Career Direction

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Tag: peace

Do You Make Time to Play?

I have been getting a pull in my heart/mind/spirit to DO less and BE more. That’s sounds like a contradiction, right? We are supposed to be doing MORE, not less! At least that’s what my “To-Do” list tells me every weekend. We keep putting things off, adding them to our mental to-do list and eventually it becomes a pressing issue that we need to DO the items on the list. I know this is a common struggle for most of us. Can you relate?

But this pull says to me, “Wait. When was the last time you just did something for fun? With no agenda, no to-do list, just enjoying the moment.”

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

As kids we have lots of “downtime” and very little on our to-do list. Especially in the summer when school is out, we envy children who have time to just watch the clouds go by, looking for funny faces and animals. We’re too busy to even notice the clouds on our commute.

Research shows that adults that take time to “play” experience more energy, more creativity and a better mood overall. It also contributes to better health and a sense of well being.

How do you find time to play?

Block out a 4 hour period during one of your day’s off. Don’t schedule anything. Turn off your phone, computer, tablet, television and any other media device. Do nothing. Let yourself get bored and then see what ideas come to you naturally. Boredom is a GREAT foundation for creative play. Then just follow your heart – whatever comes to you, DO IT!

This downtime will really recharge your soul. Some people enjoy it so much that they make it a regular habit. In the past when I had a really stressful job, I would block out my entire Saturday. I did not make any commitments to anyone – it was MY time. If I wanted to sleep late, I would. If I wanted to get up early and take a walk, I would. I could go to the park or the movies impulsively – just on a whim. [Yes, if you have kids you can still do this. Kids LOVE unstructured play. In fact, they’ll teach you how – follow their lead.]

The idea is that you need UNSTRUCTURED time to find yourself again. To find your strength and creativity – to let your soul out so it can stretch and climb and soar.

I challenge you to try this. Try it every weekend in July and see how much you enjoy the benefits. You might even be willing to sacrifice “normal” scheduled activities for this. You might be willing to get off the treadmill of doing MORE and instead enjoy the benefits of just BEING. [DO less, BE more.]

Let me know how it goes – I’d like to hear what you tried and how it worked for you. Everybody’s different – find your own rhythm. You owe it to yourself and those you love.

You’ll be a better person if you’ll take time to play on a regular basis.

False Evidence Appearing Real

Anxiety – we have all felt this before. It can be mildly annoying or downright paralyzing. The underlying emotion behind anxiety is fear, though many people are not consciously aware of it. I think of Anxiety as “Fear without Focus”. It’s a general feeling of being unsettled, of not feeling confident or secure.

One way to combat anxiety is to acknowledge and confront the fear behind it. Next time you feel anxious, say this statement to yourself, “I’m afraid that ….” You’ll be surprised at how many things come to mind. For instance, before a job interview – I’m afraid that I won’t get the job, I’m afraid they’ll ask me something and I won’t know what to say, I’m afraid I won’t make a good impression, I’m afraid of being rejected, etc. Try it the next time you feel anxious – it will help you identify the fear.

Q37 Look for Proof

False Evidence Appearing Real

FEAR stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. Very often our fears are based on something that is not entirely true. Our mind jumps to the conclusion that something will go wrong so we become anxious. Once you have identified your fear, then look for proof. Very often you cannot prove that your fear will happen – in fact, most of what we worry about NEVER happens. It’s a waste of mental and emotional energy – it’s very distracting and it saps your creativity.

Instead, turn the statements around and say the opposite of your fears. For instance, before a job interview – I might be offered this job, but if not, then it wasn’t the right job for me. The right job will come at the right time. If I don’t know what to say, I’ll take a minute to compose my thoughts. Something will come to me. I’ll make a good impression because I’ve prepared for this interview – I’m skilled and I can add value to this company. If I don’t get this job, it doesn’t mean I’m being rejected – it’s just business, it’s not personal.

When you speak the TRUTH to your Fears, the anxiety literally vanishes! You can feel it drain from your body and your adrenalin reduces. Take a few deep breaths slowly and hold your breath while you count to 5. This increases the amount of oxygen in your system and your mind will begin to clear. When we get anxious, we tend to take shallow breaths which then makes our thinking a little foggy, which leads to more anxiety. Take a deep breath, speak the Truth to your Fears and watch Anxiety run away!

By the way, it might feel like a battle the first time you try this. Our minds are used to jumping to negative conclusions. It takes some practice to learn how to slow down and speak the truth to yourself. Practice every time you feel a little anxious. It will really help when you need it most – I promise! It gets easier – your brain learns to do this process almost automatically after a while.

If you’d like some help learning how to do this, please contact me. I’d love to help you! I have spent years learning how to cultivate peace and now it is my standard operating environment. In fact, I am known for the peace I carry – people say they can literally feel it in my presence and hear it in my voice. It’s worth it to learn how to dissipate anxiety and fear so you can enjoy peace too – I’ll show you how! 🙂

Are you really in control?

Take a minute and quickly list 5 things you are in complete control of in your life. No, really – just do it. What comes to mind?

My job – are you in control of how much money you make? who you work with? the amount of time you spend working? whether or not you work there?

My time – did you control what time you got up this morning? how much time you spent in traffic? whether or not you took time to brush your teeth?

My family – are you in control of the choices your children make? how about your spouse’s actions? your parents, siblings or in-laws’ behavior?

The reason I am asking you to list things over which you have complete control is to help you see that VERY LITTLE is really under your control. This is actually GOOD news! Why? Because you are not responsible for things over which you have no control. Did you know that? It makes sense when you think about it. You can only be held responsible for things over which you have control.

Why do we spend so much time worrying about things over which we don’t have control?

 

mind-and-thoughts

Action step: You can reduce your stress significantly by asking yourself this question whenever you find yourself worrying or thinking about something over and over: What do I actually have control over in this situation? Then focus on the choices YOU can make – the ones you have control over. The rest of it – let it GO! Worrying saps your mental and emotional strength. Focusing on what you CAN control is empowering and gives you peace.

Here are some things you can control:

  • how you use your free time
  • what you allow your mind to focus on
  • how you respond to others
  • the words that come out of your mouth
  • your attitude (yes, that’s a choice, believe it or not)
  • your values and how that drives your behavior

Many of my clients experience a significant shift in their level of stress when they practice this little exercise regularly. Stop and assess each situation and then choose to put your energy where it can best be used – on YOU.

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Previous blog posts are HERE! There’s a lot of good stuff there – check it out!

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