I love spring – it’s my favorite time of year. A beautiful added bonus is that we have had a considerable amount of rain here in Southern California so the hills are every shade of green imaginable and wild flowers abound. Yes, I love it all because it’s nature’s way of saying, okay, let’s start afresh – a new beginning.
Sitting on the patio, taking in the beauty of the morning, enjoying the opportunity to have a few quiet moments to just ‘be’ – what a wonderful way to start the day. The question comes to mind, Why don’t I start every day this way? It gives me so much joy, fills my soul and puts me in a ‘can do’ mood. So why wouldn’t I start each day that way?
The short answer is this: I don’t make it a priority – it’s an option. As I type these words, I feel disappointment. Why don’t I make it a priority? Why don’t I get up 15 minutes earlier and give myself the gift of savoring the beauty of the rising sun, feel the warmth on my face, and explore the possibilities of a new day? What other areas in my life am I optional rather than a priority? Relationships, health, self-care, business, pleasure? What decisions am I making consistently that keep my dream life as an option rather than a priority?
E gads – the list could go on and on – and then my curiosity jumps in with more questions – how did I allow this to happen? When did it become okay for me to allow other people, events, commitments, to take the priority position in my life?
I love this quote from Mark Twain – “Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.” The operative word being ‘allow’. Now, the rebel in me surges forth with the battle cry – just because I’ve allowed someone or something to be a priority in the past, doesn’t mean I have to perpetuate this in my future. It’s my choice – it’s up to me to prioritize. It’s that simple. I can choose differently, re-prioritize my day, my week, my life.
Here are some tips I’ve discovered to help you and your dreams be the #1 top priority positon in your life, starting today – right now! Give yourself the gift of taking the time to discover how you can become – and remain – a priority in your life.
1. Make yourself and your dreams the priority.
Try this exercise: grab a piece of paper and draw line down the center. On the top of the left column write Priority and on the top of the right column write Optional. Start filling in the columns – reflect on people, events, places, decisions, circumstances where you have set aside your wants, needs, dreams and desires.
I’ve been doing this exercise with clients for years with the same results. The column on the right is a very long list and the column on the left has precious few items listed.
The solution: each time you make a decision – about scheduling an appointment, or agreeing to do something, or volunteering, etc., ask yourself this question; “Will this interfere with my commitment to make myself and my life a priority?” Another question you can ask is: “Which side of the list will this populate?” And, “Am I willing to push my dreams aside for this, and if so, why?”
2. Recognize and banish the vampires in your life.
Yes, we all have them – the biggest – and most challenging for me are the energy vampires. The most obvious are people that seem to suck the joy out of us. It’s an effort and a struggle to spend time with them – and yet we do. Another type of vampire is the one that consumes vast quantities of our time. What other type of vampires do you experience? Some are very obvious, others are more obscure, so be vigilant and keep looking – you may well be surprise at what you discover!
The solution: Hit the pause button! Take a deep breath and before you respond and ask yourself, “Does saying yes honor my intention of making me a priority?” If there’s any hesitation or uncertainty, then my recommendation is to postpone making the commitment until you can do so with a clear understanding. Here’s a super simple question you can ask yourself: “Is the price worth the prize?”
3. Accept and embrace your uniqueness.
You possess a uniqueness that is only yours – no one else in the entire world has your combination of skills, experiences, gifts, knowledge and value – only you. Now that’s quite remarkable, isn’t it? Because you are this amazingly unique person that only you can be you! Accepting this and embracing the incredible opportunity presented to you is a big responsibility and it can be overwhelming. So we play small, stay in the shadows, support and encourage others so that they can soar. This is an easy trap for women to fall into.
The solution: Consider yourself a worthy cause! Just as you would for any cause that ignites the torch in your soul, give your time, money, energy, effort, dedication, support, to honoring, sharing and celebrating the wonderful human being you are! Share all of who you are with your world – however big or small your world may be.
If you’re struggling with this, then make a list of your attributes and skills -especially the ones that are easy and effortless for you to do. You have them – your sense of humor, compassion, nurturing abilities, smarts, work ethic, skills, dedication, uncompromising values, and so many other aspects. List them and put this list in a place where you’ll see it every day. Consider the amount of time you spend each day checking out your face, makeup, teeth, hair, clothes and spend an equal amount of time considering your beneath- the-surface qualities that are as important, if not more so – than your physical appearance.
A final thought: if the thoughts swimming around in your awareness are something like, “No way, I can’t do this.” Or, “It’s too much.” Or, “I’ll never get it right so why bother.” My invitation is to set those thoughts aside and listen for the whispering messages from your soul that are striving to be heard – thoughts like – “You are so worth it!” “Yes you can!” “It’s your turn!” “You have so much to offer!” Those are thoughts you want to embrace and believe so you and your dreams will be the priority in your life. Starting today, right now!
Yes, you can – I believe in you!
If you liked this, then you’ll love my upcoming workshop “Spring Clean Your Mind in 3 Super Simple Steps”. Do you want to feel like a breath of fresh air has just cleared away the cobwebs and your mental clutter has disappeared? Save the date and time in your calendar right now: May 23 at 11:00 am PT. Please white list my email address so your personal invitation lands safely in your inbox!
P.S. If you’re not sure how to tune into the messages from your soul, then click on this link to download your copy of 7 Fast and Easy Steps for Tuning Into Your Soul.