SPARK Day 16: Know your more and less.

Spark Jan 2014

Welcome to SPARK Day 16!

I have  three favorites questions to ask.  And, today, we’re going to deal with two of them.  

What do you want more of in your life?

What do you want less of in your life?

Eh, you are thinking.  “As far as questions go, they are interesting, but, really, they are your favorites?  How is that?”

Because these two questions can totally illuminate how your life is and isn’t working for you right now.  And then help to get you on the right track.  That’s a game changer.

Early last year, I went to see my college roommate and one of my BFFS get promoted to a LTC in the US Army.  I have known her and her family since I was 13.  Her family of origin is- bar none- the funniest group of people I know.  I adore them.  Needless to say, she has married an equally hysterical guy and her kids have tremendous funny bones.  The trip came just after some sad and tough news in my world and after an incredibly busy time for me professionally.  I was exhausted physically and emotionally and then I proceeded to laugh my tail off for every waking hour of my whirlwind Washington DC trip.  I mean holding my sides, tears in my eyes, yelling, STOP IT! STOP IT! I CANNOT BREATHE! funny.  It felt so good to laugh like that. The laughter clinked around inside of me, breaking down some of the walls I had been building against pain and fear.

The next week, I had a meeting with a dear friend and she asked how the weekend was.  It was supposed to be great, of course, as I was watching one of my dearest friends receive a really prestigious honor and that part was indeed INCREDIBLE but it was surprising, too, because what I hadn’t expected– all of that laughter– had been like a balm. Showing me that even in serious times, not everything has to be taken SO seriously.  I need more laughter in my life, I told my friend.  Even though I know there is crap going on.  And so I made note of that “more” that I wanted and ratcheted up my own funny and appreciated the funny around me even more.

What do you want less of in your life was another critical question I asked myself at some point last year.  And feeling daunted by the time Wednesday came was one of those things.  And so I thought about what would help life feel in control come Wednesday and the answer was one that I had certainly considered before but not one that I had prioritized- because I really like to be as accommodating as possible- and that was preserving every single Monday to sit down at my desk and get the business of the week started.  While I always had a preference for spending my 3 working hours (while Happy is at preschool) at my desk, getting the week’s most important tasks done then so that a solid foundation has been established, if someone wanted my Monday morning time, I gave it to them.  Preference very rarely become reality.  But if I was honest with myself– which a question like what do you want more or less of in your life pretty much demands of you– giving away that time gave away more than just time.  It gave away a feeling of clarity and awareness and grace. In fact, I was giving away my work time so often that I met, met, met while Happy was at preschool and then worked, worked, worked into the night.  And so I stopped scheduling voluntary things on Mondays.  I didn’t even offer Mondays as an option when someone wanted to get together.  And when they suggested a Monday, I just said that I couldn’t do that day, could we look at some other options.  And no one (at least to my face) has said, “she’s so inaccessible and difficult”– and let’s remember it’s not my business what anyone thinks of me anyway– andy every meeting has been had and it has all been just fine.  More than that, though, I feel happier, more focused, clear, and linear each week.  And my computer comes to bed with me A LOT less often.

So, today, I want you to sit yourself down and make two lists.

What do you want more of in your life?

What do you want less of in your life?

And then I want you to figure out how to move towards a life where your more or less are prioritized because, when you do that, you move towards a life that more completely nourishes you.

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