Find More Energy with This Feel-Good Mindset Shift

Do you ever wonder why you never seem to have the energy to make positive wellness choices for yourself? You’re not alone.

Our crazy, busy, striving lives, often leave us feeling depleted and standing in front of the refrigerator at the end of the day looking for a friendly glass of wine to talk to.

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Handy wellness advice.

But I received some wonderful news from my favorite wellness writer, Pema Chodron, a few weeks ago. One simple shift in mindset gave me a welcome boost of feel-good energy, and put my positive actions and intentions back on track.

Maybe it will for you too.

I stumbled upon a teeny tiny collection of her teachings in a palm-sized book called, The Pocket Pema Chodron. It fit perfectly in the side pocket of my knapsack, and I took to carrying it around and reading it whenever I found myself waiting, worrying, or wanting things to be different.

It was the next best thing to flying to Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia to sit with her in retreat.

Many of the teeny tiny teachings I had read before in longer, more detailed versions of her work. Maybe that’s why I missed the stand-out message I had been needing to hear for most of my big-girl life.

“No Happy Ending”

“You are never gonna get it altogether. Never.” 

It was a Taylor Swift kinda moment for me and the phrase began to play over and over in my head to the tune of her chart-topping hit:

“You-ou-ou are never, ever, EVER–gonna get it altogether . . . ”

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No happy ending. Ahhhh . . .

Previously, that message would have pulled the wellness rug out from under my feet, sending me into a foot stomping, planner organizing, productivity binge, until my days were scheduled down into bite-sized, highly choreographed pieces just to prove her wrong.

After all, striving to get it altogether everyday was the only reason I got out of bed in the morning, took 10-minute walks, practiced mindfulness yoga, ate healthy foods, and took my kids to church on Sundays (extra brownie points).

I always held out hope that one day, all these wellness initiatives—-along with a beautifully scheduled planner and the Grace of God, would start to “work,” and success, happiness, and a feeling of rock solid contentment would be mine . . . all mine.

But this time, who knows why, I finally got it.

I found myself smiling at the absurdity of having any real control over how my life rolls from day to day. I even chuckled out loud as I felt a surge of feel-good energy around this shift. Because, as a logical person, my next thought was . . .

If I’m never, ever, EVER gonna get it altogether, it must mean I can relax and stop trying so hard.

Just think of all the money I’m going to save on expensive planners in 2016!

Everything’s Going to Be Okay

Instead of gripping fear that my life would fall apart, I suddenly felt ok about a lot of things like:

  • It’s ok to make a to-do list and get absolutely none of it done. Chances are, the things that I did do—talk with my mom on the phone, sit at the bus stop with my son, take a stab at some crappy writing, added something of substance to my day.
  • It’s ok that I suck at keeping a planner. I finally get that it works for some people, but it just isn’t in my DNA. I’ve replaced my “to-do” list with a “got-done” list. It feels a lot better.
  • It’s ok that things fall apart in my life because things have a tendency to fall apart in spite of our best efforts. There’s even wellness in the falling apart. (I know, embracing that one takes practice.)
  • It’s ok that it takes me longer than many people to make things happen for myself. I’ve always been a late bloomer with good intentions. There’s something to be said for that.
  • It’s okay that I live up to my own wellness advice only on sporadic occasions. It makes for good writing material and a compassionate approach to the work that I do.

I’m not suggesting we sit back and let ourselves off the hook from getting up each day and going after our best life with gusto. Throwing the planner out with the bathwater, only leads to feelings of apathy, hopelessness, and “why bother?” That’s not the best wellness strategy either.

But relaxing into life, knowing that even Franklin Covey doesn’t have all the answers, frees up valuable wellness energy that can be used to take better care of ourselves. Without that sinking feeling that we don’t measure up, we might find the energy to close the refrigerator door and head outside for a brisk walk.

There’s hope.

Good Advice Always Comes in Small Packages

Pema is not the only one who dispenses pint sized pieces of wellness advice.

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I got it mom! The secret to a happy life!

I remember one gifted to me by my younger son a few years ago when he was only about nine or ten years old. He said to me, “Mom—I just realized that this moment, right now, is never going to happen again—and now this one—-and this one.”

He was right—never, ever, EVER.

All the more reason we should stop trying to get it altogether, and invest some of that precious, once in a lifetime, energy in our wellness.

Feel Good. Be Well. Meg

Do you find it stressful to keep it all together all the time? What helps you relax into the chaos of life? I’d love to know. 

Or try this week’s wellness prompt on your own . . . 

IMG_6493Wellness Prompt: What aspects of your life are you trying to get together or hold together for dear life? (Your planner could provide clues!) Write about it for a few minutes. Now write an “It’s ok that . . . ” list like I did, and read it back to yourself. Do you feel any relief? Is there a way to re-direct some of that new-found energy to your wellness? 10-minute write . . . go!  

8 Comments on “Find More Energy with This Feel-Good Mindset Shift

  1. Yes, yes and yes again! And I love your son’s enormous bead of wisdom too.
    As for getting it all together…it makes me think of the “I’m so busy!” mentality, sometimes we simply need to slow down and take it all in, breath, connect with people…these are the things that make up a life and truly they are the gifts. After all, the stuff on a to-do list, more times than not, are exactly and only that…stuff. Wonderful post!

    • Elin: I’m with you. The “I’m so busy!” script is another one that sucks the life out of me. Here’s to getting rid of “stuff” . . . and not just the stuff in our closets! Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Shhh, this secret just in — you are already AMAZING! That rumor made it all the way up to SB. Thought of you last week when I presented at the Ranch. … and brought no to do list.

    • I had a great week living vicariously through your Ranch posts. No to-do list necessary there! Thanks for reading. Say hi to the “other” one.

  3. Ah, your son became a philosopher early in life. We are gifted with so many moments. Some we choose to use, others float away. But there can be presence in those when we aren’t folding laundry or checking off the list. Thanks.

    • You are so right, Beth. I was glad I was awake to hear this one. Such an amazing moment.

  4. Meg,
    So much wisdom, as always.
    I particularly like the “it’s okay if things fall apart”…that really resonated with me. If we can see it that way, maybe we can be open to something else…rather than spending wasted time and energy being regretful. Thank you!

    • We need to have coffee! I think our lives would be further along if we did that more often. 🙂

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