Power in the pause
The other day I went over the following weeks' schedule with my husband. We reviewed my color coded calendar full of work meetings, classes, facilitation trainings, coaching clients, childcare pickup, workouts, and social events when he looked at me and clearly saw my stress and anxiety that was resurfacing in my body. My calendar looked like a Tetris game, one thing piling up on top of the other. He merely said, "I think you need that time turnturner thing that Hermione Granger used." If you're unfamiliar with Harry Potter (which I really hope isn't the case for your own sake!) Hermione utilized a time turning device in The Prisoner of Azkaban that helped her manage her incredibly filled-to-the-brim school schedule. She had the ability to bounce back and forth in time in order to attend classes and sessions that occurred simultaneously. Since I didn't get my letter to Hogwarts, and live as a mere muggle here in Colorado, this is sadly unable to happen.
However, even though Hermione had her time turnturner,her stress and anxiety of "doing it all," effected her relationships, performance, and overall health.
So how do we manage the stress when things become too much?
When I first started writing this blog, I began researching tips on prioritizing schedules, tools that help organization, and ways to increase productivity to deal with stress and overwhelm. I tried to find our version of Hermione's time turning device. And then I realized that these are all just THINGS. They are ways of DOING instead of BEING. While tips and tools are great, it feel like we are merely picking off the top of the dandelion instead of getting rid of the root.
When we are living in chaos with our schedules and commitments, we often times operate from a sense of desperation and fear. There is no time to PAUSE, BREATHE, and SHIFT focus. Our bodies start to tense up with anxiety and store all of the emotional baggage in a state of Fight or Flight. No matter how many calendars we buy, it doesn't help fix the issue. Hermione's life was not better even with her magical device.
In yoga, we move our bodies through chaos, strength, and movement, only to bring us to a state of stillness in Savasana. We do the work so that we can be still in our bodies, and maybe in turn in our minds. We do the work so that we can find ourselves in FLOW off of the mat and in our daily lives. It takes work to recondition our mindset so that we can show up in the most grounded and focused state when the chaos of life takes over.
I am a manager. I'm a manager of my house, and I am a manager of my yoga studio. I'm a manager of my personal business, and I'm a manager of my daughter and husband's schedules. Many times when I am stressed, and I find myself complaining about the lack of time in a day, and that there is no one who manages ME. I pride myself in productivity, however in order to manage all the people and responsibilities in my life, I need to also be the manager of my own energy. I need to stop wearing a badge of productivity for all to see, and breathe in the pause. Hermione tried to fix her stress with bending time. I fix my stress with distraction and productivity. I check things off my list because it makes me feel like I'm accomplishing something. However, when I'm rushing from one thing to the next, I'm merely hiding the fact that there is fear lingering beneath the surface.
Here are some ideas to support grounding, focus, and prioritization of energy when life gets away from you.
- Find opportunities in your day to just PAUSE and breathe. Take inventory of your physical and emotional body. Allow yourself the space to just observe what is happening.
- BREATHE AND LISTEN
- Listen to your inner self. What type of voice is talking to you? What is the tone? What are the voices saying?
- OPERATE FROM AN ELEVATED STATE
- When you pause, breathe, and observe, what state of mind are you operating from? Do you notice fears and obligations, or do you notice excitement and grounding? Elevate your state before you make any actions, commitments, or decisions.
- KNOW YOUR CORE VALUES
- When you are confident in your core values, you are able to live by a code that is authentic to you.
- Once you have increased your vibration and grounded your state, prioritize what needs your energy and focus. What is most time-sensitive, and what is most in-line with your core values? How can you maintain your state while still getting things done?
- ORGANIZE AND GET RESOURCEFUL
- Find a calendar that excites you, color code, set alarms...you name it! What will help organize your commitments and priorities so that you are held accountable. Let this be a tool (your inner Hermione Granger) that takes your pause to paper.
- LEAN ON YOUR TRIBE
- Your tribe is here for you. Ask for help when it is needed. Delegate tasks to your support system so that you don't have to "do it all," like Hermione.
- TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR DAYS OFF
- I am guilty as charged of working when I'm not supposed to in order to keep my head above water. You need a day to reset, recharge, and renew. The one day in your week that you are able to pause and focus your energy on self-care, you will be set up for the rest of your week when the chaos ensues.
- FIND THE LOVE
- When in doubt, find the love. Let go of the fear, and believe it's going to be ok!