Slow your life down people! Seriously, slow down...
Slow down? What do you mean?
There’s no first place medal for having a heart attack at 40! And there’s no reward for being the one who requires the most pharmaceutical sleep aids, Xanax and Prozac for being exhausted, frantic and over scheduled!
We are now a society where people are praised, approved of and encouraged to be frenzied to the point of serious illness. People, especially women, are devastated by stress and anxiety, living with headaches, digestive problems and are escaping at astronomical rates into alcohol or emotional eating. All while barely able to squeeze in 20minutes for family or relaxation before falling into bed feeling overwhelmed - BUT willing to do it again the following day...
There's practically a forced need to rely on a litany of productivity applications and lists to track other lists, todos, and perhaps ... our sanity.
And not only are adults living these crazy-making and exhausting lives, it has become the 'new norm' for kids as well. Today's average 16 year old is 'working' 16 hour days; comprised of school, theater, sports, homework, friends, and, if they're VERY lucky, a few minutes per day to connect with family.
OK, we seriously need to learn the art of becoming much lazier!
We've run amuck with an endless mind full of tasks, to dos and worries. Seriously, this is no good and robs people of passion, peace, play and contentment.
We have replaced calm and creativity with anxiety and fretting. All that’s involved with “keeping up with the illusive Jones’s' has moved in to replace leisurely afternoon barbecues with neighbors or a full afternoon of reading in a cozy hammock. We've swapped early morning love-making with mental anxiety over all that there is to do, but not enough time to do it.
“It’s time to stand for yourself, for your family, for your sanity, and yes, for the Lost Art of Lazy!”
It really is time to recognize the sanctity of laziness. Embracing laziness has nothing to do with being slothenly, or staying in your bed all day, every day with no output or productivity.
It is however about creating a profoundly meaningful existence that you’re madly in love with! One devoid of that which leads you to frenzy and upset or anxiety, frustration and depression, but embraces authenticity.
Here are 4 ways to get YOUR LAZY on!
1) Lazy Priorities. There's only a small, but precious list that you truly give a hoot about attending to or accomplishing in your life. Think about this: if I had one month to live, how would I spend it?
Your answers to this question should become your 'lazy list'. And, the vast majority of your life moving forward, should be dedicated to this list, self-care or to resting or relaxing! Spend several hours considering what you would want to do, who you'd want to see, what impact you'd want to make, then orient your life around this beautifully and intentionally designed life, stick to it!
We honestly have no idea when we, or the people we love will 'punch their last ticket'. You can live life on your terms now, or perhaps regret not doing so later.
You list will likely be comprised of things like family time and connection, body movement, travel, reading, meditating, conversing meaningfully with those you value most, making a contribution, healthful eating, creating (writing, painting, singing, and the many unconventional forms of creating- like business building, software development, etc.).
Adhering to your lazy list will bring you utter joy and inspiration. Get your lazy list together and strategically weave life and work around it, while eliminating the rest.
2) Say No. Seems like a no brainer, right?
After all, it’s just one tiny syllable…
Noooo.... What's so scary about that?
Oddly, my clients (or anyone really!) initially find this tiny word to be incredibly difficult to spew forth. We are afraid to disappoint, lose approval, get fired, or lose respect.
Yet the consequences of saying 'yes' too often have grown be too damaging. To continue saying “yes” to so many demands and requests, often means saying no to you, your family, your dreams and your 'lazy list'.
It's time to practice flexing that 'NO' muscle, and making it super hero strong!
I encourage my clients to begin saying no to everything, no really, every request!
Unless, it completely aligns with your deepest calling, joy or lazy list.
OK, there might be a few responsibilities that are a part of life, but only a few, the rest are just not important enough to run you ragged, to be depressed, to feel overwhelmed, exhausted, frustrated, angry or resentful. Right?
Be clear about the motivation differences between desire, guilt, shame, and obligation. The perceived need for approval and validation, or fear of losing approval can be tempting and strong. But, these driving factors no longer need to be a part of your life. Saying YES to things NOT on your lazy list ultimately means saying NO to something that IS actually valuable, heart-centered or important.
Stretch that NO muscle and let your lovely lazy life begin!
3) Remove 80%. This tip will make saying “no” a whole lot easier! You can remove 80 percent of all activities, responsibilities, possessions, friends, interactions, feelings, etc. and you will be far happier for it!
Elimination is key to creating a lazy, but PROFOUND lifestyle.
Here are a few examples:
* Fact- you only use, wear or enjoy 20% of your possessions - thus, you can get rid of the rest (yes, right, that does literally equate to ditching 80% of your belongings)- it will save you time sorting, cleaning, and looking and will give you back time to be lazy!
* Fact- you only truly adore 20% of those people you share your time with. So, I encourage you to, yep, you guessed, get rid of 80% of the interactions that don’t completely bring you joy, play, fun, and intellectual stimulation - this choice will save you time and give you plenty of energy for your lazy priorities!
* Fact- only 20% of the food you consume is useful to your body; get rid of the rest- this action too will save you time and give you energy to be lazy!
Fact- only 20% of your work duties are truly useful, impacting or inspiring; thus, delegate, eliminate or systematize the rest- it will save you a LOT of time and give you space to be lazy!
Are you getting the picture? Choose wisely and joyfully as to where you spend your time and energy, these are precious and finite.
For more about the 80/20 principle, check out one of my favorite books, Living The 80/20 Way.
4) STOP. I literally want you to stop doing what makes you unhappy and frantic.
Yes, it is (or can be) just that simple.
I understand obligation, long list of to dos, I used to live just like you. I was filled to the brim with anxiety, depressed half the time, and angry the other half. I completely changed my life. Most of my clients have (or are in process of) completely changing their lives, and YOU can to.
It may “feel” difficult and complex, but the actions are usually quite simple. You either stop immediately or you make a plan to stop doing most of that which does not make you feel happy, calm and fulfilled. Don't delay though, make the plan immediately. Or THIS inspired moment might just pass you by and a decade from now, you could find yourself even more frantic, sicker, unhappier, or more depressed and anxious!
Isn’t life too damn short to live inside of a state of frenzied overwhelm?
Living free is your birthright and available upon choosing.
A FREE 30 Minute Telephone coaching sessions is available if you have questions about how to implement the ideas in this blog post.
Reach out if you'd like support along your journey!
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Cheers to Liberate Living! Shawn