Why do we wear a cape, itchy tights, and monogrammed undergarments so much of our lives and for what? Finding a balance between achieving success and having the things we need and want with good health, pure fun, and joy can be an extremely challenging juggling act. I watched myself this morning hardly able to wake up when my alarm went off, to rushing to yoga class wishing I had been starting my day rested and serene. I was still exhausted from yesterday which had turned out to be a 13-hour day. How in the world would I expect myself to just jump out of bed with energy this morning even if it was to do something centering for myself?
Some days I’ve been better than others at limiting the tasks I thought needed to be done that day and instead taken some time out to be still, read a novel, journal, or just take a walk. On those days I am still able to accomplish what must be done with an uplifted temperament because I took some time out for myself. I’ve also noticed that agreeing to extra tasks when I honestly don’t have the extra time or energy puts me in a place of resentment versus contributing with positive energy.
Here are a few questions that I’ve asked myself when beginning to simplify my schedule to have more free time.
1. Do my personal lifestyle choices keep me constantly needing to work to pay for them? If so, which do I value more: time, money, or things? Where can I find more balance here?
2. When is it best for me to take time for myself daily? What brings me the most joy when I do?
3. What can I ask someone else to help me with instead of trying to do it all by myself? Is it difficult for me to pass a task onto someone, and do I trust them to do their best regardless of the outcome?
4. What on my to-do list is vital to have completed at a particular deadline and what items am I putting unnecessary pressure on to have completed?
5. What have I volunteered myself for that I am not offering my time with love? Can I say no and rejoin this project at another time when my schedule has opened up more?
I’m finding that it is important to ask yourself questions and check in especially when you are frustrated, exhausted, and need rest more than anything else. The beauty of truly doing less is to stay connected with how you are feeling throughout the day every day. I see that not everything is as important as it seems and sometimes it is important to eliminate extra jobs and tasks that truly do not serve you and your happiness and find another way to get to where you want to go.
One thing that I love about living in Los Angeles is that no matter how bad the traffic may be, there are endless ways to get to my destination. I feel it is the same way in life. Some people get there with a smile on their face and others get there depleted. The treadmill of live really doesn’t serve a wonderful purpose if you cannot figure out when to get off and when to get back on. Some people find ways to be genuinely happy without ever getting on. I think those people have mastered the art of minimalism in every area of their life especially their minds. It is important to take out time every day to do something relaxing and rejuvenating for yourself.
I think it’s a good time to just be still and leave the to-do list for someone else.
(Image by D Sharon Pruitt)