I am a huge list maker. I keep them on paper, in books, on my phone, on my computer, and in my brain.
Lately, I’ve been really trying to focus on the creation end of my business, and all the office work seems to have fallen by the wayside. As well as a lot of house work.
Today’s my day off. I should be relaxing, but instead I’m feeling the pressure of all these undone things weighing over me.
I don’t know what to do, and can’t get myself to relax, so instead I anxiously work on some to-do’s. Mow the lawn, get my books up to date, review my upcoming bills.
But it doesn’t help. I still feel so far behind and pretty half-assed at the things I did complete.
IT’S ALL AN EXPERIMENT
My anxiety’s only getting worse, so I decide to journal in the garden. Journaling really helps me dump out all the thoughts and judgements that are banging around in my brain. It creates some space and silence, which is where pieces of advice whisper in.
While I was journaling, I remembered something my amazing life coach and massage therapist, Tessa Brauer, told me earlier today. “It’s all an experiment”. I don’t even remember what we were talking about, but I had done something and it didn’t go the way I wanted. “So try something else”.
It’s a frame of mind I know well from working with her, but I forget to embody sometimes. That we are not stuck with the choices we make. If something’s not working for us, we can try something else. Again, and again, and again.
(Most of us just keep trying the same things, hoping for different results. Which is Einstein’s definition of insanity).
TRYING SOMETHING ELSE
Since starting my art business in 2015, I’ve been REALLY good about keeping my books up to date. Doing taxes was pretty breezy, I have to say. This comes from me being a Capricorn Extreme, and also my excitement to own my own business and feel professional.
In November last year, my world shifted and I’ve been very bad about keeping up my books ever since.
I feel really guilty about it and frustrated with myself. That I can’t organize myself well enough to track that any more.
And this just makes me do my books (like I did today), from a place of anxiety, judgement, and lack, which equals no fun.
And it’s SO important to me to be in a happy state when I do things. I believe our thoughts create our reality, and our emotional state snowballs into our predominant state, which affects the things we attract and the health of our bodies.
So I realized, my choice to not do my books anymore (and the ensuing anxiety), was simply part of a life experiment.
Before, I did my books all the time and it made me feel pretty good. It wasn’t that hard, but was a little distracting at times. Then I stopped doing them, and now I feel totally disjointed from my finances and like I’m probably missing a ton of data that I’ll have to find later.
Okay, so that didn’t work. Cool. Let’s go back to option 1. Maybe tweak some things.
SHOULD-ING ON YOURSELF
I SHOULD do my books more often. I SHOULD be better about this.
If you haven’t heard this term before, it’s called “should-ing on yourself”.
It’s when you make yourself feel bad for the things you should be doing. And it gets you nowhere.
I mean, try it. Say, ‘I should (insert thing you should be doing)”. Doesn’t it just make you feel like a total piece of shit? Like you’re really bad at whatever it is?
When you say you “should” do something, it just focuses you on the fact that you don’t do it often enough and what the result of that is. Cue: Hopelessness.
So instead of thinking, “I should be better about this” or “I should do my books every week”, try turning it into a question.
What would happen if I did my books every Friday?
What would happen if I put away things right after I used them?
What would happen if I drank lots of water?
What would happen if I planned my meals every 4 days?
What would happen if I set aside time for writing every day?
What would happen if I meditated every day?
What would happen if I did yoga or ran every day?
What would happen if I paid off all my bills, past expenditures, and had $3,000 in savings?
Bam. Can you feel that? The excitement and space and fun that might ensue if you (I) did those things?
By posing it as a question, rather than a conclusion of, “I need to do X to get Y”, it creates room for the unknown, for playfulness, and most importantly, for excitement. It gets you to focus on the big picture of what you really want, rather than the menial tasks to get you there.
If you can get the energy of what would happen, then you might feel so excited that you can’t wait to begin. Which is a very different place to begin from than feeling like you need to or should be doing something.
I hope this is useful to you! I feel so much lighter and excited tackle my to-do list now.
Tell me below: What’s one goal or to-do you have that you can reframe here as “What would happen if I ____?” Give it a try and feel the magic!
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