Life's full of distractions. At any on time we're writing an email on our iPhones, whilst having lunch with a friend, whilst checking out the person that just walked into the restaurant whilst thinking a new project the boss wants you to do, whilst writing a mental reminder to pick up the laundry on the way home.
It's no wonder why, at the end of the day, we feel pulled in several different directions having achieved nothing. And this is damaging. From a very primal perspective, it's in our genetic makeup to feel useful and productive and as though we're contributing to something bigger than ourselves. When we don't feel productive, we don't feel connected and when we don't feel connected, we can feel depressed and lost.
So here's my solution for learning to live a productive, happy and healthy life in which our wildest dreams and deepest desires are actualized. It's a simple solution I call the space between'. It's doing things wholeheartedly and giving it your all. It's being committed to whatever you're doing at any one time.
It's about slowing down, reaching out and practicing awareness in every day and it came about out of my own addiction to being busy. A year into opening a yoga and fitness studio and achieving a fair chunk of career success and recognition, as well as preaching a life of wellbeing, I felt dull and lacking any authenticity. People would admire my athletic physique and apparent sense of calm yet inside I felt wound up, stressed out and over stimulated. I did a sterling job of keeping it all locked up inside.
One day at a mega low point - mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted, I said, 'Enough'. What good is hard work and success if you can't enjoy the rewards? Want to take a stand and create positive changes that will ripple far further into other aspects of your life than you can image?
I challenge you to start this week with this one tiny change:
Spend ten minutes every day (ideally mornings), this week in stillness and silence. Find a quiet corner of the house, an early beach sit or anywhere that feels comfy. Instead of 'doing' let's practice being. Your focus in this ten minutes is on the rhythm of the breath. That's all. See what comes up.
Tiny change. Awesome potential for productivity, clarity and happiness.
How do you want to feel?
That's a question I never got asked at school, nor, until recently, a question I asked myself when making important life decisions. Not just in ten years when you've achieved success or lost all that weight, or found that partner that makes you blissfully happy. Although they may be important to you, they're all external indicators of success.
For me, I want to feel passionate. I want to feel love. And I want to feel inspired. All too often, we wear too many hats, say yes to too many things and bust a gut to make others happy. Meanwhile our dreams are atrophying. This only leaves us exhausted, resentful and uninspired.
One of my favourite authors, Danielle La Porte says, "Knowing how you want to feel is the most potent form of clarity you can have. Knowing how to create those feelings is the most creative thing you can do with your life." What are you going to create? And how can you create that feeling associated with it in your every day.
My challenge for you:
Write down words that inspire you and choose the one or two that really resonate. Let them guide you in all of your decisions, words and actions.
For example, in feeling inspired and passionate, I'll choose food, exercise, people to be around, books to read and situations that inspire me. The more you make room for being still and getting clear on how you want to feel, the quicker you'll actually reach your goals. Ease up, enjoy the process, create a desired state and feel good.