“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.” - Friedrich Nietzsche
Has the tribe overwhelmed you? If you have juggled your way into a personal 3 ring circus, now’s the time to take your life back. Once life puts you in a constant state of reacting instead of acting, it’s time to take one important action. The action of editing/cutting/pruning to make space for living into the world around you instead of just existing.
This isn’t actually a 5 step plan or 3 things you’ve gotta do today, but it IS a list of small changes, ideas to try, to help bring life back into balance. So pick one, work on it, say “yes” to one thing on this list and see if doesn’t help tilt things back towards sanity.
Eliminate Choices: Decision fatigue is real. Save your mental energy for things that matter. Diet, clothing and exercise are three great areas to eliminate decision making. It’s one of the reasons many successful people wear the same thing every day. If wearing the same outfit is too weird for you, then schedule them out on one day, so you can just put it on in the morning. Turn food into fuel and eat the same thing every day for breakfast or lunch or dinner or all three. And if you run from the gym to the yoga studio to the hiking trail, just pick one and do it at the same time each day. Choose something you will do rain or shine.
Minimize and Organize: If life is a chaotic series of reactions, make the space around you reflect the opposite. Declutter all of it. According to this great Life Hacker article, How Clutter Affects your Brain, clutter competes for our brain’s attention and increases our stress. When you junk up your life with the unessential, you’re junking up your brain and sabotaging your real goals and purpose.
Divorce the Drama: Get a more cosmic perspective and watch the drama dissolve. Get off Facebook (but don’t make a drama filled announcement that you’re doing it). Save your energy for your fans and supporters while minimizing contact with those not on that list. Learn to recognize and avoid toxic people, even if you’re related to them. Maybe your brother needs a “Thinking of you” card instead of an phone call (where he complains about your parents and siblings for an hour).
Make Space: For peace, quiet, joy and passion. See (Get off Facebook) and also get off Reddit, CNN, The Weather Channel.... Electronic devices now take away all our downtime, all our silent moments, and replace them with a dull hum of distraction. Peace and quiet can actually build brain cells. So turn off the local news (it’s terrible anyways), skip work happy hour, leave the kid in aftercare, delegate the grocery shopping. . . you get the idea. And, on the topic of delegation . . .
Lower Your Expectations: Doing this will be helpful for making space. As in, if someone else cleans the bathroom for you, you’ll need to not criticize about missed soap scum. Live with soap scum and piled up laundry and boring family dinners and prepared foods in the kids lunch. Let the weeds grow, throw unopened junk mail directly into the trash (if you accidentally throw out a bill, they’ll let you know) and leave the dog bath go. He smells fine. Like a dog.
Find Daily Joy: Remember fun? Remember listening to a new album because you LOVED a band? Playing with a kitten? Dancing? Go find these things again. Live performances abound and some are free. Grab a supportive friend and go. Go to a rescue pet place and cuddle an animal or go home and play ball with your own. Turn the radio up in your car and roll the windows down. Eat a popsicle outside. Make a card. Take a class. Just find a moment when you would have been on Facebook to do something you remember once enjoying.
We give you permission. Go get your life back.