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HOW A BLANK PIECE OF PAPER CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE

 

While working out this morning, I had a million thoughts.

February break began today.

I told the kids I’d take them to Skyzone.

I had client calls.

A newsletter was due.

And, where would we go on my husband’s day off?

It was a perfect week to clean out the garage. And my office needed painting.

 

Too much.

I knew what I wanted to do and I knew what I needed to do but when everything added up I was stuck like that cliche’ deer-in-headlights right in the middle of the road.

That was when my thoughts were interrupted.

"Hook, Hook, Jab, Cross, Hook,” my instructor shouted as I began my next round on the punching bag.

My rhythm was off. I didn’t even know how to do this. I was incorrectly jabbing here and punching there.

So I tried it again. Hook, Hook, Jab, Hook, Hook, Jab. That time it was almost too easy.

It was too easy.  

My instructor interrupted me. “It's Hook, Hook, Jab, Cross, Hook.”

I tried again. Hook, Hook, Jab, Cross, Hook.  Aha! I found the cadence.

So, here's what I know:

Sometimes it takes going back to the basics.

Simplifying. It’s much easier to add on later. And the bonus is… you remain in control.

 

Of your day.

Of your week.

Of your life.

 

Start with a blank sheet of paper.

Let go of everything that's on your mind.  Choose your top three priorities and remain focused.  

Is it really that easy? No, of course not.  The squirrel is my spirit animal. I struggle daily with maintaining focus on what is most important to me and resist the urge to do a little bit of everything.

But in the world of boxing, be the Rocky Balboa.

No flailing around aimlessly trying to get it all done.

Take control. Put one fist in front of the other and find your flow.


And in the words of the big guy himself,  “If this is something you wanna do, and if this is something you gotta do, then you do it." -Rocky

GOT DIRTY LAUNDRY?

 
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GOT DIRTY LAUNDRY?

6 WAYS TO MANAGE OVERWHELM

 

This is my brain on overwhelm.

The pile gets bigger and bigger until it seems daunting to start and impossible to finish.

And so I ignore it, telling myself I'll get to it when there's more time.

The time never comes and the pile only gets bigger.

And then I beat myself up for waiting too damn long to start.

Here's the shift.

1. Get clear. Dump the clothes on the floor and sort. Whites, darks, delicates.

2. Make a plan. What will you wash first? What can you realistically get done today?

3. Ask for help. Get your family to help you. You didn't sign up to work at a laundromat.

4. Take charge. Do it on your terms. Instead of standing over the washing machine, with your back aching, fold while you watch the Bachelor. A win/win.

5. Reframe. Rather than thinking, “Ugh! I have to do the laundry.” think “I’m choosing to do the laundry because it’s important to me that my family smells fresh and looks clean” Note: This doesn’t apply to me. I use unscented detergent that, according to my husband, leaves our clothes smelling like crap.

 6. Let it go. Does it really matter if your son wears slightly dirty underwear to school tomorrow? I mean how dirty could they possibly be?
 

But the real question looks more like this:

 

Is this ascending pile more than just a stack of dirty laundry?

Is it possible that there’s fear or avoidance attached to it?

Could it be that by not doing the laundry you’ve created a scenario where you get to say that there’s not enough time in the day for you to do what needs to be done? 

And by not washing your clothes you can stick with that story which is sometimes easier than doing something that might be new or uncomfortable.
 

In other words, by not washing your clothes you get to tell yourself that life is overwhelming and there's too damn much to do. Which can be a hell of a lot easier than getting focused, crossing shit off your list and moving forward into the unknown.
 

The next time you look at your hamper, ask yourself: Is it more than just dirty laundry?

And if it is more… turn off the spin cycle and make the shift.

And if it isn’t more...wash, rinse, repeat.  

HOW TO STAY SANE THIS DECEMBER

 
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It seems like everyone I talk to these days is overwhelmed with December obligations.

What happened to this magical month? Why has it turned into dread mixed with hustle and a splash of bustle? Instead of peace, sugar plums (what are these anyway?) and snowflakes, all we see is craziness.

 

If you’re feeling less than excited about the upcoming weeks, there’s still hope.

 

You may not be able to stop events from happening, but below are 5 tips that will help you manage overwhelm so that you can enjoy the holiday season again!

 

1. Breathe.

Find 30 seconds twice a day to notice yourself breathing. You can do this while you’re driving (keep your hands on the wheel), waiting in line at the grocery store or walking down the street. You can go all out and use a special technique (there are many options) or choose the more realistic approach and take one or two deep breaths. The end.

 

2. Get clear.

Get clear on what you have to do. Sometimes just thinking about everything you have to do is overwhelming. Write it down and see it in front of you. Can you make a list of everything that has to do be done and then give it a realistic timeline?

 

It’s impossible to do it all and do it all well. So, make a decision. 

  • What can you let go of?

  • What can you delegate? Meaning what can you be OK with someone else doing for you (even if it’s not the way you’d do it).

  • What’s really important to you?


 

3.  Change your mindset.

My favorite overwhelm quote from Jen Sincero is helpful in remembering who’s in charge of how you feel this month (you are).

“Overwhelm is when you make the unhelpful decision to stop breathing, lose perspective and forget you’re in control of life.” -Jen Sincero

 Take back control of this month. You, my friend, are in charge. If you want to feel pissed off at the sales clerk at Dick’s Sporting Goods because you’re pretty sure he smoked a joint this morning and he’s working in slow motion, go for it. If you want to feel energized and blast your favorite holiday tune from the car windows (with the heat on for some of us), by all means do it!

Take a moment and think about how you want to feel this month and feel it.

 

4. Put yourself first.  

I know, I know...there’s no time for this but really… it’s non-negotiable. The holidays can get to us, emotionally and physically. Take time to do what you need to do to recharge and restore. Some ideas:

  • Take a warm bath with a gingerbread scented candle.

  • Sit on the couch for twenty minutes doing anything YOU want.

  • Listen to your favorite holiday music.

  • Do something creative!
     

5. Gratitude.

I know I talk gratitude often, but it works. When I start perseverating over little things and find myself distracted with the shit I have to do, I gently remind myself to return to the moment and stay grateful. Head on over here, to read about my favorite gratitude journal.

 

What can you do right now to make this holiday season magical again? Please comment below and share or drop me an email!

 

What's scarier than meditating?

What's scarier than meditation?

Not much.

I’m a doer, a shaker, a seeker a searcher. A “don’t stop or life will pass you by” kind of girl.

In the past, the mere thought of quietly sitting still for two minutes made me fight the urge to run screaming out the back door with a kitchen knife in my hand.
 

But silence really is golden.

In quiet stillness we get clear. We stop, we breathe, we listen, we train our minds, we take back our power.

We’re reassured of the energy running through our body. We reconnect to the wisdom of our soul.

If we can only stop the noise for even a short period of time.

 

I believe this because I’ve experienced it.

Yet I don’t meditate as often as I should. There’s usually something pressing I have to do. In other words, I choose to let something else become more important.


My meditation practice has increased over the years as I’ve eased my way into sitting for longer increments of time.
 

  • Do I have a clear mind for the entire duration? HELLS to the NO. 
  • Does my mind wander to thoughts of dirty dishes, the turquoise pillow I plan to buy with my Target coupon and drinks with friends? YEP.
  • Am I able to do it every damn day? IT’S A GOAL.

 

On most days, I do make a concerted effort to sit in silence, take notice of my mental activity and redirect my thoughts back to my breath. It's amazing what even one minute can do to calm the nerves.

Meditation isn’t about the mind not wandering. (It really isn’t. I promise). It’s about noticing the mind wandering. 


I agree, meditation can feel more like a trick than a treat, but go ahead and give it a try (or try it again). Push through that fear and commit to one minute a day. You may surprise yourself.

If you're reading this and want/need extra motivation to meditate, please join me on my Facebook Group, Power Shift for a 4 day challenge in November. 

If you ate an apple a day.

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While apple picking with my family last month, my 8-year old son shouted, "Where are all the apples?"

I had to laugh as I looked around at shiny, red apples hanging off every tree in sight. It got me thinking about how easy it is to miss seeing what's in clear view.

We often get distracted by thoughts that pull us out of the present moment. 

We may be thinking about the latest news story, what we're having for dinner or how we'll get our kids to start helping us out around the house (I've given up on chore charts).

For most of my life, disconnection from the present moment was my standard mode of operation. In fact, my habitual response of ruminating often prevented me from experiencing joy. 

At the orchard I picked this rare find off the tree.

I couldn't help but wonder how many treasures I'd missed throughout the years and if paying attention was the beginning of a new habit for me—where mindfulness was my new jam.

What can we see when we begin to look around? What signs are out there waiting for us?

My relationship with the Universe has been heating up lately as I meditate more, practice gratitude daily and trust that I'm on the right path.

What I'm learning is:

  • It's easier to be in the moment when things are going well, but a consistent meditation practice helps tame our every day monkey mind.
  • In hard times, being in the present is not about pretending things are different, it's about staying in the sadness, the worry, the fear and finding a way (through prayer, thought or action) to shift our energy to love.


Mindfulness is about breathing in. It's about breathing out.

It's about becoming aware of our thoughts and choosing to hold onto the ones that serve us and let go of the ones that don't.

When we make the powerful choice to stay present, we become fully alive in the wonder of each moment.

An extra scoop of ice cream and my favorite hoodie.

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Summer's ending and I'm overwhelmed with the change.

I'm not ready. But I am ready. But I'm not. But I am. But I'm not.

Summer was amazing: sleeping in, traveling, pushing back deadlines, basking in the sun. I'm holding on tightly to the branch and fighting this change with all my might. 

But it's time to let go.

My kids need some structure and I need a few moments of peace to work on my business goals for this quarter (among other things). I'm craving time with my friends and am finally tired of eating out, ordering burgers and french fries. Plus, I think my favorite hoodie misses me. 

And struggling to keep things the way they are isn't working.

It's preventing me from enjoying the last days of August.

So, I'll choose to be the leaf not shown in this picture. The one that's at peace with being part green and part red. One that's holding onto the memories of the summer with gratitude and looking forward to the season ahead—ready to embrace the structure and the new possibilities it brings with it.   


Although I might just need an extra scoop of ice cream as I work through these feelings.

 

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