For a long time, I prided myself on being a busy woman. Having so much to do. Being busy. Having lists upon lists of shit that needed doing.
But if I’m honest, I don’t really enjoy being busy.
I’m not really interested in the glorification of the goddess of busy.
In fact, I am on a mission to distance myself as far from that seductive state of “perpetually busy” as I can. Over the course of the past several months & years, I’ve made a study of WHY we are all so busy and HOW we can very practically achieve more by doing less.
Hot tip – this post is not about practical or strategic steps (well there are a few). Rather it examines the deeper root of doing less so that we can illuminate the true cause of our actions.
If busy isn’t the point, what is?
There’s this story. You know it. It goes something like this….
Hard work is what creates success.
So if you’re working hard & being productive, then you’ll be a success in life.
Sound familiar? It’s the story of meritocracy. It’s a common story designed to install a solid work ethic into the working classes of the world.
Q: Do you operate as if this story is true?
Q: Are you expecting your hard word to create success?
For many, many years I operated under the belief that the harder I worked, the more life force energy invested, the greater my rewards would be.
And if I’m honest this belief still creeps in from time to time. Just recently I found in my business- which we were making a great profit & serving a record number of amazing clients – that I was busy, busy, busy in the details of all the doing & not spending time on the creative projects I so deeply enjoy (& am great at)! #notcool
So I asked myself THE KEY QUESTION
>>> Is this hard work creating the type of success I desire?
There are infinite forms of “success” in life.
It’s up to US to choose which type we want.
Personally, I’m interested in success that’s not about having more or owning more.
My success is about feeling more.
Feeling more creative in my business.
Feeling more connection & love in my family.
Feeling more freedom in my lifestyle.
Feeling more compassion & kindness for this planet & her people.
Q: So what’s the point of YOUR life?
Q: How is it that you desire to feel?
It’s a deep & profound question that I believe we all should be asking ourselves regularly. Otherwise, we’ll end up subscribed to the default story that success is whatever comes as a result of hard work….
What will be asked of you if you’re not drowning in the details?
If we are bold enough to define our own feeling-based-version-of-success, then all the details of our doing can be measured against this desire.
- Is this action enabling more creativity?
- Does this task free up space for love & connection?
- If I do this, do I feel free?
These success-as-feeling states become a compass for us to navigate our doing.
This is how I run my life & business (it’s an entrepreneurial principle called Feminine Leadership)
Now at this point, some loud-voice-in-my-head usually objects…
But if I don’t do it, who will?
Who will do all this doing if YOU don’t?
If you’re anything like me there is a long list of things that really need to be done that don’t match this ideal success-as-feeling theory….
- Cleaning my toilet doesn’t spark creativity.
- Checking my emails don’t create more love & connection.
- Life admin, like evaluating home insurance, options don’t make me feel free.
It needs to be done…!!!!
Q: But does it need to be done first?
Q: Does it need to be done as a priority?
Are you doing all the details of life, as the point of life?
Or are you letting them be the details that sit behind your BIG DREAMS?
I cannot stand having a dirty kitchen. It pains me to see dishes in the sink & a countertop full of debris. My partner, on the other hand, has no problem letting it stack up, or leaving it there for “some other time”.
It is so easy for me, first thing in the morning, to just get into that kitchen & get it clean.
But at the same time, those few precious moments I get to myself in the morning are perhaps the ONLY window of dedicated creative time I have each week.
If I fill my morning up with dishes, I miss my opportunity for success as creativity.
Personally, if I’m not drowning in the details of my life I’ll have to:
- Live with those details being less than perfect AND
- Step up to do what my heart really desires
Stepping up to do what your heart really desires is risky as fuck.
It takes courage & commitment.
It takes daily devotion.
It’s not always easy – we’re often (deep down) terrified of expanding to the edges of our hearts true desires…
Because what if we fail?
Or worse, what if we succeed?
It’s much easy to just tidy the kitchen, and tell ourselves this needs to be done first.
Rather than face the mix of excitement-fear-terror-and-elation that comes with saying YES to what our heart truly wants.
The question I invite you to ask is:
Q: What will be asked of you if you’re not drowning in the details?
Recently my kitchen has been a mess, and I’ve never written more.
I’ve been asked to open my heart & become a bigger, wider, vessel of creativity.
I’ve been asked to stop being a whingy-partner who gets off on being “the one who has to do everything around the house”.
I’ve been asked to embrace a messy kitchen.
I’ve been asked to step up, and be more.
Drowning in the details is an avoidance strategy that’s particularly prominent for creative entrepreneurs. It’s an ongoing exploration in our entrepreneurial Feminine Leadership Mastermind based on the principles of a Feminine Economy
What would your deepest desires have you do?
If we’re willing to no longer drown in the details, we have the opportunity to consciously consider what would your deepest desires have you DO?
Raise your hand if you feel this is a REALLY HARD question to answer <emojis of hand raising>!!
Many of us ask this question & expect to get “the big answer”.
Specifically, I see women expecting to find “the career” which will be their purpose.
Or entrepreneurs finding “the next thing” that they are 110% meant to be.
My experience has been a little messier & more challenging to navigate…
- I didn’t plan to become an entrepreneur, I just knew I didn’t want to work for a 9-5 boss anymore
- I didn’t realize I was destined to work as a Feminine Embodiment Coach until I’d already been doing it for 12months+!
Our ability to consistently answer this question (what would your deepest desires have you do) is 100% depending on your sensitivity to *receiving the answer*.
Our heart ALWAYS knows the answer.
Yet many of us are NOT calibrated to hear the subtle whisperings of our heart.
We’re living our life from our head, thinking about which-next-task-we-could-achieve in the 5mins we have free. And this habituated head-based-living create a disconnect and de-sensitization of our body & heart.
The only way to re-establish communication with our heart is to consistently check in. Asking our heart the small, day-to-day questions and developing greater stamina for hearing her response.
Day to day I’m asking myself…
- What would my deepest desires have me DO as I get dressed today?
- What would my deepest desires have me DO as I sit down to work today?
- What would my deepest desires have me DO for my relationship today?
This is a small daily practice of getting to know your desires. First the little ones, then the bigger, bolder & wilder ones.
Go there, you only have 1 life….
Releasing the guilt of letting things be easy
One of the final challenges in doing less is the guilt-of-ease.
Have you ever felt guilty about having it so easy?
- Maybe you’ve noticed the privilege of your life compared to others & felt guilty for all that you have
- Maybe you feel the guilt of having more than others in your family
- Maybe you feel guilty that the climate’s going to shit & you’re focused on your “heart’s desires”
- Maybe you feel the guilt of having it so good and still wanting MORE
- Maybe you feel all of the above
If you’re a woman then you’re likely attuned to the energy of guilt & want to avoid it like the plague. It’s so damn uncomfortable. AND it’s a tool that’s been used for millennia to suppress the female sexual identity.
I’ll say the thing you’re not meant to say..
My life is so easy.
- I have a cleaner that cleans my toilet.
- I have a team in my business that does so much of the doing.
- I have a personal assistant that helps me with my life admin.
- I work about 15 hours a week.
- I have the financial security of a successful business with 6mths of operating costs & wages waiting in the bank
A lot of successful women don’t talk about their success.
We might tell ourselves that it’s because it’s “egocentric” (this might be true).
But for me, I rarely speak about my success because….
>> In the past I’ve felt guilty for it.
And I’ve feared how others would react….
So I’ll spell it out real clear again:
It’s ridiculous how easy & privileged my life is. And I don’t feel guilty for it.
We have VERY FEW role models in the world who model success with ease. I’m not claiming to be a role model, but I am suggesting WE NEED MORE OF THEM.
Like me, you are a role model in your family, your community, your part of the world.
You don’t have to feel guilty for the success & ease you create in your life.
YES, you do have a responsibility to use that success, ease & privilege with care.
YES, you do have a responsibility to be humble & to be a good person.
YES, you do have a responsibility to give back.
But you DO NOT HAVE TO FEEL GUILTY for it.
There is nothing wrong with hard work. Sometimes it’s exactly what’s needed.
But modern women are being asked to embrace new paradigms of success. Paradigms that embrace feelings as success, ease as a possibility, and guilt as a shame that belongs in the past.
There is an infinitely creative & amazing woman inside you. Don’t let her drown in the details of your life.
If you’re an entrepreneur & you’re interested in cultivating the doing less, achieving more in your business check out the free Expect Ease: The 6 Principles of Feminine Leadership for Entrepreneurs here www.jennaward.co/ease