I have learned recently that my blog site hasn't been posting my challenges on a daily basis. It's as if the system is OVERWHELMED.
And, as much as I feel like I should freak out, complain, stomp around and think about the people who might have checked-in for their daily challenge but didn't get it --- the truth is, I feel rather at peace with this. It actually serves as a self-check for how far I've come.
See in the old days, when something didn't go right, I would become highly frustrated. I would put on my Super Girl cape and jump into fix it. If I couldn't fix it, I would huff and puff until I could find someone who would help me fix it. I would lose hours, even days on projects that were supposed to be itty bitty but ended up mighty frightening. I felt like I had to do it all, and the truth is I wore the role of last minute rescuer with pride.
A little bit of this is okay. But I would find myself becoming "overwhelmed" with always fixing problems and never getting to the stuff I wanted to work on. I would see the tell-tale signs - irritability, disorganization, impatience, fatigue, poor food choices - but I wouldn't know how to stop them. So eventually, I'd get sick or injured or gain 10 pounds and not be able to zip my pants and be forced to clear my plate, go back to square one, and re-group. And when I did, I felt better.
But the cycle would start again. Why? Because I didn't get the real problem.
I didn't take into account the price I was paying. Every time there was an unexpected crisis I had to fix, there was also a pet project being ignored. There was a recipe I was dying to make, a new song to write, a decorating project for the house, or a garden to plant --- still stuck on my to-do list. I kept waiting for life to get calm enough so I could have time to focus on the things I wanted to do.
But one day, a voice inside asked a question that stopped me in my tracks. What happens if life doesn't calm down? What if there's always going to be a crisis to fix? What if I never get to write that song or plant that garden? What then?
At first, I tried to work harder to get it all done - even if that meant late nights and early mornings. But, I think that only made it worse. More effort does not always equal better results. I stumbled across a few other "systems" that helped a little but didn't really get at a long-term solution. And then I found something that has worked quite well. And it is your challenge for today! Find out your 3 priorities!
I normally do this first thing in the morning when I am awake but still in bed. You can try that tomorrow. But for today, get into a quiet space where you can avoid interruptions. Sit comfortably and relax. Take a few big breaths in, hold them and then release. Let whatever thoughts pass through your mind pass right on through with no commentary or judgement from you. Remember, just because you think it doesn't mean it's true.
Once you are settled, ask yourself, "what are the 3 things I could do today that would have the biggest positive impact?" Sit quietly and see what comes up. Some of you may have pictures show up, some of you may hear a voice, some of you may have a physical sensation in your body. Pay attention to what answer you get. Do your best to get those priorities taken care of today. See how the rest of your day goes as a result.
I have found that by asking myself this question every day, I am clearly guided by what my 3 priorities are. And interestingly, the priorities are sometimes different than what I would have chosen to do on my own. But over time, I have learned to trust these priorities and follow-through on them. This is a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. If my priorities are done, then I can still play the role of last minute rescuer. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, I feel helpful. There's a big difference there.
I wonder if some of your overwhelm is a result of waiting for life to settle down enough so you too can have the time to do the things you really want. If so, when you try this, I would love to hear your experiences too! I hope this makes as big a difference for you as it did for me.