I wish you could feel the energy buzzing around my kitchen these days, and see how I'm so lit up inside I can hardly sleep or remember to eat. The end is in sight on my new project, and there's nothing that gives me a greater high than finishing things. I feel like a racehorse with the finish line in sight, and I get these tremendous bursts of energy which are a perfect match for the tremendous number of tasks there are to do at the completion of any big work.
The new project, Telling Your Story, is a home study course designed to guide you through excavating your stories and sharing them in a powerful way. Imagine if you could attend a 12-week workshop with myself, along with Peter Aguero and Ophira Eisenberg, two of New York City's most amazing storytellers--one from an improv background and the other from the world of comedy. Imagine all those stories, tools, insights and exercises beautifully packaged and arriving right in your mail box, ready to inspire and guide you. In your own world, at your own pace--it will meet you right where you're at.
Can you see why I'm excited?
But I keep pulling my feet back down to earth, to practice my self care and make sure I don't spin myself into exhaustion or illness. Here's a list that I'm writing for myself, and sharing in case you could use it, too.
Self-Care Rx: When the End is in Sight
- Remember to eat. Set alarms if you have to. Energy bursts throw off my appetite, and I get easily disinterested in food or resentful of the time it takes to track down good food and consume it. Now I recognize that these are red flags that mean remembering to eat good food throughout the day is more important than ever.
- Resist the fallacy that you don't have time to take care of yourself. I understand our deadlines often feel like guns to our head--trust me, I'm the only one holding it in my own scenario. I have those fears that say it won't all get done unless I stay up late at night and work through lunch and wait until November to take a shower, but I know from experience it's not true. It all gets done, and taking care of myself along the way just means it gets done without unnecessary suffering. When I'm well rested and fed, I have access to my magic--that special groove that seems to stretch time and make the impossible manifest before my eyes. When I'm run down, I lose all coping skills and start to cry a lot. Reminding myself of this when those fears come knocking is gold.
- Walk away. Close the laptop, walk down the street for a lunch date. Take a day to be with a visiting friend. What seems like an unrelated distraction might be just the thing you needed to read or to hear to leapfrog forward in your work. I have some conversations that feel like they catapult me ahead by weeks or months of the pace I'm making on my own. Everything in our lives is so interconnected that I'm clear that my rest, my play, my friendships--everything I fill my breaks with is supporting the work I'm finishing. It's not a distraction to walk away and take breaks; it's a necessity for finishing without suffering.
- Go to bed early or take naps. Sleep is my #1 secret weapon. My mind solves all kinds of problems while I'm sleeping. The temptation is to burn the candle at both ends, but lately I've just started refusing to do that. And here's the big surprise: the work still gets done.
- Delight in the project, the work, the deadline. Feel the energy bursts and the fears and revel in how alive it all is. This is you at the finish line: persevering, focused, digging deeper than you ever imagined you could go. And you've never been better.