, our master bath toilet flooded. Terribly. One hour later, we noticed water coming out of our kitchen ceiling (below said master bathroom). Mind you, this is the same kitchen that less than two days prior we had labored long and hard, my wife and I, painting and rehinging and reinstalling the cabinetry. Cabinets that had sat neglected in the garage for two years waiting for time and attention.

I was devastated. Blame from all corners of the dwelling started flying around the house.
“Who did this?” (it has to be somebody’s fault)
“Why does this always happen to us?” (this = bad things)
“Why don’t we ever catch a break?” (yet another financial hit right on top of the last one)
“This house always needs something fixed!”

I tried to stay calm. Tried to take in the lessons I am learning about “breathing into the space” and “leaning in” and “picking at the heartstrands of what’s causing me fear”.

Apparently, since I’m new to this way of dealing with life, it takes a couple of hours for me to “breathe, lean, and pick”, but I did, and here’s what I learned:

  • My fear was that I do not provide or take care of my family well enough. That on my own, I can’t do it. Old “victim” patterns of “I need to be rescued” immediately crowded my interior space and it took time to clear past them and think rationally.
  • Trust my instinct. I knew better than to try to “figure this out on Google” and so I reached out to friend who is an expert and asked for his advice. Even though it was a holiday, and we aren’t “buddies” this friend, not only reached out, he gave me golden advice. He asked me to check with my homeowners’ insurance company to see if it might be possibly covered. I would have never thought of that. So, immediately, I called, and they do cover it and the process of repair got rolling.
  • The good breath. And then, like a gentle breeze vs forced effort, I could both lean into the truth which is I am enough and do take care of my family sufficiently. I could also see that the entire accident would ultimately be for our family and our family’s home’s good. For the house would get the needed repairs and not merely a worrisome patch.

Sitting with oneself in the difficult moments is effort, but such worthy work. Rising out of the Victim role and standing as a woman of strength, honor and dignity is both humbling and empowering.