Coordinating a big church service on Sunday took most of my mental energy for the weekend. I barely took time to notice the three baseball games my kids had, or say hi to the friend my daughter had over, or check on weekend homework progress.
Coming down from the event at church and all of its details, I noticed myself being super-distractible yesterday, having difficulty focusing on any one task. A fundraising page to set up, clients to get back to, piles of laundry waiting to be loaded, thank you notes to write, a meeting to create an agenda for, a birthday cake to finish…
I have a lot of shit to do, I realized.
I would dart from one thing to the next and back again, making little substantial progress on any of it.
I saw what was happening and could recognize it as a multi-tasking and management hangover. I sensed that it could quickly turn into a feeling of overwhelm - all those things that had been left to languish while I had been hyper-focused on one event. The reality was that I was behind in a lot of ways.
And yet, how does that perspective (of being behind) serve me? It only causes me discomfort and pushes me into a state of nervousness and task mastering.
Coaching has taught me that I get to choose my reality.
And I am not interested in the reality of being behind.
Instead, I made a different choice yesterday. I gave myself an hour to sit at my computer and reply to emails, set up appointments, etc. and then I kicked myself outdoors.
The chicken coop was long overdue for cleaning and the gardens needed to some raking out as well. Outside time was just what I needed.
There is nothing like decomposing leaves and chicken poop to help me remember where I come from and where I am going.
The reality of the BIG PICTURE helped me to ground in the here and now. I have a lot of shit to do, became, simply, I have a lot of shit.
I noticed the sun on my skin, the noise of birds in the tree. The wet ground of spring felt soft under my feet. My to-do list became small potatoes, and I felt free.
It is amazing what a couple of hours outside can do for a body, mind and spirit. Coming back inside, I was ready to focus. I began to check things off my list as they were completed.
There is room in my life for timetables and to-do lists. There is also room in my life for awe and appreciation.
Where do you notice yourself being harried or unfocused? How might slowing down or grounding yourself in nature be helpful?
Jessica Curtis is a professional coach who helps people cultivate intention and live from a place of meaning and authenticity. If you think you could benefit from working with Jessica or want to invite her to work with your group, reach out to start a conversation.