Steven Pressfield on Friday and finished it yesterday... I gobbled it up. It's turned my bleh mood around completely!
Maybe it's the last dregs of the rainy season here in Costa Rica, but I've been moving in slow motion lately. And to be fair, since living in here, I've never quite got into a natural routine because I've never had so much time to call my own.
When I lived in Canada and worked full-time, I had deadlines, schedules, and systems in place. I was on top of things. Managing multiple projects involving multiple teams and multiple clients was just another day at the office. And boy, my ability to focus and get things done was astonishing. What happened to that me? Without a doubt, I needed some very real recovery time from all the accumulated stress. For the first three months of living in paradise I was just trying to decompress and breathe. I definitely needed it.
We had lots to do, and things did get done, but I didn't put a whole lot of pressure on myself. From day one, my husband, Kevin, has been all about the tasks and finding some kind of routine: the trout get fed at 6:30 am, noon and 5 pm. He opens the aqueduct gate to flush the ponds with fresh river water every morning and shuts the gate just before dinnertime. He lets the chickens out of their coop first thing in the morning and ushers them back in while doing his rounds at the end of the day. There are garden beds to weed and prepare for sowing... we have a ton of projects on the go. And although I've been doing my share, I've not really found my rhythm. I kind of wait around for Kevin to prompt me. That's SO not me. I was a single mother for years, I couldn't just wait around for someone to prompt me to do things. I had to figure it out and I did. (I even owned my own toolbox.) So why have I been feeling so scattered?
I realized this week that when I'm reading, I feel guilty that I'm not gardening... when I'm gardening, I'm dreaming of writing or working on my business and feeling like I'm not moving forward with either... when I'm writing or working on my business, I'm torn that I'm not contributing to the farm enough... and it goes on like this. Little gets done to any satisfaction. Excuses and resistance both get in the way.
I've decided to activate my life, inspired by the book The War of Art. Resistance is the enemy. Here's a sample of what Steven Pressfield writes:
"Look in your own heart. Unless I'm crazy, right now a still, small voice is piping up, telling you as it has ten thousand times before, the calling that is yours and yours along. You know it. No one has to tell you. And unless I'm crazy, you're no closer to taking action on it than you were yesterday or will be tomorrow. You think Resistance isn't real? Resistance will bury you."
So, on that note, I decided to stop resisting and making excuses. I have to re-frame my lifestyle and include all my "jobs" and give them all the respect they deserve. If I step into my tasks with focus and effort, I will bring energy to those tasks... if I bring energy then I will be showing up fully present.
To get things rolling in bite-size chunks that I can manage, I will dedicate:
2 hours of manual labour/farm chores each day...
2 hours of reading/spiritual practice/meditation/stretching...
2 hours of writing...
2 hours of cleaning/beautifying/painting the house, gardens and guesthouse...
2 hours of working on my business...
2 hours of cooking (3 meals)...
2 hours of connecting with family and friends
2 hours of misc (travelling into town, writing a little more, helping Kevin with a task)
8 hours of sleep... I take my sleep seriously
I will actually time myself. Things will get done a little each day in every category... I can put my whole self into the task at hand and not worry about the other stuff because I will allot time for everything. I can relax and just get on with it. I feel the fog has lifted. Yay!
Is there anything stopping you from doing what you want? Stopping you from doing what you need to do to fulfill your life's purpose?