As a mum whose kids went back to school this week it’s been super hard not to attempt to be superwoman and/or not to get overwhelmed with the list of things that have been needing to get done and were on the ‘can get done when the kids get back to school’ list. That list is huge, and long and needs a serious talking to. So here it is.
It serves no-one to burn out in week one. It serves no-one to burn out ever. Hitting goals and getting things ticked off is epic, but it must be balanced with something other than less sleep, more caffeine and the feeling of rushing from one thing to the next.
I have been extremely guilty of this in the past. And as Term 1 2020 hit so did the same energy that I’ve been running since my first child started kindy 20 year ago (I am literally beside myself saying this!!). And probably the same energy I’ve been using since I was a farm kid who was pretty sure it would be better to be a boy and thus, got on with getting shit done and forgot how to honour the feminine energy that ran through my core. From the ‘beginning of time’ (my time, as a human in the world), I spent most of my energy and time trying to figure out what other people needed from me and would make them happy, and very little time working out what I needed for myself.
What happened, this week was there was a lot of feeling panicked, reactive, like there was not enough time between school drop off and pick up, extra things came up in the time I thought was for getting things done, I procrastinated more with strange things (washing, spending time at Telstra, staring off into space trying to work out what to do next) somehow the precious and important things that would create space (and ultimately time and energy) were not the things that happened. And honestly, how many things have you seen work out under extreme pressure? Except for diamonds maybe? Mostly under extreme pressure we are less effective, less focussed and may get an extraordinary amount of stuff done, but not the very thing that could make the biggest difference.
So, Stop. Breathe. Take a moment to ask your system how she’s feeling and what she needs. To create space you need to prioritise the things that support you, that reduce the to do’s, that open up literal physical space, that share the load. As a woman you need to be talking to other women about what you need as a woman so they can help you figure out what that is. Other woman usually have things you haven’t yet thought of – there will be things they do super well that they can share with you, and vice versa. No matter how together and organised and crisp anyone appears, they too have those moments of “what the fuck am I doing, and what is the point of all this?”
So here’s just a simple way to get back on top of February so 2020 doesn’t feel like it’s just disappearing already.
1. Clarify your support system. It’s a new year, new term and everyone is another day/week/month/year older. The old system is old. Some bits might work, but most of it will need a tweak or an overhaul. You do not have to do the same things in the same way forever. Some of those things will not be the best way for you, your family and for this part of the evolution. Pull out my Headless Chook Planner and take one little hour with a cuppa to look this over again.
2. Breathe deep and ground your feet and ask simply with eyes closed “What is the most important thing for me to do today?” Really listen to the answer.
I have a small but important and chunky training I need to complete, and that needs to come before everything else. Client work and Q&As are scheduled in and must happen, but around this I need to just honour the part of me that loves to grow and is energised by learning new things. And secondly, my next Incubator starts in under two weeks and it’s the most precious and important work I do. Purpose work and connecting people to themselves and then their purpose is the one most magnificent thing I need to do – so whatever is required to let people know this is happening and how they can find their own pathway to this is next. And thirdly (there’s only 3) I need to write. Because in writing everything makes sense.
What is the most important thing for you to do today?
3. Communicate. Talk to your team, like a good team player. Being the manager of everything disempowers those around you, disrespects their abilities and capacities and leads to resentment and anger. You know it well I’m sure. Team cannot just be your husband/life partner and kids – it should include all kinds of players in all kinds of roles. But start with your immediate family and tell them about the Headless Chook Planner and all the things you know needs to be done, and what you intend to do and clarify what things they can be on board with and then find help/support (paid or unpaid) to do the things that no-one is that keen on. Connect truly with others and you will find there is more out there than you ever imagined.
Talk to them about the ‘most important thing/s’ you have to focus on. Help them reflect on what these things might be for them (they will likely be different and may not make sense to you, but this is OK. This needs to be OK so everyone can get on with the things that make the biggest difference to their energy and time). Ask more questions about what the people around you need, so you can stop assuming and doing all these things that are not even the right things (or needed or appreciated). Let them be responsible for themselves and focus on you. This is the least selfish way to behave I promise.
In the midst of writing this (I got up early to enjoy the quiet house before the other people wake up, and to enjoy the early morning energy and colours out my window) Miss 9 wandered in, full of good pep at 6.30am and way ahead of her time. She was up for a chat and also wanted to work out how she could potentially get on some kind of technology because that’s all life is. I gently sent her out to continue getting ready for her day and told her I just need to write. Because I do. And she just smiled and kissed me and went on her merry way (she doesn’t always do this BTW) because my energy communicated everything to her about what was happening this morning.
I have a full day. I fitted in more things because it’s the first week back at school and I’m an idealist with time and imagined all these things would be so doable with all the space and time created by 4 kids not being in the building. But ultimately how it feels is nothing to do with the number of people in the house, and everything to do with me.
So just stop for a moment. Breathe deeply and ground your feet. And start where you are. Here is perfect, and all you have to do is the one, first thing.
Big loves xx
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