Posts in Personal Growth
The Power of Ditching Your To Do List 

Do you constantly stare at your to-do list
watching it grow by the minute
with the heavy, dreadful feeling
that it'll never shrink? 

As soon as you cross something off
two more things are added. 
Exhausted
like a hamster stuck in a wheel.
It's going so fast you can't get off
to catch your breath
The options are:
keep going
or jump. 
Tuck and roll
and hope you land in one piece. 

Earlier this year I decided To-do Listing would be
my biggest "stop doing" declaration.
I felt consumed by my tasks
in an endless cycle of
do. do. do. 
I stopped making to do lists
and instead I would complete the important tasks. 

I decided to trust myself.
Instead of using my to do list
as a badge of productivity.
 
And by the way, I completed my tasks.
My headspace clear
finally able to focus
instead of constantly drowning
in the 20 next things. 

It was challenging
and oh so freeing. 

Now, I know when I'm falling into my old habit.
Now, I know how to pump the brakes
and do the next important thing. 

It took me time
and effort
and constant awareness
but it was worth it. 

I am worth it.

What's on your stop doing list?
stop getting stuck to the computer screen working for hours on end
stop creating expectations of others in your head
stop worrying about what others are doing
stop reading about writing and write 
stop thinking about doing a handstand and try

The things we stop doing could be more important
than what we actually do. 
Because when we stop, 
there's room to start something new. 

The internal battle must conclude
to get to doing what you want to do. 
This doesn't mean the war is over, 
just a battle. 
You will always discover new things to stop doing
You will constantly come back to what's not working
and what could.

So, what's not working?

What could you stop doing to make space for the things you
want to be doing? 



-H

P.s. We're diving into this and so much more in Year of Soul 2019. I hope you'll join us. 

There is room for all of you to exist

You know that voice in your head?
The one that "doesn't want to"?

There's room for her to exist too

Like the part of you with a brilliant idea
they sit across from each other and tug-o-war
for the final decision
the choice you get to make

Sometimes you'll opt out
you'll say "not right now"
and guess what?
that's OK

other times you won't even hear the "not right now"
you'll dive into days of creative overflow
but not always

the ebb & flow
the give and take
are a constant cycle

This year I've been looking more at cycles
and less at a linear completion
I have some projects that pour out of me
in quick short spurts 
and others I've been working on for seasons
diving in, slowing down, backing off
diving in, slowing down, backing off
not on purpose
but in a real way

if you're a woman who menstruates
(hi - half of the world does)
you may be familiar with this cyclic... torture... blessing

For me, it's helped me better notice my creative cycles
each month I get low, don't want to move, can't move
for a few days
I shut down
it's frustrating and also liberating to take the time
to allow nothing-ness
unproductive-ness to happen

and the irony? while I'm being "unproductive" 
my body is doing magic each month
(no it's not actually magic, but damn it's mesmerizing)

So my question is this... 
Do you allow all of you to exist?
the fast and slow
high and low 
happy and sad
the social and recluse

and how does it feel?

the parts create a whole
kind of like a puzzle with missing pieces
it's not quite complete
but the whole thing
it's a masterpiece

there's a reason why I ask
because "before" I was only
happy, excited, perky, social
I pushed down my mad
my low
my not in the mood

I didn't let them exist because they weren't "me"
and somewhere deep down I felt incomplete

You're allowed to exist in all states
not just your default ones

if this feels true
like you're ignoring a part of you
I hope you'll join me in Year of Soul
My 2019 group that will dive into
-> what you want and why  
-> why and how you do (and don't do) certain things

Think:
shifting your mindset
experiencing instead of just doing
living each day instead of checking them off
innovating your to-do list
and prioritizing a stop doing list

regular planning, acting and reflecting
to reshape your days into the life you dream of.

no more auto pilot
no more trance
all presence
all light
a desire driven life

2019 is the year
the work begins now by deciding

Join Year of Soul 2019

-H

how to live a desire driven life.png
How I Lost Weight By Quitting The Gym and Whole30

 

For years I obsessed

with body weight and workouts.

I used to wake up every morning at 5 AM

and spend two hours at the gym before work Monday through Friday

I did 10 Whole 30s over the course of four years

I completely change my eating habits

yet still nothing “happened”.

 

Through all of my hard work, I still felt “not completely me”

 

I developed irrational non-negotiables for cheese and bread

but instead ate endless amounts of Laurabars and Paleo desserts.

 

I took many progress pics over the years so I could see all of this hard work pay off.

Surely it would all be worth it once I looked “better”.

But I didn’t enjoy working out. At all.

Whole30 was making me sorta crazy.

I felt restricted. Not free.

My own choices felt hard… not easy.

 

So I stopped working out.

I quit my job and left the life I knew.

I stopped freaking out about bread and cheese and beer and beans.

I stopped obsessing over the rules of Whole30

and how many squats will lift my ass an inch higher.

 

I stopped so I could start living my life.

 

Earlier this year I stepped on the scale out of curiosity

and I saw a number I haven't seen in probably 10 years

I was kind of in disbelief so gave it a redo

Same number, same me.

I didn't feel like I'd accomplished anything, because I wasn't trying to.

 

I’ve just been living a life that feels good

And this body of mine followed suit.

 

The only change I've made is:

my relationship to myself

 

Asking:

What do I want?

How do I want to feel?

Am I full?

Do I feel the need to move? to sweat?

What do I need right now to feel good?

 

I eat in the moment now. I'm not worried about my food choices for the next 30 days, I'm just interested in now. This is my story - and only a short piece of it.

My experience is mine and we are all different, but I do believe one thing to be true for us all:

Working on relationship to self will do more for you than working out, eating Whole30, or reading any damn book.

 

What’s your relationship with yourself like?

How might you treat yourself like someone you love?

 


My first experience in a sensory deprivation float tank

I have a confession to make…

I take things too seriously. There. I said it. There is this perfectionism inside of me that I keep coming up against in weird areas of my life.

Like when I play a board game, I have to make sure the cards are perfectly straight AND I have to follow the rules to a T. Why? No idea. If you saw my closet, car, or know me at all you’d know that I’m not that orderly and I sure as hell don’t follow rules to a T.

Or, when I want to try / learn something new, I put it off forever. The little voice in my head says, “If I can’t do it perfectly, I’m not going to do it at all. Because I’ll look stupid or embarrass myself or discover that I’m terrible at whatever it is.” This has stopped me from doing a lot of things.

It hasn’t been until recently that I started realizing this so I’ve been really curious about exploring this side of me.

When I went to Weightless Float Center last week I didn’t know I would encounter my relentless perfectionism. Like, how?! I was in the most relaxing setting ever and this damn “make it perfect” thought popped up!!! This makes me laugh because who in their right mind tries to float perfectly?

Let me give you a little play-by-play of what I encountered before, during, and after my experience:

I met the owner of Weightless back in JANUARY and he invited me to come check it out.

 

I procrastinated (clearly!) for some reason and kept letting other things stop me from going. Like “I’m so busy” “I’ll look to see if they have openings tomorrow” “Maybe I’ll go next week” “Oh I just shaved my legs or colored my hair” and so on and so on. Looking back, the 6 month gap in the invitation to actually going was my first sign that I was trying to make the experience “perfect”. You know, because I just had to go on the “perfect day” to try it out and make sure I read the FAQs 100 times so that I knew every detail of what to expect.

 

Over the last 6 months, I’ve realized this procrastination-caused-by-perfectionism thing in me and have been working on ways to become aware of it and do something about it that doesn’t keep me stuck. Like my #30DaysPlay challenge back in April or actually trying to dance around the house, for the sake of dancing around the house with no other goal than to let go and experience.

 

So, I finally made it to Weightless. Last week I looked at their website and booked a same day float mostly because I was tired of putting it off, tired of not knowing what it was like, and I definitely needed 90 minutes to myself to explore all of the above.  

I felt prepared and excited to be trying something new.

When I walked in I immediately felt at ease. I thought, “Thank God I’ve finally come here.” I was greeted with a smile and showed to my float room where I was given thorough, yet simple instructions on how to prep, float, and end my experience. FYI - there is nothing complicated about this experience ;)

weightless float Kentucky
weightless float kentucky

Once I had the room to myself I showered off and got in. The water was the perfect temperature (not cold and not hot, but just right - like a Goldielocks kinda feel). I reminded myself that I didn’t have to “do anything” and began my float.

Some time in I got a little antsy. Mostly because the voice in my head was saying, “Lay perfectly still and experience every second”. Not rigid at all, huh?

I stayed still for a while and my mind began to drift (thank goodness) and I thought about astronauts. Surely this is how it feels to float in space. Weightless. Limitless.

So cool.

Hailey Heishman sensory deprivation

I was starting to relax and it felt good. I started to wiggle around a bit and feel what it felt like to let go and just let my body be free. It reminded me of being a kid in the bathtub, only better.

I came back to stillness and really felt myself floating. I felt my weight and the “invisible support” below me (the salt water). Then I kind of felt… unsupported. Like I was tensing myself because I couldn’t feel below me. If you’ve ever done yoga and been in savasana there’s a feeling of melting into the floor. The hard floor below you is the support and you can fully release any tension that you’re holding.

I thought of this and wondered if I could still let go and trust that I was supported. It was a little intimidating at first. My body knew I was supported. The water was completely holding me up, but my mind thought, “What if I completely let go and sink?!” FYI - it’s not possible in the float tank - there is so much salt that you float like a little buoy.  So why did my mind feel this way? Why couldn’t I let go?

Because I like to be in control. I hold on, and stand up straight, and brace myself constantly. I don’t always trust that I won’t go under, fall, or be supported by my surroundings.

Don't worry, this wasn’t a “weird” realization for me in the moment though because I’ve thought about it a lot in regard to holding my breath under water or going upside down to practice handstand. It wasn’t new, but definitely a reminder that I have a hard time letting go. A hard time at trusting that I’ll be okay in the unknown.

My float continued on - a luscious 90 minutes - and I eventually let myself just float around like a little mermaid (careful to not splash salt water on my face) and it felt soooo good.

 

Thankfully, after your float you can hang out in the lounge as long as you’d like reflecting, reading, or just drinking tea. It’s seriously the best transition from float back to real world. And, I took some notes that I’d like to share.

Notes from my journal:

“Kind of like a baby in the womb. Like a rebirth.  Warm, free and supported.”

 

“What does support look like?

What does support feel like?

What would happen if I let go?

Complete surrender.

Can I trust to release?

The complete release of control…

To just float and do nothing else….?”

 

“What if I don’t take it so seriously? What if I choose fun over perfection? I wonder how much space would open up for me? How much space is perfection taking up?”

 

“I was very concerned about whether or not I was doing it "right" for a while. Like meditating or savasana in the beginning. Having a f*cking end goal. Expectations of how it should be. How exhausting.”

 

“I also felt dancy… flowy. Like a mermaid. And it reminded me of The Shape of Water, that movie we watched on the plane. Fluid. Sexy.”

 

“Warm. Weightless.

Here and nowhere.

No need or starvation.

What happens if I let go?

What if I lose control?”

 

I'm grateful for the space Weightless has created and this new adventure of floating that I'll continue to explore. My journey of letting go, trusting, and finding ease in new things. I’ll keep ya’ll posted.

If you’re interested in floating (and you should be) I went to Weightless Float Center in Louisville KY.