“Before you do anything that might add even the smallest amount of stress to your life, ask yourself: What is my truest intention? Give yourself time to let a yes resound within you. When it’s right, I guarantee that your entire body will feel it.”
— Oprah Winfrey
Everything we take on adds a measure of stress to our lives, even when it’s something we enjoy. Because in the physical world, everything you do takes the place of something else that you could be doing. Add too many items to your “to do” list, and you won’t finish all of them, or do them as well as you would if your list were shorter.
Sometimes what to drop is a clear choice — other times it’s not so clear. But as Oprah suggests in this quotation, it’s a lot easier to ask within first and choose to decline a task than it is to take it on and then drop it. First, of course, there’s the guilt factor of saying no to people you care about. And second, there’s a certain amount of stubbornness and pride within us all that makes it difficult to back away from things we’ve started. Even if we are merely holding on to the idea of doing something, when we are unable to actually get to it! And that, too, creates a level of stress. How many unfinished projects and ideas do you have in your life that you have not yet released? Each one is attached to you with a thread of energy that creates stress because you’re not able to give it your full attention.
Recently, I was forced to slow down (hence my lack of posts for the past few weeks). Events transpired that made it impossible for me to keep up the pace I was trying to manage, and to juggle all of the “to do” items I had on my list. I had to stop.
When you find yourself stopped at the pass like this, it actually can be a good thing in disguise, as I soon discovered. Because it gives you a fresh opportunity to re-evaluate your priorities. To consciously review everything on your “to do” list, meditate on them, and make some present-minded choices. Choices that can help you reduce stress by being even more true to yourself, by letting that “yes” resound within you.
Until next time…