Part of the Lessons In Love Series | January 25th, 2024 | Entry 1
Dearest reader who is so loved,
I’ve often wondered how other people could conquer the world while I feel like I’m spinning on my daughter’s hamster’s wheel, not ever getting anything done of note. (Ok, not NEVER. But OFTEN.) While the hamster wheel serves the cute fur ball (known as Hammy) quite well, it’s been keeping me stuck in old self sabotaging patterns.
After a brief meditation/conversation with Love (also known as God, the Universe, Source, etc.), a question is answered. I have clarity once again. In between sips of my matcha latte, it’s all starting to gel in my mind’s eye. For a loooooong time, I’ve felt like a “Jack of all trades; master of none.” Now I know why. So, here’s the story…
This morning as I’m sitting in my robe, waiting not so patiently for the sun to finally show itself in the big sky of Montana, I TRIED desperately to meditate. It seemed pointless; a fool’s task this morning, me, asking Love questions, trying desperately to connect to source in my tiredness. In my sleepy stupor, I didn’t think I’d find what I was looking for - which was spiritual connection + insight… (WHY, I ask you would there be any sound reason a person could achieve this in her jammies when the sun ain’t even awake yet?!) But I persevered , because that’s my word lately, (perseverance), my tool to help myself out of sabotage and just DANG DO THE THING!
And then, there it was. The voice + energy of love, speaking quietly yet firmly, always calm, and in short, simple sentences. Amazingly enough, perseverance paid off and I was delightfully surprised in my light bulb moment. (The only light around at that time of day, mind you!) I had a small personal revelation that felt rather significant but ended up being not just today’s lesson in love, but an answer I’ve been looking for my entire life.
You see, I’ve not just had a problem with procrastination since I was a kid, I’ve also had issues with starting my big ideas, then finally getting up the gumption to start it only to rarely finish those projects, and all the while doing a million things at once. At the end of the day, I’d end up feeling like I got nowhere, like I just can’t move the needle and perhaps never would. I felt like I was flawed and destined to not actually reach any of my big, beautiful dreams. In reality, there is a flaw, but I’M not flawed. My system of doing things is flawed. The way I “learned” to do the things and go about my days since I was itty bitty was driven in deep over my 41 years. Combine that with the message (myth) from our success-driven culture that multitasking is king, and the only way to get all the things done to be deemed the most successful in all the land… well, that’s a recipe that’s doomed to bomb.
I have big dreams. I’m creative and have a million ideas. If I could have a job coming up with ideas, I’d be a bazillionaire. I’d love for some of those ideas to not only be valued by others, adding joy and meaning to their lives, as it does mine… I’d also love to be successful. I’m not referring to the world’s view of success, which is equivalent to a Starbuck- guzzling , almost-CEO running around in Manolo Blahniks hustlin’ like a boss, buying the newest trend in houses and technology, all while strutting around with the perception that they’ve got their life together but inside they’re stressing like a chicken with their head cut off. No, no. I see success in terms of JOY… In terms of gratitude, intention, self actualization, centeredness during the storm, patience, forgiveness, unconditional love and self pride in FOLLOWING THROUGH.
I’m pretty good at the other stuff, it’s the ‘following through’ part that I’ve gotten pretty good at not doing. I mean, you could say I’m successful - I’m VERY successful at NOT finishing the thing. Whether it be my grandmother’s wingback chair that sat partially re-upholstered for years, or another chair sitting in my living currently that’s also waiting for a make-over, or the piano that Santa brought to the girls for Christmas. Mrs. Santa painted the whole thing in one day (chalk paint dries fast), but it still needs to be waxed to protect the paint. More paint that I bought and tested to get just the right color on my big apothecary storage chest, but you guessed it… it’s still sitting there doing it’s job of holding the herbs with a big splotch of blue paint on the side of it. I have dozens of half written blog posts, half-done reels for IG, a bazillion pages of ideas that I continue to brainstorm, yet they never seem to get past the point of brainstorming. You get the idea.
And after seeing all of these half-done things, I affirm myself that I can’t do it. It’s this vicious cycle of start, don’t finish, full awareness in having not finished, feeling shamed and flawed in that way, giving myself a pep talk to get myself out of it and then do the subconscious cycle all over again.
I’ve created a hard wired synapse in my brain to repeat over and over. That muscle has gotten stronger over the years, to the point I do it in my sleep (obviously - I self sabotage in this way completely subconsciously). The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I feel like it’d be very appropriate for me to ask myself that old Dr. Phil quote: “How’s that working for ya?” Um…. It’s not. Ok, then try something different. I’m ironically very consciously aware that my subconscious beliefs are kind kicking my butt. And I REALLY want to get my butt in gear - both literally and figuratively.
So, back to this morning. I’m asking Love/Source/God/Universe if it’ll work for me to work on two different types of businesses at once. I’ve been trying to, but despite intentionally working from an energy of love instead of fear, I’ve subconsciously returned to operating from fear, getting so stressed that my back went out again. So, I’m sitting on my yoga mat, returning to the chalkboard asking the universe: “What’s the best way for me to do this? Do I need to give one up? I don’t want to give one up, I want to do them both. How do I do both while not getting stressed out and living in fear again?” The Answer: “KEEP IT SIMPLE.”
I habitually over-complicate things, which can also look like me trying desperately to successfully multitask. I struggle to keep it simple. This is not a new lesson for me. But, the beam shed from this light bulb moment shined so bright, it radiated my core. Duplicity is not simple. Multiplicity is far from simple. Singularity is simple.
I’m learning that multitasking should really be called task-switching, expecting our mind to switch gears without even a hiccup. Truthfully, this is an impossible ask, on the verge of expecting perfection. It tends to show up as a chaotic energy, under the guise of composure. (Ie. You’re convincing yourself: “I got this, I got this!”, as you’re spinning ALL the plates, while bouncing around like Kramer trying frantically to not let one drop.)
Task switching like this is akin to that ping-pong battle in Friends where Monica and Mike battle it out. Things get hot, sweaty, sitting-on-the-edge-of-your-seat-stressful. Only in this case, nobody wins the game. As Confucius said: “The woman who chases two rabbits catches none.” (Ok, he said “man” but I’m a woman, so there!)
When our mind has to switch tasks like this, it uses more of its resources, meaning the outcome of each task has a lower quality result. EUREKA! Hence, my feeling like a Jack of all trades; master of none! After decades of expecting near-perfection from said plate spinning, I need to intentionally train my mind to focus on one thing at a time. The end result will not only be COMPLETED (yay!) but it’ll be completed with a higher quality of my mind’s energy and my soul’s energy. I call that a WIN-WIN!
My lesson is simple, yet because of the pattern I’ve practiced for years, it’s hard to accomplish at first. But, my word is perseverance right now. So, I’ll persevere in the goal of keeping it simple, I’ll persevere in doing ONE. THING. AT. A. TIME. I’ll persevere even when my old habits try to rear their ugly head; I’ll practice self-awareness combined with self-forgiveness, letting go of shame, thus breaking the old pattern cycle, and then I’ll do as Natalie Cole sang: “Get yourself up; dust yourself off; do it all over again.”
The energy of Love does not thrive in complication; love is simple. I’ve experienced this to be true. In my always over-complicating things, this ends up stressing me out and creating a shame cycle within myself. THAT falls under an energy of fear. Choosing one thing, focusing with intention, gently navigating through the creative process, persevering through the challenge, and seeing it through the other side - this is how you do it. This is work that will move the needle. This is work that will be deeply meaningful, and bring value to the world… because it was done in an energy of Love.
A potter cannot shape a vase on the wheel while also filming a story for Instagram with the other hand. He needs both hands on board - not only to prevent the mud from flying onto the ceiling, not only to complete the vase, but most importantly, to create something BEAUTIFUL.
As I heard Love say this morning: “Go. Do your work. Keep it simple.” And look at this? I sat down, wrote a blog post for the first time in a hundred million years, and published the dang, blessed thing! I did it. I saw it through. Now I’m off to create new synapses in my brain while un-learning old patterns and do the next ONE thing…
Remember, friends: Follow your heart and stay its course. This will always lead you back home to yourself.
P.S. I know there was a run-on sentence in there, probably a few. I don’t care. I’m not trying to win any awards here, only give you a peek inside my mind and heart. 😊
P.P.S. If you can relate to any of this, let me know! I’d love to hear it! (I KNOW I’m not alone in this!) 😉