Hard to believe– August is upon us. In August, our workload is less because clients and bosses are taking vacations and the days are more leisurely. The to-do list does have one big task–getting our kids ready for the upcoming school year, but most of us are so happy to get our kids back in school we do it gladly.
With our workloads lighter, and since it’s 100 degrees in the shade anyway, why not take the month to slow down and do some self-reflection? For one month, try to ‘wear life like a loose garment.’ Maybe it will lead to discovering more about you: your passions and dreams; and for better emotional fitness, those patterns of thinking and acting that have become habitual and are not helpful to you. We can only recognize these things about ourselves when we slow down enough to look.
For me, the habits look like someone who, if not attending to it, focuses outwardly—projects, work, obligations. In the first half of 2019, I filled my days (and nights) with nonstop book speaking and outreach and future trip planning. I needed such a pace in corporate work, where every day was overfull and required enormous focus and energy. But I purposely left that life behind, and it’s time for new habits.
So for me, this August I am checking out. No work, no speaking, no schedule. Just 30 days to dream, maybe write, for no purpose but pleasure. The last time I lived a full month with no outward-facing schedule was when I was 12, before summer jobs so it’s long overdue. I’m nervous, truth be told. I wonder what having no “to-do” list, so much of which has defined me, will feel like. Stay tuned.
Might you consider your own version of dreaming? Some questions and activities for you to consider:
-Can you push work out of its pre-eminent place in your life, for just one month?
-Can you, as author Richard Rohr says: ‘Spend time in the silence until it silences you.” Find some quiet time to see what your heart and soul are telling you. You might do this before heading to work, or sitting on the porch after dinner.
-Take a free enneagram test and learn new things about yourself from this sacred wisdom tradition.
-Take the emotional fitness quiz to learn how you can find greater steadiness and peace of mind.
-Put together a values list that you own, that is uniquely yours, vs. the voices of others in your head taking up valuable real estate.
-Identify one habit where you feel great pride and fulfillment, and one self-defeating habit that you can let go of by month’s end.
So now I’m looking at this list I’ve just given you, and I see I’ve filled your August up again, completely defeating the point. See what work lies ahead for me!
How about you try one or two of these ideas?