After much silence and lots of soul-searching, I grew up. And moved to a new place. Please visit me there – lanakravtsova.com
There are so many things that I know will make me feel better or more productive or more healthy or more peaceful….or more alive. They work. Like a charm. When I do them.
The problem is I don’t do them consistently.
Because my spirit resists doing them for the results I am hoping to get. Because all of those things have the beauty of their own. And my spirit wants to acknowledge that beauty. And do it for that beauty.
My spirit wants to enjoy the process. Not the destination.
My spirit doesn’t like the vibe of striving. The vibe of - let me do that to get this… because without doing that I won’t get this.
I don’t want to do something inspiring in the morning to make the whole day more productive and inspiring. I don’t want to meditate to get more clarity. I don’t want to write to get more subscribers.
I don’t want to do those things with a desperate desire to get some particular result.
I want to do them…for the sake of doing them. Because it feels good to do them.
It feels good to escape to our little garden first thing in the morning with my baby and spend some time there reflecting, looking at the flowers and watching her explore. It feels good. And the day does flow afterwards.
But as soon as I notice the effect it has on the rest of my day, I want to keep doing it to get that effect. I forget why I liked it so much to begin with. I stop being present. I see a more “important” benefit and now I want to do it for that benefit.
But the thing is – my spirit refuses to do it. It doesn’t like the result oriented mentality. And so I don’t escape to the garden in the mornings anymore. I do it later in the day, but the magic of doing it in the morning before anything else –that magic is forgotten.
Do you make the same mistake?
Have you ever started meditating and felt good and then noticed the profound effect it had on your day and your mind…and wanted more of that effect?
Have you ever decided to spend more time in nature and loved it and felt more at peace and more inspired and more connected and gained more clarity and more focus as a result…and then wanted to spend more time in nature to get more focus and more clarity?
Have you ever done things that make you come alive and felt really good, felt that special high …and then noticed that it was easier for you to do other things that make you come alive – bigger things, bolder things…. and it all felt good and so you decided to do all those little things that make you come alive to help bigger things to become a significant part of your life? Because you want to your bigger alives to be a significant part of your life.
I have done all of the above.
And that is the problem.
Because the intention of getting the particular result turns all of those things into a chore. And my spirit resists chores.
Now I see the problem with the project Alive that I started. I started treating it as chore. I started doing it purely for the result I was hoping to get. And my spirit screams – No.
Should I stop the project?
But I should stop and reconsider. I should maybe stop calling it a project for God’s sake. I should stop and go back to why I loved feeling alive and doing things that make me come alive to begin with.
And that is what I plan to do in the next few days.
So I took my slowing down advice to heart and didn’t write yesterday. Or maybe I didn’t have much to say. The latter is more likely.
I have this idea in my head that every post I write should contain some deep insight. I tried publishing other kind of posts, like here is what we did yesterday and let me do my stream of consciousness. Those never felt good. It felt like I was wasting your time .
I know that I am wrong, because even those kind of posts can inspire. And I want to inspire.
Anyway, I didn’t have any deep insights. So I didn’t know what to write. And then I realized that instead of focusing on doing things that make me come alive I started analyzing myself and trying hard to come up with insights on how to come alive.
This is not good – I thought. Insights don’t happen when you are looking for them, they happen when you are living, engaging, taking action.
Then I asked myself – why was I doing it?
The answer was – I was trying to make this project more meaningful, more useful. How funny is that? The most useful part of this project is to serve as a reminder. To do what lights you up, what feeds your soul, what makes you come alive. It really can’t get any more useful.
I was making things more complicated than they should be as usual.
So I decided to stop and not do that anymore.
It is really all very easy. There are only two things that make us come alive – making progress on what matters to us and expressing who we are.
We need to commit to doing both every day. To make progress you need to know your long term goals that are important to you right now. To express yourself you need to know what lights your soul .
There will be lots of other things that make you feel alive but seem to not fit into those two categories.
Like I wrote in one of my first posts that I feel alive when I engage in meaningful conversations with like-minded people. Conversations might not look like progress or self – expression but really they are.
With like-minded people I am much more likely to express myself without holding anything back. I am much more likely to share my dreams. I am much more likely to brainstorm for ideas and make progress. I can get inspired. I can learn. I can grow.
So many things can help you express yourself creatively and make progress.
It all comes down to knowing who you are and what you want.
It always comes down to it. And then going out there and doing what need to be done to be who you are and get what you want.
And that, my friends, will make you come alive.
Hey, that was a deep insight, don’t you think?
From now on I won’t look for insights. I’ll welcome them when they come, but when they don’t I am here to just remind you to do something that makes you come alive. Everyday.
Let’s make it a habit. Because it’s a good habit to have.
I saw time stretch yesterday. Literally.
Most of our Sundays are hectic. We are intentional about Saturdays. That’s our special family day. But Sundays are filled with housework, errands to catch up on and the list goes on. Plus of course there are kids who need to be fed, entertained etc.
And no matter how many times I said we need to change that, Sundays usually fly. Fast.
But yesterday… Yesterday was different. I took 2 two-hour naps. I am not kidding. I cleaned the house and did the laundry. I escaped to the bookstore to have my me time and then even got my pedicure done. I read a book. I juiced. I wrote. I spent lots of time online mindlessly browsing gardening tips and sustainable communities in GA. I did some gardening. I dreamed. I wasn’t productive. I wasn’t even trying to be productive. I slowed down.
All of that while attending to kids needs with one child being a little sick. Well, of course I also had a supportive husband who helped me by making sure kids were taken care of while I was away.
To some of you it might not look like a lot. But if you have small kids in the house, you’ll know what I mean when I say that time stretched.
By attending to my inner needs first, I ensured all of the needs were met. And I felt alive. Because my inner needs include doing things that make me feel alive. And because I was not rushed and didn’t feel guilty while doing them.
So I am putting intentional slowing down on my list of things to do to help me feel alive.
I suggest you do the same.
Short post today, but I hope you take this message to heart.
Your task for today:
Slow down. Ask yourself what your soul wants you to do today. Find time to do it.
Other little things that make me feel alive right now:
We made a garden for my son. I think I am enjoying it more than he does. That’s my new favorite spot to sit and dream by.
I started our project Alive last week. I haven’t been very diligent about it I have to admit, I am still getting used to the fact that I need to focus on what makes me feel alive every day.
But even if I am not always diligent about it, I am doing the small things. And when I am not doing them, I am thinking about my alive. And that is good enough. For now.
Remember – what you focus on expands.
If you focus on feeling alive and doing small things that make you come alive, life will start sending you more of those things. And soon bigger things that make you come alive, like your big dream, will become part of your everyday too.
So I focus. I do the small things.
Yesterday I poured myself some tea and read even though I had “more important” things to do. I wrote in my journal and thought about my dreams. I went on Pinterest and looked at things that inspire me and got my creative juices flowing.
I decided to make a little garden just for my son. He’ll plant there anything he wants and I got him a little bench to sit and meditate by his garden. Or maybe he’ll read a book on that bench. Or play with his sticks and rocks.
I also of course write. And do things for my business.
And all of those things make me come alive. Spreading out as many of them as possible throughout the day helps me to maintain that feeling. Again I am not diligent about it, but I am getting there.
Which brings me to the important point I want to make in this post.
The most important part of doing those little things is the intention behind why you do them.
It is important to do them with the intention to make yourself feel alive and spread that feeling everywhere around you.
It is important to NOT do them to escape from your reality. From your to do list. From everyday mundane tasks and routines.
Don’t try to esacape.
Otherwise that’s where your focus will be – on escaping. And that’s what will expand as a result – more things to escape from. Stop that escape mentality.
The goal of this project is to help you always feel alive. Even if you are doing things that are not your alives, you can still feel alive.
When the things that make you come alive have a permanent place in your everyday life, it changes how you feel about everything else – how you go about your day, how you treat people, how you feel about yourself. It changes everything. That’s the whole point of this project.
With that said, let’s do some categorizing today. I know, that doesn’t sound too inspiring. But bear with me. I had another insight.
Look at your list of alives. Come up with 2 or 3 categories that most of the things on your list fall into.
For example, on my list – I have kids and my business as my main categories. Most of the items on my list fall under one or the other.
Now ask yourself – what progress means to you in these two (or three, or four) categories? Remember how we said that progress or specifically taking action that will lead to progress makes us feel alive? Making the little and big steps that will propel us forward – that’s what gives us that special high.
So what progress means to you in those categories that you just came up with?
To answer this question you should probably know your long – term goal for each of the categories.
My long – term goal with my kids is to help them grow into their best selves and realize their highest potential.
My long term goal for my business is to serve lots of people all over the world helping them gain clarity, dare, live consciously and follow their dreams.
When I know my long – term goals, it is easier for me to see what action will help me to make progress. For example, writing and promoting this blog is a progress. Brainstorming for ideas is a progress. Creating a new product is a progress. Not giving up is a progress.
Many things can be considered a progress. And doing them will make me feel alive.
Many things won’t be considered a progress. Like doing the same thing that is not working over and over again.
So what’s your long term goal? How can you make progress on it today? And what else will you do to make yourself feel alive?
That’s all I have for today.
Remember, don’t treat your alives as your escape from reality. Intention behind why you do what you do matters.
Figure out your long – term goals and take steps to make some progress in reaching them. Every day.
And that will make you come alive. Promise.
I’ll talk to you tomorrow.
I had a big post planned for today but suddenly felt a lack of inspiration to write it. Like a complete lack of inspiration. I spent a good 30 minutes reading some blogs and checking Facebook status updates until I couldn’t stand it anymore. I have only that much time these days…while baby is sleeping. And wasting that time feels painful.
Her name is Resistance…
I know her. She usually shows up a few days after I start a new project or come up with a new idea.
New means change. She doesn’t like change.
I bet you’ve experienced it before too. You start a new project. You are excited about it. You have tons of ideas. You have a plan of action. And then… all of that excitement turns into self-doubt and lack of any inspiration to do what you so wanted to do just a few days ago.
I could have forced it and written a post I was planning to write. But I decided not to. I am going to let her win today. I will prevail though, because I know who I am dealing with. Because this time I am mindful of her.
So I am going to write about her instead. I will acknowledge her. And respect her. I’ll pay attention to her. I’ll listen. I’ll be very nice to her. And I think that will cool her down. And my inspiration will be back in no time. In fact I already feel it coming back.
When do you feel resistance?
Let’s look at our list of alives and think of when resistance tends to show up. So we can recognize her and be mindful of her when she does. And that will help to make her not so loud.
Resistance is present in my business a lot. When I start taking action on my big dreams I have for it. When I do something outside of my comfort zone. And pretty much everything that involves taking steps and making a progress means going out of the comfort zone to some degree. So resistance is always there. Watching. Ready to jump in.
But this time I am going to be ready for her. I will even plan for her. In a way I even like here. She is like a good friend who is always there for me.
I recommend you do the same. This is your task for today. Look at the area of your life where resistance often stops you from taking action. Look at your alives and see which of them bring the most resistance out you.
Make a mental note of it. So next time you can recognize and acknowledge it. That’s all you often need to weaken her grip.
Here you go. That’s my post for today.
What will you do today to make you feel alive?
I’ll do some dreaming and strategizing. And more writing. And maybe I’ll even make myself some tea and read an inspiring book. Plus I always have my kiddos. I’ll do something fun with them.
Have a good day you all! I’ll talk to you tomorrow.