Health, Spirituality

The Task Tornado

It’s a scary image in and of itself, but imagine this happening within you. I call it (as of this morning) the “task tornado”. We’ve all felt it. We have “a million things” that we have to do and the more we think about it, the bigger the list feels, the tighter our chest gets, and the more overwhelmed we get until…du du du…our list has gone from storm warning to full on tornado! Uhg. How did that happen?

I was given an image this morning as I was talking to a friend. I saw 4 or 5 little dots, aka tasks, spotted around her. Then I was shown how frustration, anger, impatience, feed into and grow these “dots” until they start spinning out of control and become this whirlwind that feels larger than life. It happens to all of us. I currently have a full-page list of “to-do’s” for my day ranging from calling doctors to set up appointments to a whole sublist under the “get ready for my daughter’s birthday party” task. Sadly write blog post was not even on my list! So how do we get out from under the rubble after the tornado has hit?

First, close your eyes and take a couple of deep breaths. Ahhh, better already. Then, begin to pull those tasks apart. Organize them by what must be done today to what can be done this week. I think that it’s very important to recognize the role that impatience plays in all of this. What is impatience really? For me, it’s when I have a timeline that I have placed on those around me. I get frustrated and angry when they don’t finish their task on my schedule. The unfortunate part is twofold: 1- either I have failed to tell them about my timeline OR have failed to tell them about the task (no, thinking it in your head doesn’t count); and 2-sometimes the tornado itself has created the timeline. In other words, sometimes the urgency that you feel in completing the task was actually created in the chaos and not necessarily as urgent as it may have felt. Does that make sense?

Awareness of your tornado is the first step to slowing it down to a manageable level. That being said, I am putting “close eyes and breathe” at the top and adding “write blog post” to my list so that I can cross off 2 tasks already for today 🙂 There’s nothing like seeing a check on my list to give me momentum!

Have a wonderful Monday everyone! Here’s to keeping the tornado warnings to a minimum this week.

Health, Spirituality

Balance… And How I’m Not Very Good At It

The more women I talk to, the more aware that I become that we all seem to pride ourselves on being really good multi-taskers.  Many of us go to work, volunteer, are caregivers (whether that be to the young or the old), tend to the house, cook, plan parties and play dates, help out friends, and the list goes on… Sometimes all of these to-do’s land on the same day!
As we sit exhausted by the end of the day, we pat ourselves on the back and say, “boy, I’m a good multi-tasker.” The truth of it is, we’re probably not that good 🙂 What?! How dare I!
As I sat in meditation today (due to the fact that my hip, knee, and ankle have been hurting for 2 days and I still haven’t made time to sit and listen!), I saw an image very similar to this

image

Ahhh, I get it now! If we don’t take the time to refuel ourselves in whatever way we know how (energy treatments, quiet meditation, prayer, reading, going for a silent walk… whatever fills your heart), then eventually the bucket runs dry. Multitasking just creates more holes.  The more we commit ourselves to doing, the less energy we have to be able to put toward each task. 
Ideally, we would be able to limit our commitments to just 2 or 3 a day, patch up each hole as we finish a task and move on to the next. We would remember to do something for ourselves to refuel and we would start fresh the next day.  But life happens.  We over-commit, we forget to patch, and we have days when we feel so drained that we wonder how we’ll start over again the next day… or even how we’ll drag ourselves up to bed that night (after we wash the dishes of course).
I’m not writing this post to chastise or to try to convince you to do less.  I know that there are many of you out there that can’t promise to do that.  However, I am writing to share my own awareness with you.  With awareness, comes choice.  Do I hobble up the stairs and go on with my life and my never ending to-do’s? Or do I stop, take a moment to sit, refuel, and start my day fresh? I know what I choose today.
And oddly, the pain has already gone.
Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!
-Maria