I spent the weekend hiking, rafting and giggling with 2 amazing 11 year-old boys. Being in nature with them, in the midst of their energy and enthusiasm, allowed me to get in touch with some feelings that have been bubbling just under the surface, waiting to blow. My life was out of balance—-again and the all the reasons I became a solo-preneur felt lost in the dust of success. WOW…what's wrong with this picture? Success = Unhappiness? Yep, it can happen if we're not paying attention to our priorities. In fact, if we're truly honest with ourselves, in this day and age, with the curse and blessing of technology, most of us are living not-so-quiet lives of desperation, attempting to keep up with it all.
As I state on page 122 of Creative Awakenings, the art of BALANCE is a constant state of negotiation and not some pinnacle state of being we will reach. Here's a quote from the Balance card in the Deck of Transformation, included in the book, "To live a balanced life is to be in constant negotiation with the forces around us. Imbalance in our lives is generally caused by too much reaction and not enough pro-action. If we are constantly adding sand to one side of the scale, wondering why it remains so heavy, we are living reactively and not proactively." I have been adding bags of sand for a few months in an attempt to keep up with the success of the book, and the scale was heavily weighted to one side. As I share in the book, for some of us, it's learning to become, NO-torious, for others it's learning to set or re-set our priorities. For me, it was indeed the latter.
Years ago, I read the book the E-Myth: Why most small business don't work and what to do about it. I took the advice to heart and planted the seeds of suggestion, but I was not in a position to do anything about their suggestions, which have a lot to do with understanding your strengths and learning to delegate the rest. Please don't get me wrong, I have so much gratitude for the success of the book and my business. Both have forced me to grow in ways I have never imagined. I have advanced my understanding of technology, social media, creating videos and Twittering, but all these tasks are not my forte and came with much hair-pulling and a pretty good amount of swear words. Technology was beginning to feel like a monster in constant need of feeding and while I was throwing it bones, the tasks I really needed to be focusing on, clients, proposal writing, retreat planning, etc, were tugging at my pant legs. It was time to wave the white flag and re-set my priorities.
Here's what I did and I'm sharing it today in the hopes that some of you might benefit from the process:
- I made a list of all the tasks that were weighing me down, personally and professionally. Next, I took an emotional inventory and asked myself the hard questions: which of them could I handle them differently, which could I delegate and which could be discarded
- Next, I made a list of the things personally and professionally, that were getting left behind and needed some BIG TLC
- I made a list of the things about my business that bring me true unadulterated JOY
- I am taming the technology monster. I will be re-evaluating the systems I am using and the places I spend my time. This will evolve over the next few months.
- When I made my JOY list, I was able to remember why I do this work. It's VERY SIMPLE. It's for the joy of teaching, coaching and witnessing a woman step into her dreams and spread her wings to fly.
I could never have known where this painting was going when I put down the first brush stroke. By the end of the day yesterday the partially finished piece was posted on my Facebook page and titled "Learning to Fly." As I completed my piece today, I realized the depth of this metaphor in relation to some of the steps I have taken to re-set and re-negotiate my priorities.