As we are swooping into the end of 2019, this is the time when everyone starts to plan their upcoming year with potential new projects, new year resolutions, new wellness and health goals, or a new bucket list.
I’m no different. I tend to start planning for the next year in November. After some brainstorming, I can have some down time for the ideas to sink in and see if they really fit or not.
This year, one thing that I keep on reading about from other spiritual teachers is “Do Less and Attract (Gain) More.”
I really had a hard time understanding this. How was it possible to do less but to gain more income for example?
I’ve been raised to believe that we must work hard to gain more. You reap what you sow, and no pain no gain. So, I guess the equation in my head looked something like this:
The harder you work = the more rewards you can reap
But the thing was, I was working hard this year (well I work hard every year). I planned, created and launched workshops, retreats, new classes, promotions and I poured my time and energy into them.
But the reward? Not so much. The turn out and responses to some events, promotions and classes were low. Of course I don’t mean the reward has to be a financial one. The whole experience of creating in itself is already rewarding. But I couldn’t shake off the feeling that all the effort I put into work felt like I was moving a pile of sand and I had to push constantly to make things happened.
When I posed the question to the Universe on how I could do less and gain more, I eventually got my answers. It’s all about simplifying my life. It’s about quality over quantity, getting the most out of from fewer things going on in my lives.
Below let me share my three key takeaways that have helped me tremendously.
1 – Say Yes to Things that are 100% Aligned to Your Soul
Rebecca Campbell, renowned spiritual teacher and author, shares that it is important to only say yes to things that are 100% aligned to your soul’s callings.
We often hear people talk about “learning to say no”. This is really taking a step further to think about what we are saying yes to.
Campbell shares that the hardest things to say no to are the things that are only 50% or 90% aligned to your soul’s purpose.
These are the things that we feel somewhat okay to do. Things that we are good at but not particularly passionate about. Things that we feel obligated to do for our family members, close friends or others.
But when we say yes to things that are only 90% aligned, inevitably we are saying no to potential opportunities that can be 100% aligned with our soul’s purpose.
So what does being 100% aligned feel like? The best answer you can get is to tune into your heart. If you feel good about it, your heart feels expansive and light and joyful. Bonus is if you can answer yes right away without hesitation, then that’s probably 100% for you.
If you have any slight hesitation on whether or not you feel good about something or not, then chances are, it’s probably not 100% aligned.
I’m still on a learning curve with this one. Luckily, we are not expected to be perfect. It will take time, but start somewhere.
Start with one area in your life where you feel you can be 100% aligned with your soul’s deepest yearnings. It can be the way you dress. It can be the way your bedroom is decorated. It can even be the way your skincare routine makes you feel.
2 – Focus on Less
If you are someone who tends to do many things at once (most of us do), then focusing on less is definitely worth trying.
A business coach I follow shares that it’s best to break down the year into quarters, and only focus on 1 to 3 projects per quarter, if not a year.
It’s not about doing more so you can gain more. We only have so much energy. If we spread ourselves thin, even though we can probably achieve all the things on the list but at the end of the day we feel exhausted. We don’t even get to enjoy the fruits of our labor.
Focusing on fewer projects a year can allow us to hone in our energy into creating something more intentional and meaningful. When we are “doing” less, we can have more quality time to do things that we love, or things that we’ve always wanted to do.
“Take A Break. It’s a life’s work, not a season. Get off the treadmill.”
~ Rebecca Campbell
So with this in mind, I wrote down 12 months on a piece of paper. First I wrote down any planned vacation time and important family events.
One of the valuable lessons I’ve learned recently is to prioritize my own needs and value myself. I can’t do what I’m doing if I’m constantly running on an half-empty tank.
I’ve realized that I’ve always put my business’s needs before my own needs. I need to see myself as an employee of my business too, a valuable one. If this sounds familiar to you, plan your vacation time first. You are the most valuable asset in your life.
Then I wrote down all project ideas that I could think of for my 2020 calendar, such as retreats, promotions, events, trainings, etc. I put the calendar down and let the ideas slowly sink in, and came back to look at it with fresh eye again in a few days.
I asked myself if I would feel good doing this project. If the answer was no, even if that was something that I had been doing for the last few years, I let it go.
It’s not easy, trust me, and that’s where surrendering takes place. Trust that the Universe has your back.
3 – Release the Future
There were things I was willing to let go of, but I didn’t know what they were going to transform into. I wanted answers. The end of the year was coming soon, and I wanted to be prepared.
I wanted to get my answers through Shamanic Journey, through meditation and even through my oracle cards. But because I was pushing for an answer rather than allowing something to rise from within, I got nada. I knew I was in my headspace because I kept overthinking and obsessing about it.
Then Gabrielle Bernstein’s latest book “Super Attractor” came to me at the exact right timing. In her book, I’ve learned that feeling good is our birthright and should be valued. We can, indeed do less and attract more. But the key here is to forgive the past, release the future, and focus on the now.
“The key to prayer is to forget what you think you need.” ~ Gabrielle Bernstein
I always tell people that we may not always get what we want, but we always get what we need. I probably should add that we always get what we need, WHEN we are ready.
I told myself that I was letting it go and surrendering my worries to the Universe, but in fact I was trying to micromanage the Universe (yes there’s still a control freak deep down somewhere in me).
So I distracted my obsessive mind with something else. Knowing in the back of my mind that I could trust my intuition, and when the right answer comes I would just know, I kicked back, relaxed and watched some Netflix.
Eventually the answers came. Effortlessly. And they felt 100% aligned to my heart and soul.
Less is More.
Our world moves at such an incredibly fast pace these days, and our schedule (and our children’s) are constantly filled with activities. No wonder so many people feel burnt out.
When we can simply have time to quiet down because we are focusing on fewer things, we can then pay attention to the intuitive guidance from our heart.
A simpler life doesn’t mean it’s boring. Slowing down doesn’t mean we are missing out.
In fact I’ll say it’s the opposite. Just by letting go of a few things that no longer excites me, I now can focus on what lights me up. And I’m looking forward to share them with you in 2020.