I have a confession to make: I'm addicted to getting things done. I get sweet satisfaction when I cross a "to-do" off my list. I love closing loops on projects. I have been one to use the hyper-masculine idiom of Silicon Valley: "ship it now."
Once, I remember doing a little experiment with my coach. He asked me to prioritize my soul's work, like writing poems, playing music, going out into the woods, etc. before my "work work." I challenged him that if I actually did that, I would never get anything done. But he pushed back: "Try it."
I was surprised. It was really hard! I woke up every morning, wanting to jump out of bed, eat a quick breakfast, and cross off the endless to-do's from my list. I was so eager to make progress on my business and save my soulful creative work for "later in the day" (which means never going to happen!). The idea that I wasn’t going to get to my endless list of to-do’s right away, but complete my morning ritual, and then, maybe write a poem or go for a walk first, felt impossible if not totally absurd. It was like putting the brakes on this enormous amount of adrenaline.
But the experiment worked. When I prioritized my soul's work, I was more productive and focused for my business. And on a deeper level, when I prioritized my creative spirit, I was a better coach and mentor for other women. I also noticed time became a matter of perception, rather than reality. Time, after all, is in the mind.
But I want to be real with you all: I still struggle with my insane desire to achieve. This achievement energy can sometimes manifest as frazzled, non-stop, focused, adrenaline-pumped kind of action. Slowing down to lean my ear against my own soul has always helped me, yet I have such massive resistance to it. I think it's because deep down, I have internalized this weird idea that doing is better than being. Can you relate?
I think for us save-the-world types, we'll truly need to connect with our soul more often, and lead from there. As I continue to work on understanding what makes a truly beautiful life, I want to support women in sharing their gifts from a soulful place, not a place that is striving to prove or fulfill social expectations. The confidence to share our gifts comes from knowing, owning, and expressing who we are, the ugly and beautiful.
Anyway, in case you thought I had it all figured out, I'm here to tell you that I don't. Seriously. I'm still kind of addicted to doing, but getting better at catching myself when I am twirling in a fury of it. And thank Heavens for wonderful soul sisters, nature, and my rituals to remind me to ground and connect back to the heart.
What do you think? What's one, soulful thing you could prioritize into your day to enhance you work or creativity? Let me know by commenting below.
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Photo by Richie Biluan