I am a person who thrives on schedules, lists, and planning. Knowing what needs attention and priority order helps me be as productive as possible without fear of missing something or letting an important issue fall by the wayside.
My husband and I call it plate-spinning.
I think we all spin plates throughout our lives. Personal hygiene and health, work obligations and deadlines, family needs and activities, relationships, (romantic, friends, and other), spiritual – go ahead and add the ones you’re thinking of here too.
Knowing my schedule and obligations means at the end of the day I get to look back and say, “Dang, that was a productive day!” or, “Well, I missed a couple of things, and will take care of them tomorrow.” It’s usually that I’ve been able to achieve all of the required tasks and the stretch goals, or bonus loose ends, are still hanging around.
I love routine and therefore my weeks are largely a rhythm. This rhythm allows me to generally know what’s coming up. Every now and then I’ll wake up and realize my day is wide open. No meetings. No tasks. No errands. It’s a day without a schedule.
On these days, I’m truly of two minds.
I start out excited. I’ve got a totally open day to fill as I please. My feminine body vibrates with the possibilities.
Take it easy?
Read a book?
Bake some banana bread?
The nurturing possibilities are endless and I breathe a sigh, relaxing into the ideas.
It doesn’t take long for my masculine side to jump in with its own ideas of how the day should go.
Get things done.
Tie up loose ends.
Achieve those little things that have been hanging on around the periphery for a while.
What can we do to get more of a leg up?
Both prospects excite me.
Yet if I’m honest, the pull of the feminine into self-nurturing usually feels so much sweeter.
So I strike a bargain. I pick what I call some “low hanging fruit.” Loose ends that would be easy to do, take less than half the day and leave my masculine feeling accomplished.
And what activity(ies) would be the most delightful and indulgent for this magical day of open possibilities for my feminine?
On occasion, I plan these days into my weeks. I block out time for self-care prior to a big event or meeting. It’s my opportunity to breathe and make sure I’m ready for whatever may come. And while it’s “on the schedule” I often give myself “too much” time to prepare and get lost in the “what can I do next to get ahead” spiral instead of taking the gift to charge up for the upcoming happenings.
My husband and I were talking about this phenomenon.
Bringing it into the light and acknowledging it to see if there was something we wanted to change.
Both of us recognize the cycle, the pattern. He has his own way of flowing through it and I have mine. The question is: How do we prepare for the cycle so we can better weather the productivity while embracing the opportunities to regenerate and relax?
This comes right back to personal awareness. As we see a pattern we are better able to understand it and prepare for the ebbs and flows. It means we watch for when the next opening comes up, examine what needs to happen in preparation of taking in the moment when the gift arrives.
For example – I’ve been working hard on an upcoming online course. We’ve been deep in content creation, recording, editing, designing, etc. My head has been very down and focused on the steps required to make it a success.
As I saw us winding down from the intense preparation two days ahead of schedule, I could have taken a moment to acknowledge the upcoming “downtime.” In so doing, I would have been able to assess any neglected tasks and determine what I needed to do to catch up OR I would see it as a gift to relax and recoup as a celebration of success. Hopefully, I would have done a little of both.
Instead, I kept my head down, focused on the tasks at hand and when we finished two days early, I felt a bit shocked and out of sorts. My brain kept short-circuiting thinking I was “supposed to” be super productive and in the studio. I couldn’t settle in and relish the moment.
I’ve been teaching people about their own SacredPulse® The rhythms we all experience and live with. This is a new awareness of one I get to embrace. A rhythm to understand and love as a part of my very human experience. Understanding it makes life a whole lot smoother. Planning for it means I get to sink into the accomplishments and rejoice in the self-care afterward.
Now that I see a new pattern I’m excited to play with it. I’m excited to see how my surprise downtime shifts into a more nurturing opportunity. And to be honest, I’m excited to see how my masculine and feminine play into the new discoveries 🙂