To Everything.....There Is A Season.
The world lost a legend this week. Pete Seeger. You can’t mention folk music without his name in the same sentence. Some of his amazing works of masterpiece…….If I Had a Hammer, We Shall Overcome and Where Have All the Flower Gone. This music was such a big part of my childhood. They were some of the first songs I learned how to play on the guitar and sing in the church folk group. That was revolutionary back in the 1970’s! But the gift is that we still have this gift of song and the memories and words.
One of my favorite songs is Turn, Turn, Turn. The lyrics start; “To everything, turn, turn, turn, there is a season, turn, turn, turn and a time for every purpose under heaven….”
Think about that for a minute, a time for every purpose under heaven. Well, this segues nicely into the bit of space I’ve heard many of my clients playing in lately (and a bit myself!)…..procrastination!
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I have to be honest about this….
I am feeling energized! How about you? I am planning and feeling inspired and excited about the possibilities ahead. But here is what I need to be honest about. Before this burst of action and inspiration, I had been procrastinating a bit. Yup. I felt terrible. I couldn’t focus. I was upset. I had an amazing pity-party for one! I was stuck. I felt left behind and like everyone else was “getting ahead” and I was missing opportunities! It wasn’t pretty. You know what I mean, right?
Turn, Turn, Turn…..”a time for every purpose under heaven….”
So with these lyrics as inspiration, let’s take a look at procrastination.
But what if, procrastination actually serves a purpose?
What if it has its own deserved place in the process of life?
Having come out the other end of the procrastination tunnel, I can see, now, how perfectly this time and space has played into the next steps. It was safe. It was quiet. It was incubating. Incubating….hmmmm….perhaps a period of incubation is actually necessary for great things to birth. It happens in nature all the time. It’s part of the process in the circle of life. Part of the natural ebb and flow of things. If there were no times of rest, we would simply burn out. If there were no times of pushing back and disengagement, inspiration and creation would cease to exist.
So, then my next question is, how can we capitalize on procrastination?
How can we not beat ourselves up over being in this tunnel?
And how do you know when enough time in the tunnel is enough?
I was pretty deliberate about observing my time in the procrastination tunnel. It was sort of an experiment. I was calculating in the way I made my way through to the end of the tunnel.
Top 5 Energy Shifting Steps to Move through the Procrastination Tunnel with Grace & Ease
Be honest with yourself. You can see yourself procrastinating…just call it like it is and stop pushing against it. Don’t beat yourself up for being there. That which we resist, persists! This time and space is where you need to be at that moment.
This sounds counter-intuitive because most of the time when we are in this space we just want to get the heck out of it! Try not to worry about making it too comfortable for yourself and then thinking you won’t want to leave the tunnel. Do something loving for yourself that just feels gooooood!
If you can’t seem to get to the pile of papers that are calling for your attention, do something else. Whatever it is. Just get up and move. Do something else that has nothing to do with the project you are procrastinating.
Take a walk in nature. Sit on a rock. Smell some flowers. Breathe in some sea air. Make a snowman. Nature nurtures and will help things begin to percolate again.
Even if you don’t think you are a writer per se. Just write stream of consciousness….this will help shift things into motion.
So how do you navigate your way through the procrastination tunnel?
HOW TO CREATE GOALS LIKE A 5-YEAR-OLD!
Truth-be-told, the closer it got to celebrating the New Year, I began to feel a bit anxious. And I’m not sure why because I’m more into the evolution thing – creating ongoing flex-goals that are revisited and tweaked through the course of a year -- rather than the whole create a big whopping resolution thing.
At the same time, when you have a business you have to have goals, right? So, it was an interesting process for me to create my un-resolution…otherwise known as flex-goals with heart and fun! A flex-goal is something that can morph as circumstances change. A flex-goal has direction, deadline, measurability AND flexibility. And let’s face it, life it always changing so being flexible about goals is really important. This isn’t an “easy out.” But it IS an easy way to stay in the game when unforeseen shifts occur. After conferring with my inner 5-year old, we’ve decided on these 5 steps for success:
Make it intentional. Intend & Pretend! Remember playing pretend as a kid? You walked and talked differently and believed you had become the subject of your desire. So dust off your “make believe” skills and allow yourself to step into your future. How do you intend to be/feel when you’ve reached your goal? Some people tend to rush through this part because it seems silly. Don’t…because it is a powerful step! Really amp up that “feeling” of having reached the goal already! This is going to provide you with fuel.
Make it visible. Once you’re pumped up about your goal, write it down. The more detailed the better. Include smells, sights and sounds! Keep it visible and read it as often as possible. Leave yourself post-it note reminders with your goal in various locations in your office and home so that you see it often.
Make it real. Make your goal a stretch-goal. If you want big results you have to stretch. It’s o.k. for it to feel scary! However, if you choose a goal that requires a total overhaul to your daily schedule, chances are you will get discouraged and quit. Make it real.
Make it easy. One of the easiest ways to reach a goal is to break it down into bite size steps. What’s important here is to schedule those tasks and reward yourself for a job well done! Rewards can be as simple as extra cuddle time or enjoying time in nature (walk instead of drive). Celebrating the small wins help you to gain some traction, see success right away and stay motivated.
Make it loving. Even with the best intentions and planning, we can get derailed from taking steps toward our goal. The key here is to be your own best friend. Be compassionate. Be loving. Ask yourself, “what do I need right now?” Rest? Time? Support? Accountability? Whatever feels right and is honoring you, go do or be it!
Paula G. Rosario
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