Why Softness Matters

5 ways to do more by being calmer

I was feeling pretty hard-edged for the first few months of the year. If you’ve read any of my recent blog posts, you may have noticed as much.

Oddly enough, I didn’t even notice it.

Photo courtesy Flickr (dictay2000)

Photo courtesy Flickr (dictay2000)

And the funny thing is, as an Energy Coach, it would be the first thing I’d notice if I met myself on the street. I wouldn’t judge it – I would just see it for what it was.

And I would realize that with some balancing, I’d be a lot more powerful.

But since it was me, and my own life, I was blind to it. I just kept on plugging away, pushing things into being, getting more and more worn down.

Do you know what I’m talking about with all this pushing?

Do have a similar, innate drive – that thing inside you that tells you to push, instead of sit back and “let things unfold?”

If yes, let’s be fair – to myself, to you, and to everyone else who raised their hand: this hardness, this drive-forward-at-all-costs, is pretty understandable.

We live in a culture of push, fast, go, big, bright. There are very few things around us (save for that yoga class) telling us to go slow, be still, enjoy the quiet, allow things to be.

On the contrary. We get rewarded (in spades!) for working longer, harder – from respect at work, a raise, or even just not-getting-fired; to respect from our peers (“wow, Julianna is always on the go!”); to a personal sense of accomplishment, or at least surface-level purpose.

On the other hand, there isn’t much social reward at all for softness. People (including ourselves) think it’s lazy. Slacker. Self-indulgent. Just plain weird.

In fact, I can’t think of one normal-world reason to be soft, to allow, to let things unfold.

It seems non-nonsensical. It doesn’t get things done. Or so we think.

And therein lies the problem…

There really isn’t a normal-world reason to be soft. But there is a major energetic-realm reason to be soft.

When we are soft, in the midst of all this hardness, we create balance. When we create balance, we are at our best.

Period.

It really is that simple.

Take me for example. I am currently in a business course which has me flying cross-country six (6) times in the first seven (7) months of this year. It also has lit a fire under me to up my game even further with my business. And as you know from my previous post, in the midst of all of this busy-ness, we got a new puppy. Just yesterday I wrote something that started with this: “I am going f*cking batsh*t crazy with this new puppy in my house.” Not to mention, my primary focus remains with raising my boys, which means I have less than 5 hours a day (ignoring puppy duties) to work on my business.

So, there’s a lot going on.

And when there’s a lot going on, I go into “get sh*t done!” mode. I dig in, and go full steam ahead. I meet it with the energy that it’s presenting me. Bring. It. On.

But….need I point out how totally out of balance that is?

When I finally woke up to what was going on, I began to make some down time for myself. Deliberately. Intentionally. Knowing somewhere, in the back of my mind, that something had to give.

I did this partly to calm the hyper-drive-mode I was in. Because it doesn’t feel good to be that on for that long. But I also did it because I know that I am better at everything I do when I am more calm and balanced.

Newsflash: you are too.

It can be easy to think the only way is to push. It can be challenging to bring softness into our lives and into our beings. But ask yourself what you have more of right now…are the tapes playing in your mind soft ones or hard ones? My bet is that they lean toward to hard. In which case, how about cozying up to some softness, in order to – paradoxially – make yourself even better at everything you are doing. Work, relationships, creative pursuits, kindness. Everything.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Change the tapes that run constantly in your mind to say positive, supportive, encouraging things to yourself. If it helps, imagine you are lovingly consoling a sad or lost child.
  2. Allow for the fact that you simply don’t know why things happen….but trust that they always happen for your highest good
  3. Love yourself for doing so much and trying so hard
  4. Bring yoga, guided visualization, etc into your weekly routine (hmmm – I’ll attach one here for you!)
  5. Do a “random act of kindness or senseless act of love” – one that you truly enjoy!

It’s a hard-edged, fast-paced world out there. We have to work hard to find reminders or encouragement to balance that hardness out with an equal measure of softness. Hopefully this post has done just that for you. If you feel like sharing your experience with all of this, I’d love to hear it, and I’m sure it will serve to inspire others as well!

Just remember: that oft-poo-pooed “slow it down a notch” aspect of each of us, is actually the most valuable thing of all.

 

 

My Money Wasn’t Where My Mouth Was (or something like that)

Vulnerable stuff ahead…

I had an “ah-ha!” moment with my coach last week (yes, even I have a coach…and I’m way better for it!) that my definition of SUCCESS didn’t add up to my definition of success. It sounds convoluted, and it is, which is perhaps why I hadn’t even noticed it before.

Here’s what happened:

Photo – Courtesy Gratisography

Photo – Courtesy Gratisography

I have a business that I LOVE!

But…. I’m not yet serving as many people as I know I’m meant to serve. And I don’t yet have the income that I know I’m meant to have.

And I just now realized (yes, just now) that because of these things, I often feel more like a failure than a SUCCESS.

Which makes sense…but also TOTALLY doesn’t. Keep Reading…>>

Saying Yes! to You: Why it matters & how to do it

Our boss “should” praise us; our partner “should” compliment us; our kids “should” thank us. But how often do any of these things happen? If we keep waiting around for them, we begin to feel very, very empty.

I’m going to propose something radical here: I going to suggest that it’s time we all begin filling ourselves, rather than expecting others to do it for us.

Photo courtesy: Creative Commons

Photo courtesy: Creative Commons

I wonder how many of you had some resistance flare up just now?

“I don’t have time to say ‘yes’ to me! Whoever heard of such a preposterous idea! I would never be that selfish!”

I can almost see a grandmother – or a Puritan!– poo-pooing the concept. You likely have the same voices in your head, saying that exact sort of thing. Keep Reading…>>

Triggered?

5 steps to help you not freak out

I just got a puppy. For the first time. Ever. And he’s 100% adorable and sweet (as you can see).

But holy smokes he is triggering me!

How can such a cutie possibly trigger me?

I know, how is that possible with a face as cute as this?

See, I didn’t actually want a new baby. (I know, a puppy isn’t a baby. But you’ve got to admit there are some similarities from the whole “totally dependent and time-consuming” angle.)

I’d had some pretty intense post-partum depression after my first baby. So there’s the trigger right there – this lack-of-freedom, and being-at-someone’s-beck-and-call is all too familiar. In a not-so-fun-way. Keep Reading…>>

When to Push v. When to Allow

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling a little “off” right now.

I feel like I want to be slacking, but I that should be charging forward instead.

Something inside me is wanting to be fallow – you know, to rejuvenate and all – but another part of me is acutely aware of the danger of losing momentum.

And the whole thing has got me to thinking about when to Push versus when to Allow.

Thinking

This topic is not new. Not to me personally, and certainly not to my clients.

Here’s how I most often encounter it for myself:

I really don’t feel like doing the dishes right now – but that’s okay, because I’ll have the motivation to do them at some point in the next 3-6 hours.

And I do. So it’s all good – this is a system that works for me. And for my family.

Along these same lines, if I don’t feel like doing the laundry, I know I’ll get to it within a day or two. Writing thank-you cards? A few days. Writing my next blog post? Um….

This is what I’ve been facing the past few weeks.

Yes, weeks.

Plural.

I just plain wasn’t feeling it. I was all Christmas and New Years and travel and family and eggnog. Nowhere in this milieu was there an energetic connection to sitting at the computer. Or reaching out to people who, by my estimates, were similarly in their own little tinsel and eggnog bubbles.

Frankly, I wanted to give us all a break. Keep Reading…>>

Why We Give Others Our Power

And (of course) how we can stop

I fancy myself to be a really grounded, centered person.

And I am.

Most of the time, anyway.

This morning I was thrown from that happy warm-fuzzy bubble.

Courtesy iStock

Aghh! Why does that still happen, when I know as much as I know and help as many people as I do?

Why do I still allow someone to take my power?

Now, in all fairness, that someone was my husband. And he wasn’t trying to take my power… Keep Reading…>>

How to Transform a Block That Has You Stuck

Energy Coaching. For Free.

Hi Julianna…I have conquered or aspired to and won most of my life goals…but there is one area that I have tried in the past. I have never failed at it but I have never conquered my fears around it either. My real concern is my own lack of being able to conquer this? That is where I need help. I want to conquer my fear and my desire.”

This week’s MP3 offers a really powerful guided visualization on transforming a block.

Often, we try to make changes by thinking or doing.

The reality is that the best thing we can do – for real, lasting change – is to go in the back door, sneaking past the brain, logic, and analysis.

That’s precisely what this recording does.

Each week I respond, in an MP3, to a reader’s question with some Energy Coaching and/or a guided visualization. Let me know what you think, in the comments below.

Read the full comment/request…>>