(Continued from Part 1)
Yes, I had let things get out of balance and it was time for a shift.
I decided to stay offline for 3 days. I had already been offline since the previous night and departed for the beach just after teaching meditation class so the first day was easy. The phone was on for emergencies, but no checking email, FB, blog posting, website updates or doing any work on the computer at all. It had been a long time since I’d done that and it was liberating.
We walked the beach several times a day - long, tiring walks on the beach. We stopped and talked with people, made new friends and cooked great meals. All things I would have done anyway, but we took more time and it felt freeing to not be heading back to get to the next task, to be disconnected, liberated from the impulse to check-in and keep track of the world’s activities all day.
I read 3 books in 3 days, finally catching up on a little of the stack that has been patiently waiting for me to have more time. For the first time in a couple months I felt less pressure. Most importantly, I had NO schedule to keep.
Monday night I eased myself back into connecting. Just checking up on a few things - I gave myself an hour then listened to my class recording and powered it off again. The rest of the week I scheduled a brief amount of time each day to handle only the most important tasks.
I became aware that in the excitement of starting new projects and moving things forward that I had lost my time to just be. I had gradually let it slip away. I was more frequently — ok, almost all day, everyday in a state of doing. Mainly because so much “doing” needed doing recently.
Yes, I took long walks with Gg and still took time to meditate and self-treat with Reiki everyday. In fact, the meditation and Reiki kept me from feeling so stressed about it all, but that wasn’t enough. We all need time to just be and I happened to need more than most people I know.
That state of just being is where I imagine and create, where those ideas I was “working on so hard these months came from in the first place. I may need periods of a lot of “doing” to bring those ideas to fruition, but not at the cost of having so little “being” time for several months.
I think “being” is what expands us, helps us connect with our deepest self - our desires of what we want or would like to experience in life. I hadn’t had enough of that this year. It has been a year of doing what needed to be done to accomplish what I had imagined and created the past couple years. I finally grasped that was enough. Now it was time to shift back toward more balance.
The aha was about making a change to what was no longer working, not jettisoning to do items. With a few adjustments, I could step back into managing my schedule rather than letting it control my life.
When I returned home, several things were going to change about how I organized my day(s) and my work time.
- Disconnect more often. Mini breaks totally off-line at night, early morning and weekend time.
- No checking my phone (email) as soon as I wake up. It now waits until I start “working”.
- Set actual office hours for handling projects.
- Schedule breaks in the day/week. No more waiting only until a task is finished to take one.
This opened up time in my days and week - created space and quiet time for creative thinking. We need space for new things to come to us not to mention we’re more productive when we take a real break.
It’s been working well so far. The pile of project tasks is still there - new projects with new tasks, but the pile is just as high. For now it’s still a sign I’m doing all the exciting things I had hoped to tackle, but I’ve adjusted my pace and created the space that was lacking. A shift that means I don’t have to delay those new things waiting on my vision board.
I’m sure some projects always will have more “doing” than others, but for now I’m striving to keep those times as the exceptions to my daily routine.
And, I remain willing to notice when I’ve outgrown the way I’m doing things, like I did this time. Listening to my body and heart — to pause — to not be hesitant to shift when it’s needed or even to shift back — to be flexible because life is fluid and none of this is written in stone.