This is the first of a multi-part, informal series dubbed “Spring Cleaning,” which will reflect on some of the people/habits/obligations we should consider detoxing from our lives.
Another week, another Vibe. Take a minute and understand just what a blessing it is to be able to set the tone for the week AND month ahead.
Before we do, however, I just wanted to share a quick reflection on last week’s post, which believe it or not, had nothing to do with cereal. Your responses got my mind’s wheels turning and all I will say right now is that it seems we need to have a bigger conversation about shame down the road. So, consider it coming.
But now, it’s time to go back to the concept of Spring Cleaning by focusing on some tendencies worth detoxing from our lives. And I do so with the important disclaimer that I share the anecdotes about my day-to-day that I do not only so you can get a peek into my life, but so you can see glimpses of yourself in the stories.
As I believe I learned in the 5th grade, these are called metaphors.
So I have no doubt many of you will see yourself in my most recent a-ha moment that came last week as I was heating up my lunch in the microwave (yes, I know, microwaves are horrible, cancer-causing machines). But as I put my food in there, set the timer and began to watch it count down from 2 minutes, something absolutely startling happened in my subconscious: As the seconds ticked away, my knee jerk response was, “what can I get done in this time?”
And at approximately 1:57 on the clock I took off to collect all the dirty towels in the facility (oh, the joys of business ownership) and start a load of laundry.
And when I say I took off, I ran.
The result? I completed my task (AND washed my hands) with 17 seconds to spare, and was able to retrieve my food before the annoying dinging of the cancer-causing machine commenced. But as I walked back to my office with my lunch, ceremoniously mentally high-fiving myself for being a multi-tasking rock star, I was suddenly interrupted by the sensation that my heart was beating in my ears.
Because it was. My heart rate was so elevated from literally running from one end of our 8,000 sq. ft facility to the other in just over 90 seconds – all with the anticipation of getting it done before my food was ready – that my poor body responded as if I was in the middle of Tabata class.
In other words, I activated my fight or flight response simply in the name of “getting it done.”
This is an epidemic, Guys, and I know I’m not alone in this. The problem, however, is that it’s become our norm, yet it is NOT how our bodies were designed to be living.
Now, I’m the first to admit that I would never get everything done if I didn’t multi task, which is why this has become such a personal conundrum. But after the laundry incident and countless other occasions where I realize I’ve literally been holding my breath, I’m starting to wonder at what cost am I checking everything off the list?
Stress, my friends, is an inescapable part of existing, but it is in no way meant to be our default speed. And when we insist on multi tasking we are placing demands on our bodies and minds that are not reasonable. We are self-inducing anxiety and harm into our days.
We are subjecting our body to a perpetual mode of survival that is actually far more toxic than the cancer-causing machine.
So my goal for you (and, ahem, myself) this week is to focus on being a solo tasker. Whatever you’re doing, do it and nothing more (and yes, as in the case of my lunch-heating incident, this means you might have to actually wait).
All the cool kids are solo taskers and say it’s the next best thing. There’s no fear of missing out of checking everything off the list.
Just a euphoric sense of peace. And a normal resting heart rate.
Can’t hurt to try. Join me.