Ever heard of the phrase “Life Math?”
I didn’t coin the phrase, but I’ve had a case of it this last month where the numbers aren’t adding up! Meaning there’s more stuff going on than I “have time to do.” I’ve missed sending you these messages. I’ve been launching client sites, did this site for my own businesses, held the Real Food Challenge, working on a new program and it’s virtual school for my kiddos (#theyarealwayshome). Life Math also includes the mundane, like ordering toothpaste and doing laundry. That stuff all takes time.
This is NOT about “hey look at me, see how much I did, why are you slacking?!”
Cause my asshole brain is like, why didn’t you keep on blogging? How come you didn’t get done with this and this and this?
It’s a litany that doesn’t really end, no matter how much you actually do!
Where does all this pushing actually get us? What are we really winning when we let the narrative of “do MORE” because no matter what we do “it’s not ENOUGH” be the dominant voice in our head?
And it’s not about prioritizing or getting better at planning. I didn’t get this far in my career because I’m not good at productivity and execution.
So how I make Life Math work
#1 Knowing Myself
I’m a campaigner. Have you done the 16 Personalities test yet? It’s fascinating. What I know about myself is that I love doing ALL. THE. THINGS. I have to actively pull myself back from my daily to do lists. Believe me, this isn’t a systems/process thing.
It’s innate in me. I know this.
I have to tell MYSELF no. It’s an entirely painful process and saying yes all the time is kind of something I’m not totally aware of when it’s happening. But I’ve realized I can’t give from an empty well and I can’t do everything (jeez, it hurts me to even type that! 🥴). And I can’t do it perfectly, either. Ugh.
It is not a kindness if it comes with attachments of resentment. And I have to admit, I’m really good at kindness… the thing is that I end up mad at myself, so what’s the point?
But knowing myself helps to process this, understand why it’s hard for me and develop systems and processes that do support me.
#2 Call BS on Society’s Influence
We live in a society that emphasizes going, doing, hustling, productivity and more. Saying no, slowing down are not valued. If this is your choice, it’s like doubling down on rebellion. You have to pushback on those external message and still find “value” in yourself when you actively say “this life math sucks and I want it to be different.”
Things kinda changed with the pandemic, except that it kinda didn’t. I think it morphed more than anything. To me, there’s an added layer of intensity because our nervous systems are still on high alert because things aren’t “normal.”
It’s hard. And being “on” all the time is exhausting.
#3 Seek Silence
Goodness gracious there so much noise. The screens. The social media. The demands. ping. ping. ping. Notifications, phones, emails, electronics attached to our bodies that never give us a break.
This is a case for quiet. Stillness. Breath. I like to surrender to the peace inside myself because it is really hard to find it externally. You, too, have this deep, rich goodness in you that you can access. You just have to be still and pause. And not be afraid of the quiet.
Our minds say we can’t — chattering away, the list multiplying, feeling ancy… yes those are true. AND we can breathe anyway.
Life Math won’t make stillness a part of the equation unless you give it permission. Does this change everything? It can. But that’s not the question. Stillness is where I find myself. It’s where I regenerate. Recover. Heal.
Letting my body do it’s magical work of breathing. Let my mind wander freely. Sitting, while gravity holds me. Nothing is needed from me in those moments.
My husband found me in the closet the other day. I was putting on my shoes and then I just paused and stayed there. Surrendering to the quiet. And then I started packing for Bali. Kidding! I took the dog for a walk and skipped around the neighborhood, which is hard work BTW.
Often we want to burn everything to the ground and start over, when really it’s little things that can help. What a few moments of stillness have given me is the strength to keep going in ways that feel right and good to me. It feels ancient and deeper than what a lot of what modern life gives us (stress and pressure).
I’ve found it’s worthwhile to build in those moments of stillness, rather than committing to big sweeping changes.
May you seek stillness even in the midst of chaos. May your Life Math add up in ways that make you feel alive. May you know that there’s so much kindness and appreciation for you coming to you through these words.
P.S. The image is from a bluff on the Lewis and Clark Trail in Weldon Springs, Missouri. I like to trail run there, and always stop so I can to BE in nature, touch the earth and admire the forest.
P.P.S. If you take the personality test, let me know your results!! So curious!!