Taking time off just to think and clarify your vision is a beautiful thing. I just got back from the Christine Kane retreat and I feel more energetically calm than I ever have before. I love calm energy.
I know it sounds like an oxymoron, but calm energy is an ideal for which I have been striving for over a year now. Some days I have it, some days, well . . . I think you know the rest of that phrase!
As a highly driven person, I can get miles ahead of myself in terms of energy. When I want something, I want it now. When an event is coming up, I get excited – too excited. Being married to another highly driven individual doesn’t help my disposition, either.
You would think that a person like me would thrive on high energy, always in motion, task-orientation, but with maturity, I’ve learned that calm energy is much better. Here’s why.
High energy is necessary for athletes during competition. There’s a level of adrenaline that is necessary for performing at peak performance. However, I don’t know of an athlete who competes every day, 365 days a year. Do you? Well, I know a lot of corporate types, and entrepreneurs, who do. They’re like me – or like I used to be – always running a race. We make the excuse that we’re driven to achieve our goals, that we’re the movers and shakers in society, and that it’s up to us to get things done because there are too many lazy people in the work force. And while all of that might be true, (!) this type of thinking and action-orientation tends to cause stress, high blood pressure, and heart attacks, among other problems.
Instead, calm energy leads to the same goal-related accomplishments, but without the stress and its outcomes. I will always be driven to achieve my goals and get more done. These are attitudes I value. But I prefer days where I go about it in an easy and relaxed manner. I actually ENJOY my days – my regular work days.
For quite a while now, I’ve been starting my day by journaling. I keep a gratitude journal, a goals journal, a daily writing journal, too many journals to list here, what can I say, I’m a 3, but every day, for the past 19 months, I have started my daily journal with, “I am the luckiest person alive. I love my life!” It feels good to have passion about my work and my life. The two are intricately intertwined for me – again, a “3” trait. (Obviously, we spent time at the retreat learning about the Enneagram.)
But having passion and enthusiasm for life and making a good living are not reasons to work 20-hour days. I have had days when I was so excited about my work, I didn’t want to sleep. I can remember writing in one of my journals that “sleep is for losers!” But that level of excitement will quickly burn you out.
Calm energy, on the other hand, allows for all that excitement, and JOY. You go about your day in an easy, relaxed manner, knowing that everything is going to get done, and tomorrow is another day on your journey. It takes the pressure off. It’s still exciting, and I actually find that I accomplish MORE on these days, than when I’m running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off. (A lady at the retreat had chickens. Not at the retreat – at her home – a farm. Ok – moving on.)
So how does one go about getting this calm energy? Here are my tips.
- Segment intending. Start the day by intending to maintain calm energy throughout all activities. Say to yourself, “I work in an easy and relaxed manner to accomplish my goals. I get everything done in its proper timing.”
- Meditation. I’ve grown to love practicing One Hour of Solitude any time a feel overwhelmed. I come out of that hour so much clearer, and definitely energized. I know it’s hard for people with my personality type to consider the prospect of sitting for an hour and doing nothing, but make yourself do it. Just trust me on this one and make it one of your accomplishments for the day – you’ll be glad you did.
- Organize and Prioritize. Make a list of everything you have to do, then prioritize it by level of importance AND what must be done today. Remember to add value to your day by doing at least one thing just for you. Whether it’s pampering you need, time for reflection, or doing just one thing that will get you closer to your ultimate goal, make time for whatever would make your day worthwhile.
- Create a timeline. This is VERY helpful to me. Because I often expect too much from myself, creating a timeline, or schedule, of when things will get accomplished helps me realize I’m doing too much. I then go back and re-prioritize my list. What REALLY has to be done today? What should I really do toward my ultimate goal? What would make me feel good about the day? Once these questions are answered, I can then set about my work happily, and calmly.
At the end of a day like this, I’ve accomplished just as much on my to-do list as any other, but I’ve enjoyed the process. And that actually makes me feel more successful. We are here to experience joy and well-being. That is our purpose. To creatively serve others in our quest for the fulfillment of our desires, in an easy and relaxed manner, for the highest good of all – aaahhh, what a retreat!
This post was written by Debra Moorhead, Motivation, Education, Inspiration on March 12, 2007