A funny thing happened when I started a blog about taking great care of yourself…I was challenged to take my own advice!
As Moms we all know that there are “seasons” in our life that are unpredictable– when weeks pass by like a breeze, everything clicks, time seems ample and everyone in the family unit is getting along beautifully. Then other seasons blow in where the frenzy of things to do seems to knock your schedule out of whack, detours start to pop up, and you feel like your sucking wind just to get through the day. When times start to feel a bit rocky I often return to a simple tool to help me reassess what needs to stay, shift or leave for the time being to regain some balance.
There are many good, great and better things that come into our lives, but not everything is always good for us right now. As sure as the seasons change, our lives are always growing, shifting and reordering. It makes good sense that not all things are right for us at all times.
I use this litmus test often to take stock of when things or relationships may have become imbalanced or negative in my life. Here’s the question I ask myself:
Does this thing or person give me or drain me of energy?
First, an important distinction. I do not mean does this thing or relationship require energy. Many good things take energy. I mean to emphasis the more subtle, deeper, kind of energy a thing or person holds in our life. Does the thought of doing this thing stimulate or depress you? After spending time with someone, are you more enlivened or drained? The energy shift you feel is the important part to consider.
I use this energy question in many areas like
- when I have to reconsider what is on my plate
- when I need to decide what to keep and what to let go of
- when I feel overwhelmed or frustrated for too long with something
- when I have the growing sense that I don’t have enough time to get everything done
- when I am trying too hard to do something that should probably be coming a bit easier
I STOP, slow down, pay attention to what I am fitting on my plate and ask this question for everything that is not an absolute necessity.
In fact recently I had to ask this question in relation to this blog. A few months ago writing was energizing. I couldn’t wait to stay up after the kids went to bed to pound on the keys and put out another post. Recently, the habit of writing 3-4 times a week has felt draining and exhausting. Paying attention to the shift and deciding that I’ll plan to post more like once a week has brought the joy and energy back into my experience with this blog. It also reminded me that we too often put obligations on ourselves that we don’t need to. Listening to our “energy” language is just as important as our “body” language…they are both part of our “inner language” that has wisdom to share.
How do you take stock and access what is weighing you down?
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