Having a plan is good, but what about when the plan becomes restrictive and stops working for you? Changing it might sound simple but it can bring up all kinds of challenging feelings.
In this episode I share:
Pressing Pause Episode 111 Changing the plan
Welcome to Pressing Pause, I’m your host, Gabrielle Treanor, a coach, writer, introvert and sensitive soul with an inclination to ponder over the stuff of life. Join me as I explore how we can create, find and feel more calm, ease and joy in our daily lives.
Before we get into today’s episode I wanted to remind you that I have a range of free guides on my website that you can download, completely for free. There’s a guide on how to overcome overwhelm as an introvert, and another on starting your day calm without needing a single extra minute in your morning. There’s a guide to making your own soothing self care kit and there’s also a set of guided meditations.
So, if you’d like to get one or more of these freebies go to gabrielletreanor.com/free where you’ll find them all.
Right, on with today’s episode.
Welcome to episode 111, quite a personal episode this time.
So, I’m someone who likes a plan. It doesn’t have to be super detailed or long term but I do like to have an idea of the direction I’m going in, what’s happening and what I need to be doing. But it’s not always easy to remember that plans need to be flexible and that, especially when it’s a plan I’ve made, it’s okay to change the plan.
This summer has been very planned. There has been family visiting, we’ve gone to visit family (almost all our family live several hours away so visits either way pretty much always involve overnight stays), we’ve had life milestones and events to celebrate and, without exception, we’ve had a thoroughly enjoyable time.
In between the comings and goings there has been work and ordinary life to fit in. And it was all in the plan!
As a self-aware introvert I knew I needed time in between the socialising to recharge so I made sure I kept up meditating and going for walks and getting lots of sleep.
However, as the summer has gone on I realise that while I really enjoyed the occasions with my family and friends, the spaces in between noticeably lacked energy and joy. Unsurprisingly, my energy was focused on the external joy, the outward-facing joy of spending time with the people I care about.
But the internal joy, the quiet, inward-facing joy wasn’t happening because I wasn’t making enough space for it. I was making some space, I was doing some of the things but they were squeezed in around the edges of the plan.
It’s like I’m a mobile phone – I’d plug myself in to the charger but then unplug myself before the battery had reached full charge. So I’d have enough in the battery for all the peopling and outward joy but the charge would have run down by the time I plugged it back in. And then before it reached 100% I’d unplug and run down the battery once more.
So while I was certainly doing the right things to take care of myself it wasn’t enough to fully recharge my battery so that I could be operating on full charge. I was getting things done but it was harder-going, I forgot things, was slow to reply to emails, put off making decisions and made silly mistakes.
To a large extent the busyness was unavoidable. The scheduling of most of the family and friends events were out of my hands and I wanted to be a part of all of them, there’s nothing about them that I would change. Because that’s what happens, sometimes life gets really busy with a lot taking place in a short space of time.
But the plan I had made for my work and life in between was my doing, it was in my control.
It was only when I saw and heard people talking about the back to school feeling of September, of gearing up for what they wanted to do for the remainder of the year, that I realised how depleted I was. My instant reaction was ‘I’m worn out from the summer, I don’t have the energy to get excited about September, I’m not ready!’
It was in that moment that I realised I needed to change the plan that I had been diligently sticking to. And I realised that if I felt like this it was highly probable that other people, like you lovely listener, could feel the same way too.
So I changed the plan. I took the long weekend off (we already had nothing social scheduled but I had planned to catch up with work) and I made more space for my internal joy. I read lots, I went blackberry picking and then made jam, I did some gardening, went for walks, did some embroidery, dozed in the sunshine and read lots more, as well as meditating, journalling and a little yoga.
It was quiet, it was gentle and a lot of it was solitary. My introvert husband pottered about doing what gives him internal joy too, and sometimes we were together in the same space, just doing our own things.
I could almost see my battery charging up from red to amber and into green. I could feel the joy building up again inside me, the lightness, the playfulness returning, feeling like me again!
And with this space I was able to think more clearly and realised that the plan to close the doors to The Calm & Joy Catalyst on Friday and to start it on Monday wasn’t working any more. If I don’t feel like I have the capacity to bound gung-ho into September there’s a good chance that you may not either!
So, why persist with the plan so you have to decide now about joining The Calm & Joy Catalyst when you may not have the bandwidth to make the decision?
Even though it’s decades since I was at school I still love that back to school, new term, all the possibilities feeling that September brings. I want to feel energised and excited to take you through The Calm & Joy Catalyst and I want you to have the chance to be a part of it, because I know just how much you will benefit from taking part in it.
Which is why I’m scrapping my initial plan and instead I’m going to start The Calm & Joy Catalyst on Monday 19 September. Which means the doors to join will be open until Friday 16 September.
There was a part of me that was really resistant to making this change because I had a plan, I should stick to it, I didn’t want those who have already signed up to the Catalyst to feel let down, what if people think me flaky and unprofessional?
But that’s my perfectionism talking, that’s my good girl conditioning piping up.
And part of me was unsure about sharing all this with you because shouldn’t I have all my s**t together and have nailed the whole calm and joy thing by now?
But that’s not true either because newsflash, no-one and I really do mean NO-ONE has all of their s**t together! And I’d give anyone who claims they do a wide berth because this is the human experience.
I share and I teach and I coach all around claiming and creating your calm and joy because I’ve been living this journey for years, and I’ll go on with it for years because: that’s life.
I’m not a guru who has reached peak zen (I’m guessing only the Dalai Lama gets close to that?), I’m a woman who has identified a lot of conditioning and stories, challenged and let go of plenty (with more challenging and letting go to do because they’re sneaky devils who like to reappear), who is living a much calmer and more joyful life than before AND who will always have more to explore, challenge and change.
That’s why I know that sticking to a plan when it’s not working is not the ‘right’ thing to do. Listening to my gut, honouring my energy and accepting my human-ness so that I can be my nourished, energised, calm and joyful self – which will allow me to show up fully for everyone who takes part in The Calm & Joy Catalyst – that’s what’s important.
Here’s the thing: you are allowed to change your mind, to change your plans. Your energy, your peace, your calm, your joy matter.
And if changing the plan, if making space for what nourishes, energises and gives you that internal feeling of joy in your core means you can increase your bandwidth, you can recharge your batteries right up into the green, that will not only benefit you but everyone around you too.
Thank you for listening to Pressing Pause, you can find details of what I shared in this episode in the show notes at gabrielletreanor.com/podcast.
If you’d like to check out The Calm & Joy Catalyst to see what it’s all about and what you could gain from taking part go to gabrielletreanor.com/catalyst. Doors are open until Friday 16 September and we begin on Monday 19th.
If you have any questions about the Catalyst or this episode, or you have an idea of what you’d like me to talk about on the podcast I’d love to hear from you, so feel free to drop me a line at [email protected]
Thanks again for listening, until next time.
Throughout this website and my work when I refer to women I include people identifying as women.
If you have, or think you may have, a mental health problem that requires professional diagnosis or treatment, please consult a mental health care professional and your GP.
You can also talk to the people at Mind on 0300 123 3393 or SANE on 0300 304 7000 or Samaritans on 116 123.
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