A client told me she was looking for the keys to activate her super powers.
You know those superpowers.
The ones that allow you to be faster than a quickly-filling in-box, more powerful than a never-ending to-do-list, and able to leap tall piles of laundry in a single bound.
I get it. In this over-scheduled, always-plugged-in life so many of us are living, we’re overwhelmed and tired. We feel cranky and snappish. We long for joy, satisfaction, and sparkle. But unless a fairy-godmother appears, waves her wand, and and sprinkles us with fairy dust, we can’t seem to kick-start that sparkle.
And as far as our oh-so-stylish super-hero cape? It’s hiding in the back of the closet with layers of dust accumulating on the shoulders.
Here in the United States, Memorial Day weekend is upon us. Officially meant as a time to honor those who died in our Nation’s service. Unofficially, it’s the beginning of summer. Since Memorial Day weekend is when the vast majority of us make the mental and emotional switch to Summer Time, what if you decide that you’re going to turn on the switch for yourself?
Dedicate your summer to unleashing your Super Powers!
Sadly, fairy godmothers only exist in fairy tales, but…what if you didn’t really need one? What if you could wave a magic wand of your own? What if you could stir up your own magic dust?
What if you could use this three-day weekend to begin the process of activating your own super powers?
Since the beginning of constant communication, we’ve been expected to always be available. We’re taught to give up our personal time and that the only way we can be successful is to do more. We cut back on sleep in order to have enough hours to get everything done. We eat out of containers and from drive-thru places because there is no time to cook.
The problem is that the human body doesn’t really work that way. When you deprive your body of proper rest and good food, you are actually less productive. You live on auto-pilot. You lose touch with your creative spirit. Life becomes one long to-do list with things like rest and joy under the column labeled “don’t.”
We run, run, run until we’re on empty, yet are confused that we’re so damned tired.
So, how do we trade in the endless to-dos, reclaim the items we’ve shifted to the “don’t” list, and let our inner super hero out to play?
Here are three things you can do this weekend to kick-start your Super Powers:
Key One – Begin Getting Adequate Rest
Really tune into your body this weekend so you begin to relearn its signals. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast, and then climb back into bed with your sweetie for a nap. Read a book. Allow yourself an hour to stay caught up on your email, and then turn off your computer (and IPhone) and walk away. Take a stroll around your neighborhood. Sit out on the porch and watch the fireflies. Go to bed early.
How to keep this rolling come Tuesday?
When Tuesday rolls around, remember how great rest felt. Block of time for leisure activities. Set a boundary with your Smart Phone by turning it off every night at a particular time (mine goes off by 9 PM). Honor yourself by going to bed instead of “catching up” on email.
The fact is this: you need to get more sleep. And you need relaxation.
I know it will be challenging at first. Your mind will begin to list the bazillion things that need to be done before bed. But instead of listening to your mind, you need to listen to your body.
Two – Eat Proper Meals (& Hydrate)
Instead of eating this weekend, dine. Sit at a table with plates and real silverware. Drink water. Create at least one meal per day from the ingredients up. Choose a beautiful piece of fish and fill your basket with gorgeous vegetables. Go out for brunch with your partner. And yes, go to that BBQ and enjoy your friends. But this weekend, darling: no fast food. And did I mention water?
You need to do one thing to carry this “meal thing” into the week: spend just 10 minutes planning your meals for the rest of the week. That way, when Thursday rolls around, you won’t be tempted to grab a burger and fries at the nearest drive-thru. You have a plan in place for dinner each day. And to stay hydrated, pour yourself a big glass of water in the morning along with that cup of coffee.
This may prove more challenging than getting adequate rest, but you cannot thrive if you fuel your body with high-fat, high-sodium foods.
Three – Delete One Thing
Maybe you said “yes” to not only your best friend’s BBQ on Saturday evening, but you also said “yes” to attending a book club meeting Saturday morning, baking cookies for the church bake sale (and set up) on Sunday, and brunch at your mom’s on Monday. Eliminate just one thing. When every spare moment is scheduled to the point you have no spare moments, it’s challenging to enjoy even the most pleasant events because you’re mind is racing ahead to the next “must do” and “must go to”. And trust me, it’s next to impossible to rest or eat well if your time is booked solid.
I can already hear you telling me that this is something you can’t carry forward. Let me tell you darling, the more “to dos” you try to squeeze into your day the less you actually get done. So this week, eliminate just one thing from your to do list that you don’t delight in.
If you are struggling with what to delete, try one (or both) of these exercises to help you find potentials
- Think about what you are tolerating you’re your life. (A ‘toleration’ is anything you are putting up with, from excess weight or a living room wall color you never liked, or a negative relationship – - anything that bugs you, even if you think there is nothing you think you can do about it.). Create a list of five things you are tolerating.
- Take a look at your to-do list and your calendar. Make a list of the activities on your list that you dread. Delete – or delegate – just one thing.
Let me tell you something that I know, my dear: you are blessed with amazing super powers. You can re-invigorate your life. You can feel excited and energized.
And yes, even sparkly without needing fairy dust.
It’s all a matter of allowing into your life, bit by bit, the keys of Super Power activation: Rest. Eat. Delete.
Now, fess up: which of these areas need to be tweaked for you? What can you do this weekend to re-boot your super powers?