Are you READY?! Are you ENOUGH?!
The fire’s on, the veggies are roasting, carols are playing …
Christmas has come early to our house and I’m writing this feeling loved-up and grateful for family, and food, and a warm house in which to snuggle up for the weekend.
But it wasn’t always like this!
Yesterday the beds weren’t made (12 people staying), we’d been shopping but no food prepared, the house was hooflung (*Scottish term which I translate as ‘why are everyone’s clothes/ homework/ half wrapped presents/ craft projects/ pants still on the floor?!?’) I had a mound of client work to finish off, invoices to send out, and a new proposal to write.
I woke up yesterday feeling overwhelmed with all that had to be done. My to-do list of small detail tasks felt insurmountable. I couldn’t get up. I felt drained before I’d even started. I didn’t know where to start.
The research tells us that focussing on one task at a time is much more effective than multitasking, that being present for each moment and each task enables us to complete and finish. And that through this act of ‘presence’ we experience more joy, even when our schedules are super packed, and we could choose to be harassed and stressed out. When we choose to be present with each task we can access that feeling of absorption, that beautiful state of ‘flow’.
So I started with granola. I know that’s weird. And I could just buy granola, rather than making it, I know, I know (those of you who’ve been around a while know that I’m a bit obsessed with granola…)
There’s something about making granola that is calming and nurturing for me. When I can make granola and at least have something ready for breakfast, somehow that makes all the rest of it feel doable.
Here’s 5 tips that are helping me today, and may help you, when it may all feel a bit too much over these next weeks:
1. Do one thing at a time. Finishing off a project at work. Writing that last email. Vacuuming your living space. Whatever it is ‘big’ or ‘small’, focus your present attention on that one task. Enjoy that thing. Be present with it. Then move on to the next.
2. Choose to believe that time can expand. I can choose to believe that I can get each small job done, piece by piece, and step by step, and that starting somewhere is better than doing nothing. In my experience as I start somewhere the energy flows, and I feel more motivated and focussed to move through each thing.
3. Allowing. Accepting yourself and your limitations as well as your capacities. Asking where can I make this easy, what can I cut out, what can I accept as good enough, rather than some unobtainable ‘perfect’. Allowing this holiday time to be what it is.
4. Embracing ‘enoughness’. I know that my family will likely judge the state of my house, my appearance, the taste of my food, the behaviour of my kids. And I am just choosing to say to myself that is ok, I am ok, I can just be enough. (I know I will have to keep reminding myself of this one!!!)
5. End the day with gratitude. Breathe deep. Recognise what you’ve accomplished in this day. Recognise what was gooooood. Recognise your enoughness. Say thank you.
So over to you:
· what enables you to feel ‘ready’ for the holidays, however you happen to be celebrating?
· what would it be like for you (your home, your foo,d your presents, your everything) to be ‘enough’ during this holiday season?
· what enables you to shift from overwhelm to effective progress and even flow – what is your ‘granola moment’?
Want more? I write regularly in Catalyst Notes on resilience, leadership, spirituality and my journey with intersectional feminism - you are welcome to join in here www.katycatalyst.com/signup