I’ve been exchanging email with someone who has a great relationship, has much to be grateful for and generally recognizes that he has a good life.
Ah, the pesky “except” clause. A good life except that (he wrote) “It’s a struggle, and I don’t feel I’m in my right place. Is it the way I’m thinking? or what I’m doing? I get depleted far too quickly, and find the moments of joy too far apart. Do I keep my head down and just get through this?”
Are you one of those people who think their inner wisdom doesn’t talk to them?
Let me tell you about Kästle, our childhood cat. While she had been skittish from kitten-hood, she was an indoor cat until I was born. A few sounds from this bundle o’screaming joy and she was outta there.
As a kid, I’d see her on the porch and would open the door to pet her but she’d take off like I was a cat-eating monster with flames shooting from my nostrils.
When I was in about 4th grade, I attempted to be something of a cat-whisperer. I’d sit on the front porch, call in as friendly a voice as possible, “Here, kitty kitty. Here Kästle.” Then I’d wait.
And I’d call her again. And I’d wait. Call again. Wait. Finally, she’d step through the bushes, on to the porch, and sit. I’d keep coaxing her on. Eventually, she’d walk the distance of the porch to where I sat.
She’d walk around me and push against my back, then she’d rub up against my leg, then she’d encourage my fingers under her chin. For that moment, I was her best friend.
A week or two later I’d go out and call her. We’d go through the whole routine again. She wouldn’t cut me any slack. My interest in this game soon wore off and I wouldn’t try again for another six months.
She stayed skittish and shy for the rest of her life, an outdoor cat who showed up just enough to let us know that she was still around.
Do you think that if I went out on the porch every afternoon and showed her that I was dedicated to earning her trust, that she’d have come to me more quickly? More bravely? More trustingly? I’m sure of it.
That, my friend, is 1) a true story and 2) exactly the game you play with your intuition.
Your mind demands that your intuition show up and perform, or screw it! who has time to mess around teasing it down the porch? It’s unproven and unclear. Why bother?
Unless you start courting your kitty, you may well continue to struggle needlessly.
The voice worth listening to.
When your intuition has space to breathe, you hear what to do differently: what client to let go of, what project to take in a different direction, what shifts to make in your business model.
Your priorities stay clear, distractions dissolve, and you find yourself spontaneously running into that person you needed to talk to. Think of a time when you’ve totally been in the flow. Groovy, eh? How about that but all the time.
Doing doing doing.
Pushing pushing pushing.
Trying trying trying.
Easier said than done, eh?
Unless you grew up with parents who had a meditation practice of some sort, you likely haven’t been encouraged to include a regular quiet practice into your day.
What does this mean in real life with my business??
Everyday we are faced with decisions—everything from what’s the best way to reach my target audience? to what should I work on right now?
Wise, intuitive decisions enjoy a well-informed, calm mind.
Anxiety is like a jackhammer on the front porch. “HERE KITTY, KITTY!” I don’t think so.
Generally what’s going on is that your head starts spinning out of control, freaks out, and then your body reacts by shutting down healthy/sane hormone production and kicks into creating cortisol, the stress hormone, and thus crises-management mode.
Keeping your mind steady both prevents spin out and allows you to court your intuition in a relatively calm space.
Here are seven ways to keep your mind in control during your workday:
- Use your systems: ToDo manager, project list, timelines or project calendar. Focus is an antidote to spazzing out, so minimize the random stuff floating around your head
- Use timer to cap activities, create structure and respect it.
- Separate planning time activities from doing stuff/zapping email/phone calls etc.
- Morning planning session, first thing. Get your head focused on the right track.
Reconnect with big picture of your project.
- Clarify what the next step is, even if the next step is a question to answer.
- Do meditation/daily quiet time
- Acknowledge and accept that the current stage is exactly where you should be.
- Do hard aerobic exercise to clear out the stress-producing cortisol storing up in your body.
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Photo credits: Cat by Furryscaly