I have a really big appetite for food, but even more so for life.
A day where I’m scheduled within minutes of my life is my idea of heaven. When I headed out on The Freedom Tour on February 2nd this year, my eyes were wide, the road was open and the sky was big. My tummy was grumbling for some adventure and moderation simply wouldn’t do.
Between February 2nd and June 21st I traveled 19,000 miles by car and another 11,000 miles by plane (plus 300 by boat.) I visited 21 different states and provinces, slept in over 50 beds, taught 16 workshops, spoke to over 800 people, and attended 5 major conferences (SXSW, Summit Series, Reveal, Selling Your Soul, I Can Do It!, and the World Domination Summit.) I did this all while launching a new business partnership, ending another one, then ending the one I had just started, experimenting with being homeless, and falling in love.
After five months of going at this pace I felt full. The kind of full that makes you want to put on pants with an elastic waist band and talk about how you’re never going to eat again.
I landed in Maine at my childhood home in June feeling exhausted. I thought the summer would birth great creativity and production in the form of pages and pages of brilliant writing. I thought by this time I would have a sample chapter and outline for my first book.
But it turns out that when your eyes are bigger than your schedule, when your MO is to say yes to everything, and when you run your self more than a little ragged, what you need is sleep. And watching movies. And eating lunches that take three hours to finish And looking out at the ocean. And more sleep.
I sat with my dad over lunch the other day chatting about my blog. He’s one of my most dedicated readers, which simultaneously thrills and terrifies me. He told me that I need to be careful about what I promise to my readers because they (he) get disappointed when I don’t follow through on my promises.
Here are a few things I’ve promised over the past couple of months that I haven’t followed through on:
I also have over 700 unread/unanswered emails in my inbox, some unreturned voicemails, and a few missed opportunities as a result.
Granted, I think my dad takes my promises on my blog more to heart than some of my other readers, but he brings up a really important point.
What are you promising that you’re not delivering on?
Our conversation made me pause. It made me feel sheepish. And it made me realize the single most important question to ask before embarking on any new project:
Is this sustainable?
When you’re birthing anything new there will be a period of time when you sometimes don’t shower until 6pm (if at all) and you eat takeout and don’t respond to emails. I get that AND I’m not making myself wrong for the way I’ve done The Freedom Tour up until this point.
In fact, one of my new favorite mantras is: “I am enough and I’m doing it right.”
Let that baby sink into your cells for a moment.
However, the way I started this whole adventure was completely unsustainable. I said yes to more than I could follow through on. I promised things I didn’t end up doing. I found myself way overextended. I got sick. I disappointed a few people (and thrilled some others.)
I’ve spent the past 6 weeks in Maine adoring life, adoring being in the house I was brought home to the day I was born, adoring being grounded, adoring not moving, and adoring a break.
It’s been goooooooood. It’s been beyond necessary.
My man and I are packing up the Prius on Friday morning and heading out on the road again. We head West and will be in Scottsdale, AZ for September and October by way of Columbus, OH and Salt Lake City, UT.
The Freedom Tour continues but it is now The Freedom Tour 2.0. I now have a filtering question to ask myself when presented with any new opportunity so that I’m no longer giving a knee-jerk “yes!” I’m building in vacations. I’m being strategic about my workshops and speaking gigs. I’m standing for eight hours of sleep, no more than six hours a day in the car, meditation, and greens.
Whatever you’re cooking up right now, ask yourself: Is this sustainable?
If your answer is “no” but you’ve got an end point in mind, rock on. If there’s no end point, get one on the calendar. You can only go at full capacity for so long.
Creativity and production of great work is not a steady stream. It comes in fits and starts. Sometimes its fueled by an all-nighter. Sometimes it’s fueled by a double feature. Let your art flow the way it wants to flow. Just be sure to factor your promises, your health, your sanity, and your soul into the equation.
Come see me on Sunday, August 14th!
Women & Wealth: The Truth About Money That No One Has Ever Told You
6:00 – 7:30pm
The Reiki Center, 1540 W. 5th Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43212
This event is free, but we have limited space. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your seat.