Keeping Commitments to Myself
These past few weeks, I’ve been burning the candle at both ends to keep commitments, working long hours on really cool projects. Last Tuesday, I had four major coinciding deadlines, after which I had to refocus on existing projects to get caught up.
What a wake-up call! My body felt exhausted. My mind spun. My heart palpitated. I breathed shallowly, living on adrenaline and caffeine, which is NOT a recipe for wellness and the opposite of the lifestyle I crave. In fact, I felt as though I were reliving my corporate days of bouncing from meeting to meeting, cramming carbohydrates into my face as I ran to yet another conference call. No, thank you!
I’m grateful that it happened for me as it reminded me of what I want in my life:
I’m incredibly thankful for the incredible opportunities that came my way to work with global changemakers and storytellers. I truly loved the diversity of projects and working with such interesting people who brought richness into my life. These are the kinds of visionaries I long to co-create with. More, please! I’m committed to working with these kinds of entrepreneurs and growing my practice by doing so.
Set (and keep) boundaries.
While I’ve come a long way in setting limits, sometimes I still decide they’re not essential to keep. The boundaries I most often violate are those related to self-care, business development, and personal projects. I’ve asked my mastermind peeps to hold me accountable to keeping the following commitments: working until 8 p.m. only two nights a week and otherwise closing up shop at 5 p.m. And no more working weekends!
I have serious FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) syndrome. This means I’ll often say, “yes” when I ought to say, “no,” especially if it means spending time with my friends. But overcommitting is a form of self-sabotage, so I permitted myself to say, “let me look at my calendar and get back to you.” I also check in with my gut. If there’s circular thinking about an event, that means I ought to not attend, and this is where tapping deeper into my intuition and understanding how my body gives me clues has been priceless.
As a creative, I use my skills daily in service to others, and that means my creative well risks running dry. For years, I had a weekly artist’s date as prescribed by Julia Cameron in her book, The Artist’s Way. But the busier I got, the more often I tossed aside this time to recharge. On a subconscious level, I deemed my creative needs less important than those of my clients. And it showed in my work as it took longer for me to generate ideas and, when I did, doing so felt like drudgery. Again, this approach is misaligned with my values. I’ve recommitted myself to a half day’s creative retreat weekly.
As usual, the best lessons come from making poor choices or choosing alternatives that take us out of alignment. I’m grateful for the opportunity to reflect on how I got myself in this pickle, what lessons I can learn, and decide how I want to be going forward.
Do any of these lessons resonate with you? How will you shift your attention to realign with your values? Leave a comment below and share what you learned on your own journey to alignment.
This is a great reminder, Debby! Commitments to myself now include time to throw the toy mouse and ball for my cats Mac and Shadow to chase. Doing that refills my spirit, too! But I never realized it until now, thanks!
I’m so happy to read this, Maribeth! Enjoy your play time 🙂
I appreciate this post so much because I have been feeling similar feelings, especially the corporate analogy. One of the (many) reasons I got out of corporate was because I didn’t want to feel time stressed, yet this is how my days have gone lately. Taking a step back to look at my schedule and “cutting the fat” – finding long pockets of time for creative thinking and imagining. Here’s to ourselves!
Indeed, Jill! I love that we’re finding pockets of time for creative thinking and dreaming.
Thank you for this! Perfect timing. You’ve inspired me to set a daily date with the trees. I have a favourite tree beside our town’s waterfront (Fairy Lake – great name!), where I love to meditate. Just 15 minutes can fill me up for the day’s demands.
I love this Debby, it’s so important to keep our cups filled up (and to know where the brim is!)