December 9 – Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans. (Author: Shauna Reid)
Looking back on 2010 I was fortunate to attend several baby showers, family parties, and birthday celebrations. It is hard to pick a favorite, but I really enjoyed our family's Halloween party this year. We have seven kids total in our family and six of them are under 4 years-old! Seeing everyone dressed up was so fun and all the kiddos looked adorable. It was a very low-key event with plenty of food (including my mom's amazing cupcakes) and candy, of course! I love having my whole extended family together and feel so grateful that we are all close by and able to gather as a group regularly.
This Fall I decided not to teach at the local college. Typically I teach a class in order to supplement my sometimes unpredictable business income. This year I took the leap to give up my last bit of a grip on an every-other-week paycheck. I scheduled the time I would typically spend on teaching for writing and brainstorming for my businesses. This played out very well for me. I started seriously working on my book idea for the first time. Also, my private practice began booming and the additional clients I took on more than made up for the money I would've made teaching.
December 11 – 11 Things. What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life? (Author: Sam Davidson)
11 things my life doesn't need in 2011:
- Fear - especially the kind of fears that keep me from moving forward. Maybe you know them, the "I don't know how to _________ so I'd rather just not try/ I'll never be able to figure out how to_________/ I don't know enough to ____________" fears. I will eliminate these fears by just doing it! And taking baby steps while reassuring myself I am doing just fine. And lastly, by asking for help. When I eliminate these fears, I will move forward with the projects that I feel stuck on right now (my non-profit idea, book in progress, even that CD I've been working on publishing since last year).
- Guilt - guilt about taking good care of myself, guilt about enjoying my successes, guilt about my life feeling fantastic, to all of that guilt and more I say "good riddance!" I'm not sure how I will let go of this guilt. I guess by continuously telling myself that I deserve to take good care of myself, enjoy my successes, and revel in my fabulous life. (Ugh... it feels a bit scary to even write that.) When I am able to release this guilt I think I will feel more at peace.
- More stuff. I want to simplify my life as much as possible, starting with my stuff. The only thing I would like to accumulate more of is books. However, recently I have been using the library like a champion! I'm getting more and more particular even about what books I buy and bring into the house. This is an easy one in terms of how to eliminate it - I will continue to sort through things and donate whatever I don't love or need. Once I have more of the stuff in my house gone I will feel happy and lighter and proud!
- Overscheduled days. I was doing really well with this one, leaving myself plenty of space between appointments to eat lunch, take naps, etc. But I just looked at my first week of 2011 and it is insane! What was I possibly thinking when I jam-packed my days? Well it is not going to last long because I am taking back my time. I plan to create some new rules. It helps me to define very clear boundaries about my days, such as 1.5 hours for lunch, no more than 3 consecutive clients, no more than X clients in a week, etc. Once I eliminate these overscheduled days I will feel refreshed and relaxed and will look forward to my work week.
- Doubt. Ahhh, my good friend doubt. He likes to hang with my other friends fear and guilt :-) I'd like to replace my doubt with lots of faith and trust. I can go for weeks or even months without Mr. Doubt creeping in, but when he arrives he tends to hit hard. I start questioning pretty much every decision I've ever made, as well as my ability to do the "right" thing in the current moment. These doubts usually revolve around my family and career choices. Some of the current gems include, "Why did I start a business when I knew I wanted to expand my family?" and "How will I maintain the businesses that I've worked so hard to create after I have a baby?" Usually I handle doubt by talking with my friends and family. More often than not they have more rational thoughts than I do about the reality of the situation and this reassures me. If I could manage to say adios to my good friend doubt, I guess I would be overflowing with confidence!
- Mindless hours on the computer. This comes up for me on occasion, especially with that darn Facebook! I plan to be more mindful of my computer use and remind myself of the other things I could be focusing on during that time. I believe if I reduce/eliminate this I will have more time to devote to other things that are more important to me, such as meditation, exercise, and writing.
- Non-ideal work. This is a work in progress. For some time now I have been working on accepting only ideal work. That is work that positively impacts those it is intended to serve and leaves me feeling inspired. I've learned the way to do only ideal work is to accept work only from a place of abundance (vs scarcity mindset such as "I could really use the money"). When I eliminate all non-ideal work I will feel invigorated and excited about my work. It will feel less like work!
- Days without any physical activity. When a day goes by that I don't move my body in some manner or another, I feel icky. So even if it is only 15 minutes of yoga, I would like to move every day. To make this happen I need to schedule it in my days and leave myself enough time/space to actually adhere to the plan (see #4). I've been there before and I know I feel better when I move every day.
- Too much television. This is a work in progress as well. I feel I've already changed my habits significantly this year by replacing TV time with reading time and only watching programs that I enjoy and plan to watch. I will eliminate too much television by being more mindful about how I'm spending my time. This will change my life by leaving me more time for things I care about/want to bring into my life.
- Disorganization. Even though I can find everything, it leaves me feeling a little unsettled to have things so out of order, particularly in my work area. I will work on this by eliminating clutter and re-organizing what I decide to keep. Slowly, but surely I think I can reform my organized chaos ways. I beat myself up about this so if I can make these changes I think I will feel more on top of things.
- Small, but meaningful bad habits. Leaving my clothes strewn all over the bedroom. Not flossing my teeth every day. Blurting out the first comment that comes to mind. Eating in the car. Again, I think the cure is mindfulness and the result will be a healthier, happier me.