When we do less, we experience more
Last week when I delivered an online presentation to an employee group, I began by sharing five “2020” themes I’m hearing from men and women across the US. One of these points is the realization that last year made us question everything: where we find meaning, how we work, what is uniquely ours to do, where and how we live and ultimately, where we need to course correct. 2020 stirred the pot for all of us and there’s no going back.
On a personal level, I’m observing the pace at which I move and work in the world (finding the balance between being vs. doing has always been a struggle for me) and paying close attention to what brings me joy: spontaneously creating eco-art next to the river with a friend; long, exploratory walks in the forest; cloud watching while having deep, soulful conversation and sinking into expanses of unscheduled time. I’m coming to realize that when my life is simpler and less scheduled, I am happier.
I believe with all the chaos and uncertainty we’re navigating, it’s more important than ever to put self-care front and center and to do less.
Over-doing taxes our adrenals and keeps us from experiencing life in the present moment. The hyper-stimulation and constant busy-ness we’ve become accustomed to, comes at a cost to our well-being. When we do too much:
- we are more distracted. Even when we’re together, we aren’t present and focused on each other, and we don’t feel fed by our time together.
- we are overly focused on activities, goals and outcomes, which sends the powerful, subconscious message to those around us–and to ourselves– that we are only worthy if we’re “doing.”
- we’re in constant motion and rarely rest, we are perpetually overextended, and so we become resentful and even grumpy, at both ourselves and others.
- physically, we feel chronically tired and exhausted. Our poor bodies, overworked and overstimulated, rarely have time to truly rejuvenate (and this chronic stress can lead to depression, feeling unsettled and low-grade anxiety).
- over time, the ongoing stress from our relentless pace affects our bodies’ immune, endocrine and hormone systems, which are frequently out of balance. Living in “fight or flight” around the clock has become the norm, and this stress is the root cause of 90% of all disease.
We’re living in the era of the unknown — a whole new frontier — that requires us to have more space to breathe, think, dream and digest. We’re craving more time to just be — so we can actually integrate all these big, new ah-has and insights.
This week I’m reminding myself that “Just because I can, doesn’t mean I should,” and asking, “Is this the best use of my energy and talents?” I’m slowing down and making the conscious choice to lower my expectations, give myself full permission to “do less,” and to pay less attention to my to-do list and more attention to what makes me come alive (read more and join me this Sat. April 24th for REBIRTH if you want to do the same!).
HOW CAN I SUPPORT YOU? HERE ARE TWO OPPORTUNITIES:
- *ALMOST SOLD OUT!* Join me Sat., April 24th from 1:30-5:30 ET for REBIRTH: A Soulful Self-Renewal Retreat ~A live online experience. Connection+community with like minded women in a nurturing & supportive environment. I’d love to support you in “re-birthing” yourself and finding more clarity/focus and joy as you explore “What’s next?” Space is limited; this makes a great Mother’s Day gift! Learn more here.
- I’m booking 2021-2022 workshops and presentations now (only a couple of spots left for 2021): Consider hiring me to create an online balanced living experience to help your team, organization or employees feel less stressed and more resilient, creative and focused. For 20+ years I’ve been working with companies/organizations like Women in Conservation, Merrill Lynch, Women in Technology, the Center for Women in Law, the Hewlett Foundation and more. Whether it’s a workshop, keynote or custom retreat via Zoom, I’d love to discuss how I can support your team or organization. Learn more here.
Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by life balance coach/author/speaker and self-care evangelist Renée Peterson Trudeau. Passionate about helping men and women find balance through the art/science of self-care, her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, US News & World Report, AARP, Spirituality & Health and more. She and her team have certified more than 400 facilitators in 10 countries around the globe to lead self-renewal groups for women based on her pioneering work. She’s the author of two books on life balance including the award-winning The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal: How to Reclaim, Rejuvenate and Re-Balance Your Life. She and her husband live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Austin, Texas and are enjoying a new empty nest. More on Renee here.