I don’t really have an operable dimmer switch — it’s currently being installed.
I’m pretty much all in or all out. Sleeping kitten purring or She-Hulk on a rampage. Whenever I try to make small changes in my life, this comes back to bite me in the ass.
I make the classic mistake of throwing myself into a program, a diet, a lifestyle, a habit…whatever… so fully that I can’t effectively adapt to the shift, and my limbic brain goes all “guardian of the realm” and sabotages my efforts until I’m homeostatic again.
So last month, when I noticed that I really wanted to be more present with my clients, I started this tiny thing. I take three breaths each day before my first client. Just to feel my feet on the ground and check in with myself before I start holding space for another human to be a human. It was enough to help me reengage, but it wasn’t a full on “meditate or die!” situation that would immediately reduce me to having the decision-making capacity of a surly teenager.
This has trickled down in ways I didn’t expect. I’ve suddenly given myself permission to do “just a little” in so many more areas of my life.
If you could see inside my head for the past year, it was pretty much a “Rocky preps for the big fight” montage for everything including doing dishes. But that “WORK HARDER!! GO FASTER!!” voice is getting a little quieter and is being replaced by the “huh. that little thing over there is manageable. let’s do that.” This is HUGE. HUGE, you guys!
Seemingly miraculously, the constant, drain of overwhelm that has been my constant companion is slowing down. A sense of “I can manage that!” is replacing the suck of dread when I look at a task ahead of me.
The really amazing shift is this: I’m moving through more day-to-day than before! I was terrified that if I took the small pieces and did the bare minimum that I would turn into a huge slacker. Realyy… I sit on the couch a LOT and I LOVE TV… and I had this fear that somehow my carefully created Type A SuperWoman would be manhandled into a strangle hold by the evil power of slackerdom. But I’m actually able to feel MORE satisfied and hopeful by doing LESS.
The takeaway is this: give yourself permission in one area of your life (just one to start) to try the bare minimum.
Commit to a small thing… the SMALLEST thing…let it settle in and do its tiny ninja work…
then give yourself permission to take credit for the awesome changes you’re making. Give yourself a pat on the back and verbalize the awesome that is happening! You’re a mother f@#$ing rockstar.