Take a Tizzy Timeout

The holiday season is here, and I can already feel myself revving up into overwhelm mode. I LOVE the holidays, but I can really stress myself out with all the extra tasks I take on during this time. Cooking, baking, hosting, making and sending out holiday cards, shopping for gifts, decorating … does this sound like your list also? Last year, I was able to use my new morning ritual to stay somewhat centered, and it helped me slow down and enjoy the season more. But I still wore myself out. When things get extra busy, I work myself into a tizzy trying to handle everything as quickly as possible. I tend to keep moving until it’s all done—and then collapse.

This year, I plan to take some short breaks each day—“tizzy timeouts”—to recharge myself as I go. I’ve tried this during crazy-busy days recently and it really helps. Give it a try the next time you find yourself in that whirlwind of activity. Just taking a moment to sit down and breathe, or a few minutes to savor a cup of tea, can make all the difference in how you feel. That tiny little rest restores enough energy to keep going without completely burning out. And it can help make whatever you’re doing a lot more enjoyable!

I also highly recommend a morning ritual, if you don’t already do one—or if you’ve tried but find it hard to implement. For some tips, check out this article I wrote recently for Yoga Journal on “5 Ways to Actually Stick to a Morning Ritual,” or this post on The Daily Positive: “Meaningful Morning Rituals in 10 Minutes or Less.

Whether it’s in the morning, at lunch, in mid-afternoon, or in the evening, carve out some space each day just for you. Take some time to rest and recharge. The holidays are a marathon, not a sprint!

I won’t be posting next week since it’s Thanksgiving, so I’ll see you in December! I hope you have a wonderful, happy Thanksgiving (if you’re in the U.S.) and a lovely week (if you’re not!).

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Resolution #4: Be Light

As I’ve discussed in previous posts (here, here, and here), I’ve been thinking about resolutions since I turned 50 last month. Inspired by Gretchen Rubin’s book The Happiness Project, I’m compiling a list of intentions that will guide me each day and help me stay on track with the kind of person I want to be and the type of life I want to live.

Here is my latest one: Be light.

This has two meanings for me. First, I want to be a voice of positivity, and have a beneficial impact on others. My Kundalini yoga teacher talked about this recently, about “Being the lighthouse,” and I thought, “Yes! That’s how I want to be.”

I am a naturally optimistic person, always looking for the bright side of things. As I’ve focused more on increasing the joy in my life, I’ve learned a lot, and I want to share it with as many people as possible. This world can be so tough. We need more “lightworkers.” I want to look for opportunities to help spread happiness whenever I can.

The second meaning is to be light-hearted: to be more playful and silly, and stop taking myself so seriously. In the words of one of my favorite Jimmy Buffett songs, I want to grow “older but not up.” (Actually, I’d rather just stay this same age for a while, rather than grow older, but given the real alternative I will reluctantly keep aging!)

I became so serious after my son was born. I lost a lot of my lightheartedness. The incredible responsibility of being a parent—of caring for this tiny helpless thing—it overwhelmed me. But I now realize that things can be important, and still be treated as such, without having to be so serious. You can play and still teach—in fact, play is how children learn. I feel like I became so serious because of fear. I’m afraid that if I don’t pay attention, if I don’t work really hard, if I don’t “take this seriously young lady,” something bad might happen.

I have all these rules about what a stable home life looks like and how to keep my son healthy and happy and safe. And those are nothing but, as my friend and excellent life coach Carla Robertson says, SIMU—Shit I Made Up. Sure, some routine is necessary, and some caution is advisable, but I have gone overboard out of fear—and it’s time to lighten up.

This also applies to other parts of my life, not just parenting. I am too serious about work. As I’ve talked about here before, I feel like I must get all my work done before I can relax or play. But here’s the problem with that thinking: The. Work. Is. Never. Done. Ever. So…I’ve been making a real effort to get past that Puritan ethic, and instead find some harmony between work and play. The list doesn’t have to be finished before I take some time to relax.

Luckily, we’re about to take a couple of short trips for our Fall Break, so I will get a chance to reset my work-o-meter to vacation mode. This time, when I come back, I’ll be more mindful about incorporating that balanced approach into everyday life!

Since we’ll be on vacation next week, there won’t be a post; I hope you have a wonderful week and are able to find time to relax as well!

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What if?

What if you believed you are worthy?

What if you accepted the praise rather than deflecting it?

What if you embraced the joy as much as you wallow in the pain?

 

What if you agreed that you are special,

that inside you lives a gorgeous spirit nothing can break,

that you are more than enough just as you are,

and that the only person you need to hear that from is you?

 

What if you trusted in the love that yearns toward you,

in the light that others to seem to see?

What if you believed that people you admire could admire you?

 

What if you stopped holding yourself back,

pushing yourself down,

making yourself small?

 

What if believing in yourself was as natural as believing in the sunrise?

 

What if you allowed the glory biding its time offstage to step into the spotlight?

 

What if you felt the terror and did it anyway?

What if you faced the pain and kept on going?

What if you took that leap of faith despite your crippling fear of heights?

 

What if you understood that mountains in your path are not meant to block your way

But rather to elevate you to a higher vantage point

From which you can see more clearly?

 

What if you gave up needing to know,

insisting on being right,

being afraid to fail?

 

What if you stopped hiding your tears—and your joy?

 

What if you opened yourself up,

laid yourself bare,

made yourself vulnerable,

and stayed that way without resisting

in order to feel the triumph of surviving your worst nightmare?

 

What if you shared it all,

gave everything away,

and expected nothing in return?

 

What if you LET GO?

What if you kept letting go every second of every minute of every day—

what do you think might come to you?

 

What if you relaxed,

and rested,

and laid down your heavy burden of "shoulds"?

 

What if you stopped trying so hard?

What if you stopped trying at all—and started allowing?

 

What sort of miracle do you think might brush against your cheek? What magic might land on your fingertips?

 

What if you opened the faucet all the way?

What if you unkinked the hose?

What do you think might pour forth?

 

What if you stopped insisting that you're all alone,

that you have no power,

that you're less than,

that you’re ordinary?

 

What if you believed you could make a difference?

What if you believed your life was vital in some way?

What if the teacher you seek is inside you?

 

What if you gave up?

What if you gave in?

 

What if you stopped swimming and started floating, trusting in your natural buoyancy and the path of the current?

On what golden shore might you land?

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