Busy clutter. You may not see it but chances are it’s clogging up your power to take control of your life. And it’s stealing your joy.
Are you suffering from busy clutter?
Look at your calendar. Is it crammed with ‘to dos’ and every hour (or more) accounted for? When you look at it, do you feel free and creative or does it make you cringe and want to cower under the covers?
Close your eyes for a moment. (Go ahead, I’ll wait.)
Did you do it? What did you hear? Was it, by chance, a running list of all that you have to do? And maybe some shame for wasting a moment closing your eyes?
Congratulations. You’ve got busy clutter.
For years, I struggled to finish all I had to do in an effort to earn the right to do what I wanted to do. The fact that I thought I had to do everything (and believed asking for help was a huge weakness) meant I never got around to the things I so desperately wanted to do. It wasn’t until I was completely exhausted, drained and craving creativity and connection that courage finally took the driver’s seat in my life.
And that meant saying the one word that changed everything:
The word is so small you wouldn’t think it would be such a big deal. But it is. Sure, we all have responsibilities, whether it be paying bills, raising children, making money, etc. but so often we place extra unnecessary responsibilities on ourselves and bury our heart’s desires under the burden of it all.
The time has come for you to unburden yourself of the unnecessary strife by shouting some very necessary no’s.
Here’s a list of a few things you might consider saying no, thank you to:
- Joy Drainers: Invites from people you feel obligated to see but who bring you no joy – or worse, drain the joy from you, leaving you exhausted at the end of any gathering. Hanging out with people who make you feel bad about yourself or life in general (negative nellies, constant complainers, guilt-givers, fear-mongers… you get the idea) is no way to spend your valuable and precious time.
- Food that makes you feel terrible, either physically or emotionally: Stop the Oh, I really shouldn’t before you indulge and then launch a barrage of self-criticism. Ugh, I really shouldn’t have… I feel awful/bloated/tired. Own your choices. Politely decline or if you want to indulge: Own it. That chocolate cake looks delicious! Yes, please! Then forego the guilt trip. You’ll find over time you miraculously eat less, make better choices, and feel better about yourself, even when indulging.
- Exercise that you hate doing, but feel you ‘should’ do: I’m not saying give up exercise, by any means. Challenging workouts can be a huge joy but if you are doing it just because your bestie is or because you feel the need to punish yourself with a grueling workout you despise, there is a better way. Discover types of movement that make your soul sing and feel good. Try something new, like Nia (a fusion of dance, pilates and yoga), Kundalini yoga (my personal fave for feeling good) or start soaring with some Aerial Yoga (if it’s not in your town, it will be soon).
What will you do with all that free time you now have? Why, say YES to your life, of course! Along the way you may find yourself embracing the following:
- Spending time with friends and/or family that bring you joy (eye contact, open-hearted, being heard, deep belly-laughs of pure joy).
- Sleep (at night or naps… bliss).
- Meditation (get silent to tap into your heart’s desires).
- Relaxation (that Epsom salt bath with lavender, a date with yourself reading a good book or finally watching that movie you’ve wanted to see).
- Taking time to do the things YOU love to do.
Saying no isn’t easy – if it was you would have been doing it long ago. Making your first attempt at ‘no’ might seem monumental. And it is. Because this is the first step at saying a great big YES to yourself.
And oh, you SO deserve it.