In the last post “What do your panties say about your goals?” we looked at 4 big reasons for neglecting a project (or goal). After each reason, I listed a few quick planning and motivation remedies to get you back on track with the Right Goals.
In this article we’ll look at what you can do to strengthen your foundation to keep you on track with the Good Stuff. What you’ll notice is that these tips utilize mindfulness to connect your inner self with your outer endeavors.
Issue #1 – It’s not the right fit for your Soul’s Desire.
Why don’t we know our Soul’s Desire? We’ve lost touch with ourselves.
The most important practice for saying Yes to the right commitments is: Listening. The capital L emphasizes listening within. With your ears, with your awareness, with your body, with your hope and trust.
Unfortunately, it’s only too easy for communication from within to get over-ridden and ignored by your well-meaning and over-active mind chatter. Life gets going so quickly and loudly that there’s a sense of impatience for an answer.
Ironically, the slower you go, the better decisions you make, the more effective your actions, thus the faster you accomplish what’s important to you.
There are 3 steps for cultivating your inner Listening:
- Take space for yourself — this can be as simple as taking 10-15 minutes of quiet time daily with the intention to Be with yourself.Check expectation at the door and let this be a practice of relaxation: your body, your mind, your thoughts… let everything become soft like warm butter.
- Practice listening — this is merely an observation activity once you’ve relaxed into your warm butter state. No need to chase down thoughts or feelings—just feel, listen to the subtle experience of Being—whatever that looks like for you.
- Be aware of positive vs negative responses. After you’ve practiced listening for a while, you can hone in on the fact that your body is a fantastic conductor of information.Namely, intention and understanding between your mind and your Soul. This is info you are already aware of—we often call it “intuition”—a Knowing that something is right (or not) for you.
[Listening Exercise: put on different styles of undies and observe how you feel.]
Issue #2 – Following outdated desires.
Just because something flipped your switch and lit your flame last year (for ex. writing eBooks), doesn’t mean it still will this year. If you’re into the Natural Professional, then you’re the type of person who is constantly growing and expanding your awareness.
This doesn’t mean that you’ll flip your life upside down every year, but you’ll definitely be a happier camper if your interests and commitments morph with you.
Seeing your own evolution in progress is challenging to say the least—you’re so close to it! What you can do, however, is be aware of the signs.
You might notice that your work has become a little too easy, a bit too comfortable. What gives you a tiny zing of fear mixed with “I wish I could do that!!” excitement? Scary as it might seem, that’s probably the direction you are growing into…
What subjects, people, ideas light you up? What do you really dig doing (the opposite of procrastination)? What or Who do you feel yourself gravitating toward and admiring?
[Updating desires exercise: go to your favorite lingerie store, catalogue, or website. Pick out something that catches your eye, but makes you just a wee bit uncomfortable “I could never wear that!” Get it. Wear it. No one has to know until you want them to.]
Issue #3 – Conflicting priorities.
When we talk about conflicting priorities, it’s easy to jump to “managing priorities” as a remedy. Dig a little deeper and you’ll likely find conflicting emotions that are expressing as confused priorities. Address the underlying concern and the conflict will likely fade away. Here are two examples:
1. Too much work, not enough play.
Priorities: Grow Biz and Adventure Travel don’t mix so well. One solution is to commit to one priority NOW (grow biz), and the other priority LATER (a 2-3 week bicycle trip), for ex. after your next program launch.
However, that second priority is something you are desiring for your health and well-being now. Instead of pushing it off, you can come up with a way to get what you need without forcing hard choices.
For ex. Adventure Travel could mean a weekend getaway by driving to a non-familiar place, camping, and doing a couple of long bike rides.
Not only will you enjoy the healing love of nature, you also get the adventure of a beautiful and unknown place, you get great exercise, and you get rejuvenation with a little space and distance (but not too much) from your biz.
2. Masked fear.
A new priority pops on the scene with alarming persuasion. For ex. say you all of a sudden are convinced that you need to start a new biz/get a job/go to India now.
But if you stopped to really look at these, you’d find that you were stressed about incoming cash which was translating into escapism fantasies.
With that in mind, you can shift energies to more useful and less disrupting activities. For ex.: have a yard sale or a studio sale. Or being supportive of your biz: Offer a special coaching deal, or a mini-course related to the subject of your larger program.
This directly addresses the money concern by building on what you already have.
[Assessing priorities exercise: Trace the root by questioning your answers with “Why?”
“Which undies to wear today?”
These black ones.
Because they match my pants.
Why do they need to match my pants?
Because that’s what I always do.
Hunh. Why not try something different?
Issue # 4 Fear of success masquerading as “It’s not the right time”
Oh yes. Those goals that touch the heart can be scary and slippery to say the least. Giving your goal the status of Important in your life takes so many forms: setting boundaries, creating routines, establishing accountability.
If these keep slipping, then maybe you’re not looking in the right place.
While discipline-loving habits are important, challenging yourself to “push through the fear” isn’t the only answer.
Lumping your motivation into two drives, you’ve got:
Accountability, which feeds your masculine “gotta do it” driver, and
Nurturing, which feeds your feminine need-to-feel-safe aspects.
If challenging your fears isn’t working, then consider how can you help yourself feel safer? How can you explore new territory on your terms?
- Begin with goals that simply involve your showing up. Say you setup a routine to work on your book. Instead of making the goal: “Write first chapter,” you could start with “Show up at the keyboard at scheduled time for an uninterrupted hour per day.” Even if you string words into sentences that you never want to read again, let your Soul know that you are committed to showing up without harsh demands.
- Find a supportive environment in which to explore a scary area. Are you terrified of exposing yourself to the world? Join Toastmasters or do a program like the Artist’s Way.
- Give yourself permission to play in the scary zone. Even something as simple as a word change (from “work” to “play”) can shift your perspective just enough to feel empowered to enter new territory.
[Nurturing exercise: practice combining go-get-‹em with nurturing. Begin your day by dressing sensually. Come into yourself before venturing out into the world.]
Support Heart and Head and Soul
When we talk about productivity, we usually talk about the Doing side of the equation: ToDo lists, scheduling, routines, accountability.
Above, we looked at four skills that pave the way to getting the right things done, thereby strengthening resolve and avoiding misleading paths: listening, being aware of signs, addressing underlying concerns, and nurturing yourself.
It can be tough to admit that softening into yourself is what’s needed to make progress—it certainly goes against the status quo!