The Power of Paper

I have so much to do I don’t even know where to start. I need to work out more. I need to eat healthier. I need to clean my bedroom. I need to re-do my website. I need to record my videos! I need to do my interviews. I need to make my bracelets. Omg, my laundry hamper is full! I need to do my laundry! I’m hungry. I don’t feel like cooking. But in order to eat healthy I need to cook something. I should be journaling more. I haven’t been to yoga in so long. I have no time for yoga! I need to make more money…ugh I just want to lay down and go to sleep.

Those thoughts have all crossed my mind in the last hour. And they probably crossed my mind thousands of times before that, too. And they will continue to cross my mind if I don’t transfer them on to paper and take a good look at each one individually. When we depend on our mind to hold our thoughts for us, we are asking it to continue to think the same thing over and over. It’s just doing its job! When you write down your thoughts and your to-dos, you are giving your mind the go-ahead to think about something else, or better yet, to be silent for a little while!

Yes, we have tasks we want to get done. We have goals we want to accomplish. We have dreams we want to make real! But it ain’t gonna work if we don’t separate out our thoughts, pen them to paper, and break them down into workable steps!

When I think of ALL THE THINGS I want to get done all at the same time, I feel as if I’m a balloon that’s been overfilled with air and is close to popping. When we overload our minds like this, we are launching ourselves straight into fight or flight where our bodies start to break down and function less than optimally. You may feel it or you may not, depending on how connected or disconnected you are to your body, but either way, it’s happening. Five years ago I wouldn’t have felt a thing, even though my pelvic floor muscles were probably convulsing in sheer terror of all the pressure I was putting on myself trying to get everything done at once. I remember Abigail Steidley asking me what was on my to-do list during one of our first sessions together. It was 9pm at night and I still had about 5 hours of to-do’s left on my list. She told me I may as well add “cure cancer” to my list.

It’s awesome if there’s a lot you want to accomplish. But take the pressure off of yourself. Write it all down so you can clear that mind of yours, and know that it doesn’t all need to get done today, this week, or this year. Can you feel your body lightening up now?

Try this: Write down all the things you want to accomplish. I have called this list: My Bucket List, implying that I have until I die to get it all done. (Side note: How boring would it be if all of your goals were so easy and attainable that you could cross everything off your list in 1 week, or even 1 year? Think of the satisfaction you will get with a bit more effort.) Then write down what you would love to get started on first. Then break that down into thousands of steps. Yes, thousands of steps. How could you start with that one thing?

I will use myself as an example. I really want to learn how to sew. I would love to be able to design and create my own clothes one day, so what have I done in order to get this goal underway? First, I researched a couple places that offered sewing lessons. That was it for that day! The next day I chose where I wanted to take them. The next week I put myself on a waiting list for July… (Seriously, these are even big baby steps. You could literally just open your internet browser and type in sewing lessons and you’d still be closer to reaching your goal than if you were to simply keep thinking about it.)

When we write things down and take things one baby step at a time, suddenly our big goals and aspirations seem less daunting and more doable, because we are in fact doing them instead of just thinking about them.

And what happens to our bodies when we do this? Our muscles relax. Our bodies feel less tense. We go from fight or flight back into rest and digest (where our bodies function the best). Our minds are less busy. We don’t feel as stressed. We feel more in control of our lives. We are able to laugh and smile easier. We end up getting things done. We have more fun doing it.

We end up attaining our goals and living out our dreams.

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