It’s all about space…

Have you ever felt completely overwhelmed and stuck? Like you have all this stuff you want to do, but you can’t seem to get there?

That was me two weeks ago. It kind of felt like I was drowning in my to-do list. I was feeling increasingly frantic.

So I decided to do something about it.

On August 12 I announced that I was going on a blog-holiday. Two weeks post-free to rest and dream and work on other things.

I had three goals:

1. to unplug and relax and catch my breath
2. to take care of the MANY things on my to-do list that kept getting bumped by post-writing
3. to get the kind of perspective on my blog and business that only time away can provide, and to come back with new ideas and dreams and insights

And you know what? It totally worked.

Here’s a summary:
The first weekend, we took a road trip to PEI and stayed with some friends.

Photo of giant-ass Confederation Bridge not-by-me

It was fabulous! I left my laptop at home, we drove over the bridge under a spectacular full moon, and we had a glorious day-and-a-half in the sun on the Island. We played games, we went to a beach, we ate supper at the Churchill Arms (SO GOOD), and we went for an evening walk in downtown Charlottetown. It was short, exhausting, but good (even though we didn’t get to visit everyone we wanted to).

The next week was the perfect mix of work and play. I checked about a dozen non-blog-related things off my list. I scanned some photos and paintings. I collected some quotes to tweet. I journalled. I came up with ideas for not one, but three e-books. I watched all of the new episodes of Torchwood. And that weekend, we went swimming at Dollar Lake. We drove out late Sunday afternoon, and the water was perfect.

Last week I ended up doing a bunch of website-related stuff sort of by accident. I changed the blog theme, and accidentally wiped out a bunch of my settings. Oops. But somewhere in there, while I was rebuilding my sidebar from scratch, I realized that I actually liked the change (this, I believe, is typical Mercury Retrograde stuff).

...at least this didn't happen...

Somehow that “oops” launched a whole series of blog-related techy things that I had been procrastinating on for months because I didn’t know how to do them. (I maintain that this doesn’t count as cheating because I didn’t actually engage in blogging activities…just techy ones). I’m not done with the changes yet…there are big things —including a change in URLs— coming very soon.

And then we wound things up by spending a day at a friend’s house in the country and making a bonfire at the top of a hill covered in blueberry bushes.

Rest, check.
Work, check.

I’m still working on the third goal of the vacation, the blog-and-business perspective. But I do have some insight on the vacation itself:

This vacation was all about space. Creating space for change to flow in.

I made some space in my schedule by eliminating blog-posting for 2 weeks. I cleared some space in my to-do list (and my brain) by completing nagging tasks. I changed things around, and in the process I ended up shifting massive blocks and moving forward in ways I didn’t expect. I needed to clear the space for this to happen.

And now I feel like a snowball at the top of a hill, just edging toward the slope…things are moving! I like this feeling. Now I’m wondering what else I can do to make space for change in my life…I can’t be on vacation all the time (that would sort of defeat the purpose!)

What about making some physical space?

…if you read yesterday’s Inspiration Tuesday post, you’ll notice that the Internet presented me with this post: Andrea Schroeder, in the throes of pre-moving stuff-elimination writes,

I’m doing a full-on all-out clearing.
Everything that no longer serves me – gone.
Blocks: dismantled and their components taken away to the thrift shop where someone else can build something beautiful out of them.
Obstacles: thrown into the recycling bin like they should have been long ago.
As I’m doing this with my stuff I’m also doing this with my stuff.
It’s a huge job.  It’s tiring physically and it’s exhausting emotionally.
Creating space for the next stage.
More creativity.  More freedom.  More possibility.  More flow.  More space.  More sparkle.

That’s starting to sound pretty damn good to me.

After all, right now it’s all about space.

Try this at home: The next step(s)

Happy Friday!

Yesterday I was having a terrible morning. My son was volatile, I was stressed and cranky, and things were bad. It could have spiraled into all-out Suck, but I did three things that fixed it (OK, four…I made hot chocolate, and I did these three things).

First, I wiggled my toes.

Then I grounded myself.

And then I took the next step. Literally. I walked.

A little back story:

The last time I performed onstage I was 24. I had already discovered Reiki. And I knew about how important grounding was. So when I had a truly hideous technical rehearsal for my pieces, I suddenly realized that the problem wasn’t being onstage again, being under-rehearsed, or even being nervous, it was not being grounded.

I was so not-grounded that I wasn’t even in my body at all, and I couldn’t get grounded by doing my usual visualization. So I spent the next few hours (when I wasn’t rehearsing or doing make-up) doing the following thing, and it worked so well that I ended up feeling more comfortable on that stage than I ever had before.

Sound good?

Here’s the magic walking exercise:

Focus on the pressure of your feet on the floor. Actively feel your soles pressing down into the floor as if you were walking on something slightly spongy. Hug the floor with your toes (this is sort of a combination of toe wiggling and grounding). Keep your knees slightly bent, and really feel your weight pressing down.

Now walk around like that.

Seriously, go about whatever you were doing, but keep your feet pressing into the floor. Hug the floor. Pause periodically to actively press your weight down. (You can make this into a dance…but that’s a whole other blog post)

I don’t know why this works so well, but it really does.

This would work even better if you were outside, but it does work, even on the second floor of a concrete building.

Looking beyond “success” and “failure”

This is the post I dreaded writing…and that ended up practically writing itself in the end.

I held two Dancing Mamas events this month. One last weekend, and one the weekend before. This was my second try…you can read about my first try and the lessons I learned here.

So…how did these ones go?

Just like last time, that depends on how you look at it.

Were they jam-packed money-making name-establishing phenomenons?

Ummm…no.

Did I get to dance with people I love, reconnect with someone I haven’t seen in years, and learn at least a dozen lessons to apply the next time I try?

Oh, yes. Absolutely.

Notebook full of notes. So many lessons!

On July 17 I set up in an absolutely beautiful studio just outside of Halifax. And no mamas came. But (and this is a Big Deal) one old student did come. This month I finally emailed all of my old DansKinetics students from back in 2007, and one of them was so excited to dance with me that she came out to Dancing Mamas. We had an amazing chat and a really great dance together. I played a completely different playlist just for her and me, and it was awesome.

The whole afternoon reminded me how much I loved the classes I offered when I was pregnant and how amazing the people were. It made me want to revisit the classes I offered that time around. It reminded me that you don’t always have to reinvent the wheel, even when you’re revamping your business. Thank you, Martina, for coming out and dancing with me.

On July 23 I set up in a crowded library in a residential area of suburban Halifax. And I ended up dancing with my old ballet studio-mate Omni and my friend Kerry and her small son Jonah. We had a fantastic time boogieing and chasing Jonah around.

I learned so much that afternoon: about how I was experiencing severe (and I do mean severe) resistance to really embracing the possibility of success, how I’m not sure if I have the details of Dancing Mamas quite right, about how the next time I try a library class I think I want to make it either free or as close to free as I can because it feels wrong to do otherwise.

And I also learned about the things I’ll bring next time: dry erase markers and extra business cards and cups for the water fountain. And about how awesome, supportive, and truly loving my friends are.

You can’t put a price on what I learned.

A handful of precious (and unexpected) gifts.

So, was the second round of Dancing Mamas Tribes a success?

I think that might be the wrong question.

It was exactly what I needed at this time and under these circumstances.

And that’s all that matters.