They’re More Like Guidelines Really

Typically, Saturday’s aren’t that much different from weekdays for me.

The biggest difference is instead of getting up at my normal time of 4:30 a.m., I sleep in until 6:30 when the dogs pretty much insist I get up and attend to their needs. I then meditate, workout, write a blog, and work on the list of things I have set for myself that are helping me move towards my goals, or are taking care of household or others needs.

I’m not complaining. This is by choice and I love getting things done on the weekend.

But today has been a much more gentle and self-nurturing Saturday. My husband, David, attended to the animals this morning and I was luxuriously able to turn over and go back to sleep. After meditating and working out, I came downstairs to find David making healthy pancakes (you can find the recipe in the Eating for Life cookbook), and we had a wonderful time enjoying breakfast together while admiring the backyard we have been working to landscape. I then did some reorganizing in the kitchen that I’ve been itching to do for a few weeks, but just hadn’t given myself the time to do.

This much more relaxed Saturday morning is just what my body, mind, and spirit were asking for. I’m glad I gave myself this extra time—and that David stepped in to help facilitate it. And really, my blog isn’t going to be coming out that much later than it normally does on the weekend, and I have a feeling that being a little more refreshed will enable me to get more of my to-do list done.

How often do you create a schedule for yourself and become unwilling to deviate from it? How much does your inner critic judge you if you allow yourself to sleep in, have a leisurely breakfast, or just stop and enjoy the moment?

There’s a sweet spot of setting goals and challenging yourself to do and be more, and listening to your body, mind, and spirit and giving yourself time to relax, recharge, and connect on a deeper level.

The schedule and goals that we set for ourselves might be best viewed as guidelines instead of rules. They are helpful for moving us forward but can begin to chafe if they are too rigid or regimented.

Having the energy and well-being to take care of others comes from our ability to first take care of ourselves. This means that we must find ways to be loving, understanding, and flexible with ourselves, and to do what we need to fulfill our own needs when we recognize them.

What are you doing to take care of yourself today? How does lightening up on yourself actually give you more energy? What difference does this make in your ability to give to others?

Together we can do it!

Throw Away Your To-Do List

I woke up late this morning. It’s pretty clear to me that my body is letting me know that after about a month of going flat-out it’s time for some rest. This is time I plan to give myself—this weekend.

In the mean time, what do I do with this day that’s already off schedule?

Stick to Priorities

It is particularly important on days when things aren’t going as planned to let go of the things that aren’t a priority.

Think about what’s really important right now. You can do this by prioritizing what’s coming up in your schedule next, by making a list and ranking items in order of importance and urgency, or digging deeper and ranking things by your internal values so you can really tap into your inner motivation.

For me, I do a mix of all of these. My values include making my connection with my Higher Self my number one priority and maintaining my self-care so that I have the physical energy to make the most of my day.

So even though I had half my usual time, my first priorities were getting in a short meditation, and then doing a short workout afterwards. Was it the best meditation and workout I’ve ever had? No. Do I feel more centered and energized? You better believe it!

Having met my top priorities based on my personal values, now I can look at my to-do list. What really has to get done today? What are the things I would like to get to if I have the time and energy? What are the things I can reschedule? What are the things I just need to let go of?

Let’s just say that housework will not be at the top of my agenda today. Although my husband might argue it’s never at the top of my agenda!

Look for Opportunities

We are often so scheduled and planned in our lives that we don’t allow the Universe to lead us to the opportunities that might fulfill us at a deeper and more profound level, or truly move us forward to who we are and what we want. My schedule going kablooie is my signal to let go of control and look for meaningful encounters or experiences.

If you’re focused on your priorities and still get interrupted or side-tracked, throw away your to-do list. Do your best to go with the flow, keeping your eyes and mind open to the gifts that are coming your way.

Gifts don’t always have to be fun (in the moment) to be meaningful. Sometime the biggest gift is recognizing that the things we mark off on our to-do list do not equal our value as a person.

And even if your day is going as planned, look for the gifts that are coming your way.

Together we can do it!