March 23rd, 2021 — We are slaves to our minds, aren’t we? Our minds are so powerful. Me? I’m a worrier.
I hate worrying, yet I do it often. The new term for it is “having an energy leak” and that is so apt. Energy leaks can be micro or mega…they come in all sizes, shapes and sorts. The little leaks that slow drip (those piles of stuff in your environment telling you that you’re disorganized)…and the BIG ones (those dark thoughts like “I’m failing as a parent and my children are doomed to a life of anxiety and depression”).
That’s some stinkin’ thinkin’ if I’ve ever heard it!
You know those annoying (and quite painful, too) sticker-burrs or “hitch-hikers” that are some of the meanest plants known to man? They attach to your socks, shoelaces, pants-legs, and just WAIT for you to gouge your finger on them!! And the tenacity they show by actually going through a load of laundry (washer AND dryer) and wait to pounce on your unsuspecting foot or finger as soon as you go to put on that sock???
We can’t live our lives expecting a sticker-burr or we will leak out all our precious energy!
Steven Covey explained it well in his epic book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The Circle of Influence lives inside a giant Circle of Concern.
I can worry about the availability of fresh drinking water in tiny villages in Africa. That would eat up every micro-bit of my energy because there is little to nothing I can do about that. Or, I can dial into a local chapter of a nonprofit that is directly helping people with their plight and know my time, energy and money are directly lifting up others.
I can worry about the future successes and failures of my three amazing boys over the next 2 decades. (spoiler: I do!) Or, I can check in with them and see how they are, observe their behavior, have conversations regularly about life.
It’s NOT EASY. But checking into those energy leaks and trying to plug the flow where possible is powerful!
This weekend I plugged one! Energy leak: It’s been ages since we’d talked to my in-laws. It was getting to me: why don’t they call? why don’t we hear from them more often? are they mad at us? are they sick and not telling us? did we do something to tick them off? (none of this is rational thinking…) So we simply up and called them out of the blue on Sunday morning around 9:15am and lo and behold, had a great chat!
Stop waiting for the perfect time/situation to do something and just do it, perfectly imperfectly.
Just do it! Don’t sit and swirl in the worry. It felt GREAT knowing we had checked in.
Stepping back and scanning your environment and headspace for energy leaks is CRUCIAL.
I did that this week in my business when my kids officially had Spring Break. For me, taking a “staycation” promoted lots more headspace because I wasn’t doing as much “face-space” online like my weekly Facebook Lunch Bunch Live and the Nonprofit Shoutout Interview. I knew there were too many things swirling around that needed my attention. I knew I was starting too many projects and things were getting VERY confusing. That is the opposite of CALM, y’all. That contributes to the energy leaks, of course.
Stepping back, really spending time THINKING and dialing in yields cool stuff!!! (Especially when you get sticky notes and sharpies involved!!) My overall theme: less is more! Simple and streamlined. Pick ONE THING…wow how expansive we can get during that “thinking time”!! (that’s for another blog post)
Here’s an energy leak that I noticed in my environment: I like to have a drying mat and rack next to the sink so I can regularly hand-wash things and leave them to dry. Until recently, it was on the right, which was NOT WORKING. It was crowding out the coffee making station and felt dirty instead of clean. When I stepped back, took a deep breath, and thought “why is this a pain in my butt?” I was able to identify: MOVE IT TO THE OTHER SIDE. So, now my drying rack in on the left, and works MUCH better. I moved the paper towel roll over, too, because it was infringing on the space for the drying rack. (oh, and train your family/housemates…LOL)
Simple, yes. Plugging an energy leak often is simple! It’s just takes that moment of stopping, BREATHING, thinking, observing…you will be amazed at what you come up with!
It feels AMAZING to plug energy leaks! Any energy leak is worth addressing.
Don’t know where to start? It helps to be calm, so check out my book The CALM Method: A Guide to Ditch Last Minute Living (Forever)
You’ve got this! Don’t hesitate to reach out. WE ARE BETTER TOGETHER!