change, choice, happiness, overwhelm, release, stress

Me? Stress-free? Can it be?

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My name is Lisa and I am a recovering adrenaline junkie. I have spent a lifetime, decades, in a rush toward the ever-changing finish line, overloading, overextending, overwhelmed. That’s just the way I did life. I think I even made myself slightly late to everything so that I could get that rush, that rush that came from rushing.

When my daughter was a little kid, watching everything I modeled, as kids unfortunately do, she was playing pretend with an old day planner I had given her. She sat at her “desk” filling in each date with pretend obligations, at one point saying something like “I still have to fill up all the empty ones…” Damn.

Yep. By the age of seven she had learned that a loaded calendar was somehow desirable, that it proved something, but what? That was a question I asked myself for years.

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Then there was this card she made around the age of eight or nine, on an afternoon we spent making cards, the haircut just happening to be my haircut at the time.

I had reoccurring dreams of being at a buffet and loading my plate up so much that food was falling off the sides, and then, I’d see the real buffet, the one I really wanted, but it was too late. Because buffet managers hate it when you waste. (True story: I once saw an owner loudly bitch out a mortified customer… “This is all you can eat, not all you can waste!”)

This was my normal: being completely stretched thin, tapped out, running late, rushing everywhere, overbooked, overextended, harried, frenzied, surviving on adrenaline.

Everything suffered, especially the things that mattered most, like relationships, health and sanity, yet I was too caught up in my busy-ness to notice. My busy-ness had become an addiction. A disease.

Getting out of this cycle took a good couple of years, a commitment to a different way of living, a reevaluation (or two, or twenty) of who I really was, what I really wanted, and what I was willing to let go of to get there.

It wasn’t about doing more, I finally realized. It was about letting go.

I’ve made a lot of changes in 2015. One of the biggest ones was shifting my business around dramatically, and basically handing over my largest piece of business to a new director to open up energetic space and lots and lots of time. I’ve also changed the way I eat. The way I start my day. The way I end it. I’ve changed the amount of commitments I put on my calendar. I now pay for a couple new services and tools to make my admin tasks and household chores easier, money very, very well spent. And I have a puppy, who (mostly) brings more sweetness into my days with lots of spontaneous cuddle breaks.

If I were to count, there have probably been 100 choices or more I have made this year so that I could love my life better, feel better, do better, be better.

And surprisingly to me, the stress dissolved.

I no longer live with stress and overwhelm as my baseline.

I no longer measure my worth by the amount of to-dos on my list or unopened emails in my inbox.

My new baseline is calm. Relaxed.

And dare I say it? Easy.

I didn’t even realize this shift until I felt stressed recently and realized what a “foreign” feeling it was. It was appropriate stress, not just my normal day to day adrenaline fix. And it felt weird. So much so, that I stopped, looked at my life and realized all of the changes I have made recently have cumulatively eliminated stress from my life.

Of course life will throw its curve balls. I’m no dummy. Things speed up, they slow down. Life gets crazy, I know this. And I’m ready for that when it happens. But I know that in my day-to-day existence, I am no longer committed to stress and overwhelm as normal ways of being. In fact, I’m even getting stubborn and refusing to let myself feel the anxious, overwhelmed, heart-pounding, adrenalin-pumping feeling that used to be my normal. I just can’t live like that anymore. Well, I “could”. But I choose not to.

You can have this too. No, really.

There are countless reasons why this is important to shift. Stress kills, how about that as reason enough?

If you’re ready to shift into a virtually stress-free life, it’s important to get really honest with yourself about what changes need to be made.

Here are some questions to get you started…

  • What in my current life used to bring me joy, but no longer does?
  • Who are the people in my life who add stress and overwhelm and what can I request of them to help make a shift?
  • What time consumers take more than they add to my life?
  • What is stress and overwhelm costing me?
  • What do I love to do that I’m not doing?
  • Where am I saying yes when I secretly wish I was saying no?
  • What commitments do I have that do not come from my heart?
  • What can I delegate?
  • What can I let go of that will instantly lower my stress levels?
  • What secret pay-offs am I getting from living in a constant state of overwhelm?
  • What inner stuff do I get to avoid by being constantly stressed or overwhelmed?

Yeah, I saved the hardest two for the end.

If you’re committed to creating a stress-free life in 2016, I applaud you. I salute you. support you. And I’m waiting, with open arms, for your arrival. It is possible. I’m living proof. Yep, me, the retired Queen of Overwhelm. Who’d a thunk it?

 

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Making the changes required for reducing stress in your life can be daunting. I can help. How about a complimentary Discovery Session?

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