Juggler by Tim Bush on flikr

Juggler by Tim Bush on flikr

Writing you this week about juggling. No, not the kind with balls, but the kind most of us are doing most days of the week. The juggling of a whole bunch of priorities, a lot of which are just the life stuff we have to deal with: the job or jobs that pays the bills, the supporting of other human beings or pets in our lives, the doing of laundry or feeding, the paying of bills or dealing with that crappy health insurance situation or whatever. Lots of juggling. And somewhere in there we have to make time for our dreams. We have to make a little space to push it forward. For the art, for that business idea, for the writing. I don’t know about you, but one of the most effective ways I get my own goat with negative voice chatter is when I complain to myself about doing all the juggling for my dream and not having any time for the actual creation that is at the heart of it.
 
So I’ve been thinking a lot about how to juggle it all and still find meaning, inspiration and creativity in each day. To still feel energized and like I’m facing the right direction moving towards my dream and not thwarted by laundry, of all unsexy pursuits. And so this week I bring together a list of strategies for myself and anyone else out there that needs some tips on juggling. Last week I was so busy juggling and coming up empty with good, solid advice to pass along. But I’ve now accumulated a few good ones:
 
1) Find practical ways to stop needlessly draining energy.  Life-coach Sam Attard with Happy Healthy Human addresses this head-on in her brilliant podcast “Is that your energy leaking?” on ways in which we spend and drain our energy. It is only 20 minutes and it is a must listen, so I’m not going to recap here. The idea of being more conscious about how we spend our energy has been something I have been thinking about. Often times the only time I have to sew or draw or design is after 9 or 9:30pm, at which point I am very often so exhausted I cannot imagine learning a new sewing skill or being creative. So I considered the idea that there may be ways to preserve my energy throughout the day, small things I can do, so that I am not quite so zonked come 9:30pm on a Tuesday. Listen to her talk. It is very empowering.
 
2) Totally zonked? Sit down and create anyways. Make an agreement to just do 20 minutes and see what happens. Do you oddly find the energy from SOMEWHERE to keep going? This was my experience Sunday evening. Practicing buttonholes brought me back to life.
 
3) Watch the stories you are telling yourself. Sam addresses this one a bit in her podcast, but it is worth reemphasizing here: watch the stories around what you are doing. Sunday it was not so much that I spent a good chunk of the day running errands that mattered, but all the crap I told myself about how I never have time to actually create. So my partners says, “Well why don’t you just do something about it and go sew.” And voila! A cloud is lifted. Instead of plowing ahead with more chores and feeling sorry for myself, I learned a new sewing skill and felt at peace. There was actually nothing getting in the way of the creating but my own mind chatter.
 
4) Mindfulness. Are you tired of hearing about this one yet? Well we are hearing about this allusive beast partly because it is so damn effective. Staying in the moment. Remember your breath, even when paying your credit card bill, or on the phone with Apple for the 5th customer service call, or plowing through that work todo that you have been dreading. Was any of this actually that bad, or only the moments when you crawled up into your head and started wining “WHY ME!”? [A side note is that we do sometimes have those genuinely bad moments or tough experiences. I am not referring to those here].
 
5. Exercise. Also, not a totally novel one. If you ask your body to produce more energy by say biking, or hiking, or running or doing yoga, or bench-pressing your child it will start to produce more of it. For real. Also, a new one that is blowing my mind – Yin Yoga. Seems like just lying around on a bolster but it does some awesome things that I don’t yet understand to recharge you and get you feeling calming and energized.
 
6. Watch how what you eat and drink affects your energy. We are all a bit different in this regard but it is nonetheless helpful to notice when we are super tired after eating or drinking something or wake up not-so-well rested after eating a type of meal or drinking.
 
I hope this is helpful. As I continue my own juggling in the weeks and months ahead and need to find all the energy I can muster to do it and get it done day after day, I am going to remember these. AND remember that we are all in this crazy juggling act together. You are not alone. I am very blessed to have you reading and following along.  
 
FYI – I love getting your emails when you really connect with these letters. So please keep them coming! And let me know if you think of any other little tidbits on saving or generating energy.

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