Today’s post is by Jennifer Louden. Jen is a best-selling author of six books including The Life Organizer. She has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and is a national magazine columnist and radio show host. With over 875,000 copies of her books in print, she now speaks regularly to ten of thousands of women nationally. She is most proud of raising an amazing teenage girl.
Sometimes, depletion happens because life happens: you adopt twins, launch a business, your best friend gets cancer, your father dies.
You deal, you get exhausted in the process, then you recover.
But there’s another, far sneakier and deadly, form of depletion I want shine a light on today.
This is the kind of depletion that you perpetuate because you’re afraid if you stop, you’ll be freed up to take action on your heart’s desire.
Only you don’t actually believe you have the goods, the talent, the energy to create your heart’s desire.
So you stay scattered or overcommitted or unfocused and viola! You never actually have to pursue your dream.
This kind of depletion can eat up your years of your life, your health, and even your desire to have a heart’s desire!
What’s especially insidious about this kind of depletion is you are busy. You may even be taking steps toward what you want—only you never seem to get very far because they aren’t quite the focused, bold or committed steps you need to take.
Life becomes a numbed out, depressing, gray grind.
And no amount of rest or massages or vitamins seem to help.
So what does?
Start tracking the moments in which you keep the cycle going – when you allow a client session to go long, when you Twitter rather than paint, when you don’t tell anybody about the event you’re putting on.
Claiming is NOT an invitation to pummel yourself. Self-cruelty keeps the cycle going. Instead, see this as essential fact gathering. Facts are the way out of the overdoing / scattered doing fog that drains you. For change to happen, you first have to see the choices you are making. Keep a running log for two weeks.
Make a habit of being fed by and resting in something larger than yourself.
You need not believe in God or a higher power to do this. You did not create the gravity that is holding you to the earth or the oxygen you are breathing. Make a practice of noticing what is supporting you and letting it. Draw on it, breathe it in, rest into it. Experience this with your body rather than your mind.
You are never alone and you are always supported. Start experiencing that truth daily with your body and heart. Let it humble you and dissolve your “I have to do everything alone” story.
Go on Retreat
I’ve seen thousands of people shift the cycle of depletion and sometimes, end it entirely, by going on a retreat. I’ve heard from many more thousands who are too afraid or busy to retreat – too afraid their lives will change if they do, too afraid of being alone with themselves, too afraid of staking a claim to their own sovereignty.
These stories and these fears are far, far more frightening than anything that will ever happen to you on retreat. They’re the dragons you must slay to claim your life. They will never go away until you say, “I don’t believe you and you can’t stop me from venturing into my own heart.”
What More Would Be Possible?
My sweetheart asked me this question one day. “How many more people could you help if you got out of your own way?” I wanted to slug him, and isn’t that always a sign to pay attention? Do a free write for 5 minutes listing all the things that might be possible, the people who might be impacted, if you were rested, filled up and trusting yourself?
Plan your Day the Night Before
When you’re running on fumes, you live in reaction mode. Reaction mode drains you. When you decide how you want to focus your time and attention before your day starts, you lay claim to your right to choose your life. This doesn’t mean you won’t encounter resistance, fail to stick with your plan, or get interrupted. That’s life, not a sign you should quit. Keep your plan simple but specific and do it the night before!
Do the Highest Value Action First
When planning your day, focus on the biggest impact action that will move your dream forward and do that first. Meditating for 20 minutes, writing your novel for 30 minutes, exercising, calling a meeting planner about a speaking gig, reviewing your budget – focus in on what is often the scariest, but most powerful, action.
Wonderful creative soul, the truth is you won’t be able to give birth to your heart’s desire exactly the way you envision. Every creator holds a vision in his or her heart’s eye that is rarely exactly realized. It’s true, you may not have all the talent or smarts and energy you wish you had. You know what? It doesn’t matter. What does matter is you keep moving forward on what you most treasure. What is born and the most importantly, the process of birthing your heart’s desire, contains all the meaning and joy and renewal you crave.
Step out of the cycle of doubt and perfectionism and doing and come play with me!
If not now when?
Love yourself INTO action and OUT OF depletion with Jen Louden and 13 other world famous teachers… without even getting out of your pj’s!
Jennifer’s book, The Woman’s Retreat Book, was featured on Oprah. Now, Jen has created a Valentine’s Day weekend VIRTUAL RETREAT designed to give your creative heart a boost and your mind a rest!
The retreat package includes:
• A copy of “How To Retreat,” an eBook that helps you let go of the fear and shows you how to create the time.
• Gentle ‘Get Ready’ emails – to help you prepare for your self-caring-est weekend ever.
• Exclusive access to a members-only blog, where you will get untold amounts of support and encouragement, PLUS…
• 13 heart-expanding mini-retreats with world-renowned authors and healers.
• Easy-to-download recordings and transcripts of each mini-retreat – so you can come and go as you please.
If you sign up before February 5th, you get a $50 discount! So click here to come retreat with us!