This past summer, I took a break from blogging, podcasting, and writing. I still saw my clients and did my consulting work in between vacations. But I needed to take a large swath of time out to not produce. I needed a few months to be in my own energy.
We live in a culture that prizes productivity over relationships, more money over more time to just BE, and hustle over well-being. This leaves us disconnected from one another. This leaves us feeling overwhelmed and overstimulated. We are much more easily triggered and often go around stressed, tired, and lonely.
We can spend decades chasing happiness by striving for “more and bigger.”
In January, I will turn 50 years old. I needed time this summer to consider how I want to go into my fifties. I am not interested in striving. I am not interested in routinely sacrificing my well-being for work. I am not interested in compromising my rest, my rhythms, my sleep, and my delight. I will not hustle.
I know there are trade-offs to every choice we make. I am deciding to choose spaciousness, connection, and well-being over maxing out my profits.
I get it. We all have responsibilities and obligations. Unless you are independently wealthy, we all have to work and make money to pay for our lives and the lives of those in our care.
But this summer I sat with questions like:
How much is enough?
How can I simplify my life – including work and obligations – even more?
What is MY definition of success right now for this season in my life?
Because I do consulting and leadership coaching for organizations and institutions, I got curious about our workplaces:
What if work were a place where we can bring our full humanity to work?
What if work were a place where we truly thrive?
What if work were a place that truly valued well-being and was about its employees flourishing?
What if we all really chose well-being over making more, buying more, and having more?
To tell you the truth, I’ve made choices since I was in college – over 25 years ago – that go against the grain of this capitalist culture. In college, I majored in Business, but with a focus on social justice and non-profit work. I spent my mid twenties in Guatemala and El Salvador making about $100 a month working for a human rights organization and an orphanage. I went to graduate school for social work and theology. I passed up job opportunities in order to stay doing what I was doing because it allowed me to spend time with my family. I chose to self-publish two books so I wouldn’t have any publishing company breathing down my neck telling me to produce more and be away from my family more while selling the books.
And today, I do not hold a schedule that is all-the-time busy and overwhelming. Sure, I have my fuller days sometimes. Sure, I have busier weeks than others when I am teaching or facilitating experiences for organizations while also seeing my 1:1 clients. But I refuse to live a life where I am hustling on a regular basis in the name of “more” and “bigger.”
Has this meant trade-offs? Yes.
Has that always been easy? No.
Do I still get caught up in the BS of our capitalist culture? Yes.
But there comes a time in all of our lives when Life calls us to take a step back and ask some of the bigger questions.
Am I truly happy?
Is this how I want to be living?
If we don’t pause and tune inward for these answers, most often, we wait until something big happens that then forces us to ask these questions. I am not waiting for a health scare or the loss of a loved one.
How about you?
If you are feeling overwhelmed…
If you have felt this desire for something different…
If your current way of going about life isn’t too “life-nourishing”….
I created an episode on Delightful just for you. It’s Episode 55. Overwhelmed? Get Your LifeBACK and Opt Out of the Hustle, Bigger, and More Culture
I’m not just giving you “life-hacks.” I’m taking about life-BACKS.
Yes, that’s right – getting your life back. Back to being healthy, grounded, nourished, and flourishing. And not only is this just for YOU to flourish (that’s the place to start),, but when YOU are flourishing, you bring that energy, health, and vitality into every community you belong to – your family, your neighborhood, your work, and our world.
** Members of Delightful Divas:
I have created my Top 10 Life-Back Soulful Reflection Questions just for you to take a pause and reflect on what truly matters to you right now and what you really need in order to flourish. Let’s get your life back, baby! Not a member? Join us.
In this episode, I share the story of how, a few years ago during the pandemic, I thought I could take on more work, but then one day, I found myself sitting on the steps of our front porch with my elbows on my knees and my face in my hands sharing a truth with my husband that I could no longer ignore and that had to be shared so I didn’t have to “go at it alone.” I’m humbling sharing this with you, too.
In this episode, you’ll hear me read this poem, too. Although I wrote it a few years ago for the start of a new year, it applies to our lives at any time. I hope you enjoy it (and listen to me reading it to you, too!).
Galaxies, Not Goals
I am starting to see all these posts
about beginning the new year.
“Commit!” And “Crush it!”
And “Conquer your fears!”
I don’t want to “crush” or “conquer.”
That is such a “power over” and
“domination” approach that has
caused so much destruction.
Let’s be done
with that toxic paradigm.
I want to co-create.
I want to align.
I want to integrate and even
befriend my fears.
I want to practice devotion,
Reverence, and surrendering
to the God Within Me.
Because I am beautiful
in my divinity and humanity.
And when I bow to that
Goddess within me,
I sense how she and I
No, I don’t want to crush it.
I don’t want to conquer it.
I want to reverence it.
All of it.
I want to give myself space
to rest when I need to,
move when my body
calls for it.
I want to luxuriate in being
alone with myself
and loving myself –
simply for my own pleasure.
Yes, my pleasure matters.
Slowly sipping chai tea.
Writing in my journal.
Looking out at the mountains
behind our house while
I pet my dog.
Making butternut squash soup.
Going for a vigorous walk.
Being fully present
to my breath and body in yoga class.
Planning our next ski adventure.
Watering my plants.
Laying down to meditate.
I don’t care about goals or
I want to discover
g a l a x i e s
and play with what
d e l i g h t s
Lisa McCrohan © 2022
Together, let’s help one another with exploring the galaxies within us – of harmony, compassion, beauty, and delight. We don’t need just life-hacks, we need life-BACKs.