Friday, April 30, 2010
Making Space for What Matters
I recently wrote a "HELP ME!" sort of email to someone whom I truly admire. I see her as someone who has it together on all levels. She is fit inside and out. From afar, it also looks like she has a lot on her plate and manages to keep it all working gracefully.
I basically asked her how she does it. How she fits it all in. I asked her a nuts and bolts sort of question: what does your daily routine look like?
She wrote back with an unexpected (and yet not...) answer. This woman, whom I look up to as a powerhouse of the Get-It-Done sort, said to me (in a nutshell): "Yes, when you added dance and teaching to all you do, I was worried. Something has to give; you have to make choices."
But wait, I wanted to yell to her! What about your daily schedule? Don't you have a favorite calendar that keeps track of things and smacks you in the ass when you aren't working fast enough, hard enough, good enough? HELP!
Her Gentle & Wise Reminder of What is Important was not exactly the kind of smack this CrazedChick had in mind. Where was the magic pill or liquid or cake or whatever?!
I can make fun of myself now, many days of thinking later, but at the time, I was crazed. I did want a magical calendar system that would Fix My Life.
I spent some hours online looking for an application that would simultaneously: 1) Keep track of every single idea that flitted across the surface of my brain (God forbid I lose any of that brilliance!); 2) Tell me what to do and when and for how long; 3) Guide me through the writing of three books at the same time; 4) Interrupt me when it was time to meditate; 5) Chronicle ideas for choreography directly from my muscles to paper; 6) Mainline my espresso at regular intervals...
You get the idea.
After some breathing and talking to Marcy, I calmed down enough to start soaking in my mentor's wisdom. (Yes. Mentor. That is how I see Ana Brett.)
Now, slowly, but surely, I am Making Space for What Matters. My priority is dance. Period. I must make choices that support that. Some of these choices will be difficult and some are only a matter of changing ways of thinking that do not support my creative life.
For example, I moved more of the furniture out of the living room. Easy, right? But I had to stop and think about what the real purpose of our home is. And it's not to entertain! It's to be the space we need it to be.
By moving that furniture, I remind myself every day that I am to be using that new space.
Yesterday, I read this great post over at Zen Habits about killing our to-do lists and focusing on One Thing. I am instituting that, starting today. I am putting all those bits of paper that hold a million ideas into a folder. They aren't going anywhere but letting them cover my desk is only reminding me of what I am not working on, when I should just be focusing on what I am working on.
Each day, when I wake, I will ask myself, "What is my One Thing today." I will learn to trust my instincts, just as I do every time I get in front of a group to teach yogadance.
Last night, with that Zen Habits piece floating around in my brain, I also realized that I am working with old ideas of myself when it comes to something as seemingly simple as my reading choices.
I do not let myself read what I really want to read right now, because I think I should be reading certain sorts of things.
Silliest idea ever!
But this is how we stop ourselves from really diving into our Passions. We resist even the best sorts of change by continuing to live with old labels.
I am making space by giving up those old labels.
It's scary to me. I've lived with those labels for a long time, and they served me through great difficulty in this life.
Time to say "thank you" and move on.
Like Ana said, something has to give. If I want to live my priorities, my bliss, I must choose to be brave.