It’s December. Most likely you have a To Do List that resembles a Horror Movie.
You’re not alone.
I have deeply meaningful work. Connecting women with their purpose, creating art with clients. You might think I’ve got my act together, but my December To Do List reads like a message from hell. It’s not pretty.
Fortunately I know a swift way out of the darkness. It requires five minutes of your time, a sheet of paper and some pencils.
December is that Special Month that encapsulates family, happiness, holiday time, entrepreneurial and job actions and the hope that the year to come will be a breeze.
Dear Santa, give me more fun and less stress.
So, we create a list that contains everything we didn’t manage to finish in 2016. We desperately want to start afresh in the next year. And what better way to do that than work yourself silly?
We smartly divide The List into Work, Family and the dreaded: Miscellaneous.
That is just smart talk for a bottomless sink containing the Facebook ads you have to create without falling to pieces or calling your friend — who you should have called in May — but you remember this while brushing your teeth in the evening. Causing a chain reaction starting with: “Oh my God! I’ve got so much to do. I shouldn’t be allowed to go to bed” to “Why oh why, can’t I be more organized!” ending in “My life will never change, I’m a mess and I deserve to feel like shit.”
Result: a lot of frantic midnight typing on your smart phone until 3 in the morning.
All the while you think you can hear the stacks of unpaid bills and the unfinished tax papers moaning and bitching about you in your closet. „Argh, isn’t she horrible. We’re overdue. Pay us already. I’m just soooo ashamed.”
You have to visit your sick father, spend a picture perfect day with your kids, buy tickets for the exhibition you-cannot-miss!, look visibly successful. Cook a super healthy meal and host a night for your fellow Kick-Ass Entrepreneurs.
And that Bloody List refuses to shrink!
Instead, it grows…. and grows and grows. Our To do List is ridden with guilt, shame and fear. The List ensures we will never feel good enough.
It’s almost 2017! Are we still giving permission to be frowned upon and belittled by a stupid To Do List?
The reason we made the list in the first place is the promise that — once the list is empty –, happiness and joy awaits.
But that bloody list is just exactly the same as the umpteenth diet that promises happiness as soon as you’ve lost the dreaded 15 pounds.
Until then… Suffer first baby! Gratification is only for the go-getters.
The List promises you that happiness is conditional. That contentment is something you need to deserve. The List says: “You are only deserving of joy when you cleared me out, solved the puzzles, did the phone calls, paid the bills and finished your website. Until than I will punish you with shame and fear.”
Enough already. Be a rebel. Don’t wait for fulfillment until the list is done
Get it now.
This is the simple part. You are the Boss of The List. Never the other way around. Proof it by creating your art.
I know! How crazy simple can it be!? Here’s proof. And if you don’t belief me science is with me on this one.
Last Sunday I picked up my List.
My Number One Task: cleaning the bedroom.
Which is short for: clear the Himalayan sized mountain of dresses, socks and skirts, clean the damn place, tidy the closets. It was enough work to keep me occupied for the entire Sunday.
I could feel the resistance. The tiredness. Fear — I will not finish it anyway — racing through my body. Tight muscles. Set jaw. I was about to spend my precious free hours cleaning.
Finish the List!
But than I didn’t. I longed for instant happiness, for air, for love, color. I needed joy.
I graved lightness. Not in 2017. I wanted to Be Happy Now.
I picked up my pencils and paper. And I drew. I could here deep sighs. I could feel my body relaxing. As if the huge dragon on my shoulders decided to bother someone else. I felt instantly light and loved. I felt seen. I was touched. I felt more alive than the entire week before.
Yes, I can hear you say: „So that’s your solution!? That’s easy for you to say. I can’t draw! I suck at art. I don’t even own a pencil. I never touched a sketchbook since Ms Smith in Third Grade told me a Cat is not supposed to have 1 ear and two tails.
I’ll let you in on a secret. It’s not about the result. It’s about the process. The magic happens when you draw a line or mix blue with red. Lightness starts when you color a small circle bright yellow.
I can also hear you mumble: “I don’t have the time for this.”
But here’s the thing. You DO have time. Five minutes of your time. Time you otherwise would use to watch another Netflix series. Or checking how many likes your Facebook post has.
There is no more to it than that. Art heals stress. It provides — those willing to listen — with profoundly meaningful answers. Creating art is more than a A Silly Hobby. It’s a Game Changer. A life Saver. It bring you instant joy.
THIS IS A SIMPLE JOY ENERGIZER- FOLLOW MY LEAD
- Sit down. Pick up a pencil and a sheet of paper.
- Feel the tension in your body. Listen to the voices in your mind.
- Ask. Silently or out loud: “What do I need right now?“
- Don’t get into thinking mode. The first thing that springs to mind is what you need.
- Now listen. Don’t interfere. “Pick up the blue pencil. Draw a line. Breathe.”
- Keep drawing for at least 5 minutes. If you find this difficult. Listen to music and follow the notes.
Don’t wait for happiness. Pick up a pencil. Do it now!
Draw a cat with one ear and two tails. Smile. Enjoy the calm space your create. Breathe…
And if you can’t find an empty sheet of paper there’s always a To Do List in need of some color and joy.
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GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
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