I read a post on The Daily Love yesterday by Danielle LaPorte that made such an impact on me, I wanted to blog about it myself today.
Perhaps you read her post yesterday. If so, I hope I can offer some new insights here. But maybe not... here's her original post: http://thedailylove.com/positive-procrastination-getting-stuff-done-intuitively/.
Danielle starts off by talking about divine timing. Not just how "everything happens for a reason," but that when we don't feel like doing a certain thing, there may be a deeper reason than we simply don't want to do it.
Have you ever had something you knew needed to be done, and you fully planned on doing it.... just not yet? There was something inside you giving you pause. Something holding you back.
Danielle calls this "positive procrastination."
Like Danielle, I, too, am not a natural procrastinator. I was the kid in school who did the project the very first weekend it was asssigned, instead of putting it off until the night before like so many of my classmates. When something needs to be done, I want to do it. ASAP. I never liked having something "hanging over my head." Knowing I had to do something, but not doing it, or not being able to do it. That drives me crazy.
I have recently learned to "let go" and "give it to the Universe" when something is out of my control. Such as when I was trying to get a new roof last fall, and was having a heck of a time getting it all coordinated, and finding someone to do the job, and it just wasn't happening in the time frame I wanted it to happen in. I wanted it done! Thankfully I learned a lesson then, from the Universe, to let go. It'll get done when the time is right. (Update: my roof still hasn't been done... but I have who I believe to be a good guy with a good company planning to do it in the next couple of weeks, weather permitting).
Anyway, Danielle's suggestion that when we don't feel like doing something, it's an inner knowing that the divine timing isn't right, just yet, was novel to me.
Because many times I have noticed that when I put something off, either it got done through some other means, didn't end up needing to be done at all, or everything came together rather effortlessly... much more so than if I had pushed forward initially. Have you noticed this too in your life?
I'm now recognizing this as Divine Timing and will listen to that inner knowing more often. Instead of beating myself up when I put something off, I'll honor that part of me. That part that knows the time just isn't right yet.
"Buffer Days," "Focus Days," and "Free Days"
I love Danielle's time management system!
Being a natural go-getter, I often feel "bad" when I'm not productive. I feel like I'm just wasting my time. But here's the thing: When I push myself too hard to "be productive," I'm not.
Sometimes other "life stuff" pops up or sometimes I'm just not "feeling it."
Danielle structures her weeks like this: Monday and Friday are her "Buffer Days" for loose ends, and just taking care of that stuff that pops up and can't be planned. Saturday and Sunday are her "Free Days," where she unplugs and gives herself permission to just relax. And Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are her "Focus Days" where she really dives in and focuses on the job or project at hand.
In the past I have chastised myself for only being productive with my writing two or three days a week. I felt like that wasn't much. There are seven days in the week after all, shouldn't I be writing and producing at least five of those?
That's the mindset of our culture. But is it really best for our spirit and our real, inherent productive nature?
Almost always I would find that I was only really driven to write two or three days a week. For any length of time, that is. A couple other days I tended to spend doing errands.... grocery shopping and the like. And no matter how I tried to fight it, I found that I always needed at least one, and often more, days to just relax my mind and not work at all.
When I read Danielle's self-imposed routine I realized that is what I've been doing! I hadn't structured it like she had, because I was fighting the natural flow of it. I was trying to make myself work more days.
I don't know why I needed "permission" to have a schedule such as that, but I feel that's what Danielle gave me. It feels like a relief that other (seemingly successful) people are allowing themselves to have three, solid, "focus days" a week instead of pushing for more. Now, if you feel a natural flow to have more focus days, go for it! Don't fight the flow!
This brings me to the next point of her post that really resonated with me: Follow the energy.
I believe Wayne Dyer also talks about the importance of following the energy you feel. Energy denotes passion. An interest in something. And that is what you should follow. Not what your brain is telling you you "should" be doing, and certainly not what other people tell you you should be doing... where do you feel the most energy? What excites you? That's it!
I have been feeling very little energy towards working at the florist, for instance. And though I don't know yet what my next novel will be about, I'm feeling energy in that area building. I feel it. The excitement is back.
Ok, now to the last thing I wanted to touch on. This is what I felt to be the most life-changing part of Danielle's post.
How do you want to FEEL?
Danielle suggests we first decide how we want to feel... about ourselves, about our life, about our work... and go from there.
When I read this it was a true a-ha moment. I listen to my feelings, sure, but when I'm planning out my future, or thinking what direction I want to go, it's more based on the result I want to achieve than the feelings I expect to feel underneath it all.
For example: I want to "make it" as a writer. I want to earn an abundant, prosperous living as a direct result of my writing. I want to live in a house that is "me." I want to be free to pursue activities that interest me. I want to be able to donate large sums of money to organizations I believe in. I want to have dogs as a part of my life.
All of that are outward results. Notice I didn't say anything about how I wanted to feel. Because I never thought of it that way before.
So how do I want to feel?
I want to feel free, powerful, wealthy, and athletic.
I might change those adjectives after I give it more thought. After I read Danielle's post yesterday I sat outside and thought about it. Those were the first strong feelings that came to mind.
Feeling "free" encompasses a lot for me. It is hands down the most important thing in my life. I can't stand to feel stuck or trapped -- in a job, relationship, or any other situation.
Feeling "powerful," for me implies a sense of security and knowing I'm in charge of my life.
Feeling "wealthy" is obvious. I don't want to ever have to worry about money or wonder where it's going to come from. That also ties in my desire to donate to organizations financially and make a real impact in that way.
Feeling "athletic" -- For me that ties together eating well, exercising, and being in shape. When I'm working out I love the feeling of feeling "athletic." Coordinated, strong, energetic, feeling alive in my body.
So those are my feelings... for now. Like I said, I will probably give it more thought and meditate and/or journal on the subject.
But I find that focusing on the feelings really does bring me more centered. More in tune with me, at the spirit level. It gets me out of my head.
Danielle said that once she identified her feelings, everything she does supports or serves those for her. The feelings really are the starting point. And interestingly enough, I'm immediately feeling that it is easier to make decisions based on whether or not it serves how I want to feel... and not be swayed by seemingly appealing external factors.
You may be seeing more blogs on this general topic from me in the future. It's made a big impact at how I view life and how I will make decisions from now on.