Last updated on April 2nd, 2012 at 12:23 pm
Last week was a happy blur.
It was a whirlwind week, full of meetings, client deadlines, writing, workouts, dancing, time with friends. It would have been easy, with all the looming deadlines, to just work, work, work.
To forget to play. Or to rest.
Now, let me clarify that I did notÂ actually manage to get a lot of sleep last week ~ in fact, I was somewhat sleep-deprived. But I did rest.
I cultivated a space of resting and peacefulness while working on my goals and multiple deadlines… reminding myself to slow down, breathe, enjoy.
As a result, I was productive, happy, relaxed.
Enjoy The Ride.
In the midst of all the busy-ness, I managed to remember – and implement – one of my key life philosophies – that having fun matters. That we are here not only to reach our goals, but to enjoy the ride.
Luckily, much of my work is also fun for me, so that helps.
This past week I led meetings to help my little city of Troy, New York win ultra-high-speed broadband from Google (www.troygle.org), organized a birthday party, lunched with my best friend at a downtown Indian restaurant, went out 80s dancing.
That, in the midst of many deadlines.
And, I met with my writing coach to move my book forward. I’d been feeling stuck and needed her wisdom.
Ellen reminded me that writing a book is a process, a journey. That it may take many drafts until my book is as polished as I like, until it achieves my final vision.
She suggested thinking of my current writing as simply writing “scenes” vs. “writing a memoir,” which feels bigger and scarier. Just focus on diving in and making each scene vivid.
“You have to give yourself permission to allow it to be a work in progress,” she said.
I could say the same about myself, and my life…
Letting Go of “Perfect”
Sometimes the “recovering perfectionist” in me wants my life to be completely “perfect” NOW – whatever perfect means.
And yet the truth is, it’s a journey, and I’ll never “get it all right” all at once… So I might as well enjoy the process.
Resting for Results
Luckily, during my busy week, I also stumbled upon some words of wisdom from life coach Martha Beck, a personal hero of mine. She talked in her email newsletter this week about “resting in order to get results.”
She talked about her experiences with a teacher named Dan Harmon who has developed a technique called “intentional resting.”
Here areÂ some of theÂ steps he recommends:
- Scan your body and find an area where you’re holding pain, discomfort or tension.
- Silently give your stressed-out location the suggestion to “rest.” Continue to invite it to rest for at least 30 seconds.
- Notice any changes that accompany the invitation to rest. No right or wrong answer – just observe.
BeckÂ goes on, “Then, you can begin to apply this to non-physical aspects of yourself. Try stating, ‘I am resting for my fear now; I am resting for my perfectionism now; I am resting for troubled past now; I am resting for my future now.'”
You can try this for something you want to manifest as well, Beck suggests: “I am resting for the friends I am about to meet now; I am resting for my bank account now; I am resting for my good luck now.”
Counter-Intuitive Methods Sometimes Work!
This may seem like a strange way to achieve your goals, yet I’ve been practicing it all week and have been SO relaxed. I am resting for my book. I am resting forÂ my deadlines. I am resting for my fun fabulous life.
As Beck says, “Whatever it is you hope to attract, add a little twist by resting rather than forcing the result. The worst that can happen is a wonderful feeling.”
Amen for that wonderful feeling.
Try it on this week!
(Lisa has launched her dream by signing up for Ellen Sussman’s “Memoir-in-a-Year” class, speaking her story out loud at a Take Back the Night rally, and committing to a regular writing schedule – 50 pagesÂ completed by December 5th, when she also turned in her first book chapter!Â She just achieved another milestone – 100 pages completed by February 6th! Being invited to join 8womendream.com was a dream come true, and she looks forward to chronicling her writing process. LisaÂ is currently bi-coastal with her home in historic Troy, New York and her heart in San Francisco.Â Â Lisa’s post day is Tuesday).
DREAM GOAL:Â NOVEMBER 01, 2010 COMPLETED MEMOIR
Lisa P. Graham is an inspirational writer, life coach, TED motivational speaker, and globe-trotter whose passion is to help others to find happiness and meaning in their daily lives. A political activist at heart, Lisa would like to empower more women to run for political office as a way to create positive change in the world. You can find her on her website or watch her TEDx speech on YouTube.
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