Two Tools for 2011
With the arrival of a new year, I thought it might be fun to share two tools you can use for reinventing your life in 2011. Both are based on the assumption that developing a vision for the future in the persistent rush of day-to-day living is like expecting two feet of snow to depart in one day. (Can you tell I live in New England?) Here’s the first tool!
At the beginning of the year, I took a two-week break from work. I’m not taking about a vacation here; I had already spent a week with family over the holidays. Rather I’m proposing a mini-sabbatical from one area of your life. In my case after returning home, I eliminated my work-focus for two weeks – a giant change from my usual routine. After breakfast, instead of developing a plan for the day based on my weekly goals, I embarked on anything but work. I was surprised to find the shift so challenging, and came to realize how much my work regime structured my days. I did, of course, continue to coach clients and meet with my class, but as anyone who runs her own coaching business knows, coaching and teaching is less than half of what you do.
After a few days of this new life, I began to flow with it. In the empty space I had created, two things occurred. First, I gradually caught up on those lurking “to-do’s”, like sorting through the hundreds of emails in my inbox and storing them in their appropriate folders. I also observed feelings and ideas about my work that bubbled up; as a result I began to clarify where I wanted to put my efforts in the coming year.
So why not try a mini-sabbatical, where you consciously take your attention off one big arena in your life? You may also find some surprising benefits. If you have to head for an office every day, however, this tool may not work so well for y so here’s another one.
A turtle day
The idea for a turtle day appeared on one of those relaxing and joyous vacation days I spent with my family. At the end of that particular day, I turned to notice that one of my granddaughters still seemed to be in her pj’s, so I asked her if she’d been in them all day. I could feel her mischievous smile rise in response to my query, “Yes, Nana, I had a turtle day.” I understood immediately what she meant with this imaginative descriptor. She’d hunkered down in her shell and enjoyed a day at home doing exactly what wanted, which in her case usually entails creating. As I contemplated this notion of a turtle day, the charming phrase of a friend of mine came to mind. When she’s had weeks of too much travel and too much to do, she tells me she just wants to stay home and “pull my house around me.”
So if you’re snow bound, like many of us in the Northeast, why not “pull your house around you,” and snuggle into a day of relaxation and happy activity, or in other words, have a turtle day. Who knows what benefits you might reap?
No one can construct a new reality for her life without some breathing space and reflection time. The two tools I described can help you find such luxuries. If you try one or both of these tools, I’d love to know the results of your experimentation.
Here’s hoping 2011 will be a wonder-filled year for you,
P.S. If you’d like more tools and tips for reinventing your life, I invite you to follow me on Facebook.