Is the hustle exhausting you? Here’s how to get things done without the exhaustion

Let’s get one thing out of the way from the get go: This is NOT a plea for being lazy! It’s not even a plea for simplifying (even though that’s a great practice!). It’s about a different perspective on getting things done. So now that we’ve cleared this up, let’s jump in and see why the hustle is causing you trouble.

 

The problem with “the hustle” is how popular belief defines it:

 

“Push through.”

“Just suck it up and keep going.”

 

It’s a very tense and rigid energy, that drives you into a tense and rigid attitude, even a tense posture. Since we know that tension is an energy-sucker, this common hustler attitude and posture is exactly why people get exhausted.

 

Imagine there are two people in a boxing ring.
In the red corner is Bulldozer Joe, a muscular guy, who’s building up his anger, tensing his muscles and grinding his teeth protector. He’s a giant ball of tension, ready to burst.

 

In the blue corner it’s Swift Bill, who’s getting ready by shaking his limbs and bouncing on his feet slightly. He closes his eyes and breathes deeply.

 

When the bell rings, Bulldozer Joe bursts forth, exactly like a bulldozer, his whole body tensed up. Swift Bill is fully alert, but relaxed, keeping his body movable and flexible. Who do you think will be able to win in round 5?

 

While tensing up might be helpful for a quick win, it for sure won’t be sustainable for the long term. Bulldozer Joe will be exhausted and have trouble keeping his focus after a couple of rounds. Master martial artists know that flexible and movable will always beat tense and rigid.

 

It’s the same with productivity. If you bring in a lot of tension and pushing, you don’t use your energy efficiently. I’m not saying that there’s no effort required or that you won’t need to work hard ever. Our Swift Bill will have to work very hard to beat the ass of Bulldozer Joe for sure!

 

Working hard is not optional, especially when you’re working on making a difference in people’s lives. But working hard efficiently, will help you do your work in a sustainable way.

 

How can you become more efficient? Simply by practicing. One way to see if you’re using up more energy that you need, is to check in with your body. Check in right now, as you’re reading this.

 

  • Are you tensing your shoulders? Your butt? Your jaws?
  • Is it really necessary to tense those areas while you’re sitting/standing right now?
  • Can you relax them, even just a little bit, if they are tense but not necessary for what you’re doing?

 

When you relax areas of your body, that don’t actively work on sitting, standing, writing, doing the dishes, you’re preserving precious energy. This week, check in with your body during the day, as you’re standing in line at the grocery store, writing an email or talking to a client. If there’s an area that’s tense, try to relax it.

 

And if you’re used to the hustle, check in while you’re busy and see if you can become more efficient. Even just a tiny bit.

 

Here’s to your conscious productivity!

If you thrive when you use your intuition, do you really need systems?

I had a great conversation with a pilates teacher, who’s teaching her classes from a deep intuitive perspective. Not what you usually expect from a pilates teacher, right?! (Great reminder to check assumptions ;)) During our conversation, she emphasized several times how important intuition is to her, both in her work and in her life. I couldn’t agree more.

 

Intuition is one of our greatest gifts. When you learn to discern it from your fears, limiting beliefs and inherited assumptions, and learn to listen to it fully, you’ve got a superpower!

 

But then, our conversation took a turn. She started to talk about how productivity systems wouldn’t work for her, because she’s working so intuitively. Are productivity systems and methods useless, when you are intuitive?

 

Let’s take a step back to observe what those systems and methods are. If productivity is like baking a cake – a healthy and nourishing one!- then those systems are the cake tin. Without them, the batter runs loose. But without the batter, the tin is useless. You can put it in the hot oven, but you’ve got no cake!

 

What’s the batter then? You can probably guess: it’s the deeper work. And there’s a unique recipe for each of us that will make a delicious and nourishing cake. Just like with cakes, there are some pointers about what needs to be included, but what will nourish you specifically, is probably different from what will nourish me. It’s an invitation to experiment and a great lesson in observation.

 

But… back to our original question. Systems and methods are useless, when you expect too much of them. When you’re lost about what to do, can’t seem to get things done even though you know you need to, when you’re always busy doing but still not getting ahead, it’s most of the times not because you haven’t found the right system yet. These are mostly signs you need some deeper work right now. We all need to deepen our work regularly.

 

The other side of the coin is, that when you’ve done some deeper work and you have a practice to go back to, experimenting with a great system will propel you forward. So do intuitive people need a system then? Yes. Big Fat YES. It’s great help to actually materialize your intuition into focused action. Remember the cake.

 

Do you need a more aligned system or deeper work right now? If you’re not sure where you stand at the moment, an overview of your current situation can help you move forward again. This is part of what I do with clients and people can get into going forward just from finally seeing their situation from a different perspective.

 

Right now, I’m giving away 5 free sessions. In these sessions, we will dive into your current situation and see where you get stuck and where your strengths are. If this sounds great, contact me and we can set up an appointment. These sessions are between 30-45 minutes, with a pre-assessment questionnaire that takes 5-10 minutes to complete. We will have a video or audio only call (your choice) on Zoom. If you’re not sure, I’m happy to answer any questions as well, so don’t hesitate to reach out.

 

Disclaimer: These sessions are on a ‘first come first served’ basis. They are also truly free, no selling at the end. If we both see that we are a match and we’d like to continue working together, that’s great, but please don’t feel like you have to work with me, if you book a free session. I just want to give the gift of clarity to anyone who needs it right now.

 

Here’s to your conscious productivity!

Let’s play “what happens next”!

Is your week off to a great start? Or could you use some motivation to fuel you forward? It doesn’t matter if you feel stuck and unmotivated or if you feel great, you’ll probably like what I have for you today.

This week I don’t have an article for you, but an invitation to play. Hey! Play is always fun and it has a great energy to get you out of a rut, if you’re in one.

So I invite you to join me in a game of “what happens next”.

This week, pay attention to your ideas. Any kind of inspired idea, that is about you doing, learning or creating something. Something you feel excited about. Like:

“Hmmm… there are so many strawberries in my garden. I could make yam from them.” or
“I want to organize a workshop on healing psoriasis naturally.” or even
“Channeling is actually really cool, I want to learn to do it.”

When an idea enters your mind, pay attention. What comes next?

Is your mind running away in the future, seeing all the plans and possibilities?
Is your inner critic showing up with reasons why you couldn’t/shouldn’t?
Do you dream about it, than dismiss the idea?
Do you start to take action on making the idea a reality?

What comes next for you? If you feel like it, write your observation down in a journal, talk about it with a friend or you can also talk about it with me.

Whatever you find, it’s a treasure! So it’s worth a celebration! It’s the first step in deciphering where your own personal productivity cycle could be broken, so you can start mending it. And you know what happens when you start mending a broken cycle? It will start to move into flow, meaning you’ll be able to get the right things done, with less effort and more energy to spare.

Do you want to get clear on your situation? What keeps you stuck and where you could take steps to improve your productivity? If you answered “yes”, drop me an email.

I’m offering 5 spots for a free assessment to do just that: get clear on where you are. Because you can’t find the right direction, without knowing where you are right now.

 

Here’s to your conscious productivity!

Cheers,

Help! I suck at planning…

It’s 3PM on a Thursday, the kids are getting edgy, there is no normal food in the house, you need to reschedule a client for tomorrow and you still haven’t found the time to finalize your flyer for your upcoming workshop.

 

You might have made a weekly plan, with items like “plan meals, do grocery shopping, adjust availability on schedule, choose final images for flyer”. But it might be just sitting on your desk, untouched. You know when everything is flowing you’re focused and you feel so much more at ease. And yet, you keep circling back to these chaotic times -plan or no plan. I know how it feels. I’ve had my fair share of chaotic years, despite taking the time to plan things out.

 

When plans fail
For a long time, I’d tell myself I was a master planner. I’ve been obsessed with learning about and experimenting with planning and productivity systems. For several years, I researched this area and was my own guinea pig for finding what works and what doesn’t. Where this obsession came from? Well, I just struggled a lot planning and staying organized.

 

After years of experiments, I did get better in a few things though. I got pretty good in looking at my time and calculating in time for possible different outcomes, possible troubles etc. I’d consider everything, really EVERYTHING before making a plan.

 

It took me a fair amount of time to actually make the plans themselves sometimes… And still, life would get in the way, I’d get sidetracked and it was just not working well for me on the long term. Until I realized that starting with the actions and outcomes in planning is the wrong way to go about it (I wrote about the why here).

 

One step towards sustainable planning
So I started to approach my planning from the more aligned space of who I needed to be, how I wanted to feel, how I wanted to act, and only after that getting to the actual action part. It all went better. I felt better about my plans. But after some time, I got stuck in the same kind of trouble as before. What the hell was going on? I was frustrated beyond measure.

 

Giving up was still not an option, as when I’m not planning, things get real chaotic real quick in our little family (think about quick and far from healthy meals, last minute laundry drying with a hair dryer, a constant feeling of rushing, exhaustion and overwhelm… there’s more, but you get the point).

 

One step forward, one step…? Up?
Something had to change. It wasn’t until I went through an utterly exhausting period, and really just shut down physical, mentally, emotionally, that I finally found the answer. I was approaching planning from a “once it’s done, it’s done” point of view.

 

Now, with my spiritual practice and several other -mildly irritating- areas of my life (laundry or dishes anyone?), I not only accepted, but was quite at peace with the fact that it’s an ongoing practice. After you worked through that pile of dirty dishes, you won’t need to wait too long before you’ll have a few extra ones sitting in the sink. I accepted these as just being part of the human experience. But I still operated from an outdated belief when it came to planning.

 

Following the nature of Life while planning for it
Life is a living, shifting, changing, transforming being. So you can’t expect to make the perfect plan for today and for it to be still perfect tomorrow. I expected that. Or maybe I wished it was like that, but that really didn’t help me much. Just like Life, the plan needs tending to, so it can shift, change and transform with whatever is happening in your life. But!

 

Just like in Life, there’s a constant underneath this whirlwind of change. Just like underneath it all, there’s the whole unity -Oneness-, underneath all the to-do’s and how you show up in the world, is your core essence, the core qualities of what you bring to this world. The clearer and more connected you are to these core qualities, the better you’ll be able to handle change with grace and ease.

 

Small steps towards big changes
So whenever you feel like you resist planning, because you failed at it before, or you plan, but you still feel like your life is chaotic, take a moment.

 

Sit with what’s underneath it all.
Sit with your essence.
Sit with the qualities that want to be embodied through you.
And sit with how you want to show up in your life.

 

If you’d like to be guided through this process in meditation, join me here.

 

Here’s to your conscious productivity!

 

Your body is a purpose-driven organism

Sometimes you’re so lost in the every day stresses and to-do’s, that when someone asks: “And, what’s your vision? Do you have a goal?” you look at them like they are talking in klingon.

 

You know you want a bigger vision for yourself and your work. You know it’d be amazing to be able to see where you’re going and the steps to get there. But it still feels like you’re unable to do it. How could you even start, when all these daily chores pile up so high, they threaten to crush your soul?!

 

One baby step at a time. If you’re someone, who spends most of her time in her head or caught up in emotions, this is for you. If you feel like it’s easy for you to listen to your body, but you lost the connection for some reason, this is for you as well.

 

By tuning into the body, we can slowly become aware of the whole system we are part of. By zooming in, you can zoom out as well. You might have heard or even know very well, that the atoms that build us up, are just like solar systems. When you zoom in far enough, everything looks like space with the planets, stars and comets. It’s awe inspiring! But this is not exactly what I want to talk about.

 

I’m talking about tuning into your body, so that you can see how everything has a purpose. Every cell in your body has a purpose to thrive in it’s own way and by doing so, contributing to the wellbeing of the whole organism: your body. Think about it! When your lifestyle supports your body’s natural functions, the body has infinite wisdom to repair and thrive.

 

The same is true for you. You have a purpose. Your purpose is to thrive in your own unique way and by doing so, you contribute to the bigger purpose, the bigger good. When you thrive, you’re happy. When you’re happy, doing the hard work of helping others heal is filled with ease. And happy people do good things automatically.

 

So when you’re lost about your vision or purpose, take a break from your head and tune into the wisdom of your body. Look at it, feel it, observe it. Start to understand it’s wisdom. And if you’re inspired to do so, meditate with me, by tuning into the body, especially the powerhouse of your lower belly.

 

Enjoy!

 

Would you rather listen to it on Insight Timer? I’ve got you covered here.

Why we need to redefine goal-setting

A woman came to me recently and asked for help. She’s been disappointed with her results in goal setting. She was struggling not only with setting goals and priorities, but also with staying the course and getting there. If you think “well, she’s not alone with that.” you’re absolutely right! This is a huge struggle for the majority of people, and it’s mostly a result of a common misconception about goal-setting and visioning.

 

Pitfalls of “common sense” goals
A well know teaching in pretty much every wisdom tradition is that the only thing you have control over, is how you are in any given situation. You rarely ever get to control anything outside of yourself, like the people around you, the situations you find yourself in, the things that life throws at you. So why do we try to set goals and create future visions that focus entirely on things that are outside of our control?

 

“I’m going to get three new clients this month.”
“I want to triple my email list by the end of the year.”
“I want to sell this project by the end of the quarter.”

 

Life always just happens
Anyone who’s ever tried doing a yearly, quarterly or even weekly planning this way, knows that life gets in the way most of the times. It’s rarely ever going according to plan. While having a list of tasks that need to be done is clarifying and really beneficial, letting those tasks define your goals and become your vision, is going to set you up for feeling like you’ve failed or even worse: that you are a failure.

 

Where focus needs to be
The biggest mistake one can make when defining a vision, is to focus solely on activities, tasks and end-results and not take into consideration the only thing they have control over: how and who they want to be in the process. When you’re too focused on activities and results, you’ll be blindfolded to opportunities that come your way. Opportunities that you couldn’t have imagined doing when you were setting your goals, but that can make your life and work better in ways you couldn’t have even grasped before.

 

The possibilities of a different perspective
This is what happened to the woman I mentioned above. During our session, she realized she already had an idea about who she wanted to be. She had a beautiful and powerful vision of that version of herself. So during the weekend, she started to ask herself the question “what would this version of myself do?”.

 

This question led her to take out a closet with drawers from her daughter’s room and replace it with friendlier furniture, that helped her daughter feel less irritated in her own room. While doing this, her creative juices started to flow and she repurposed the drawers, planting a whole new section in her garden. Now, gardening would have never made it to her weekly planning or any kind of to-do list, because she made her task and goal list only with actions in mind that were based on who she believed she was: someone who’s not at all good in taking care of plants. This is the mistake we all make, when trying to follow common sense goal-setting.

This spontaneous activity didn’t just feel fun and fulfilling for her. It opened her up to possibilities. After she got a boost of energy and motivation from gardening, she went on to do meal prepping for the week ahead, that made her feel spacious to do her work in the coming days, because whatever happens, she’ll have meals ready. It also made her feel accomplished and proud of herself, which is in and of itself a huge motivator for getting things done.

 

Doing the work from the inside out
So how do you set goals and create a vision to work towards? By starting with finding the person you want to be in the process. Goal-setting becomes a way of envisioning who you want to be, instead of what you want to do. When you’re clear on who you want to be, like how you want to feel and what posture you are taking on, that will inform the thoughts you’ll think and ultimately the actions you’ll take. But you can’t really plan actions too far ahead, because life is changing and moving around.

 

The only thing you can plan, is how you’ll be. That’s the only thing. I know this can feel scary and liberating at the same time.

 

When you let your focus rest on who and how you want to be, the right activities and opportunities will arise, without you needing to figure them out. That’s a huge load off your shoulders, isn’t it?! You don’t need to figure out what you’ll be doing a year from now, when it’s even pretty difficult to know what you’ll be doing tomorrow (Amiright??? *wink, wink*). So rest into who you want to be, and watch life unfold in front of your eyes, to help you live that vision.

 

And if you feel called to find the qualities, feelings and postures that want to be embodied by you right now, let me guide you through this meditation.

 

Here’s to your success!

 

Hugs,