Hello and welcome to Magenta Studios, your source for tools and know-how for growing your inner capabilities for impact and success. So many of us are doing too many things, taking on too much, juggling lists of to dos… It’s incredibly challenging to find focus and carve out the time to work on what matters most to you.
We feel your pain.
We’ve faced serious burnout and overwhelm as a startup in recent years. We can say with absolute confidence that if we didn’t know the things we’re about to share, we wouldn’t have made it through the tough moments of building our company, raising kids, AND remain happily married! And many of our clients tell us that overwhelm is one of their most difficult challenges.
Before we dive in though, we want to share a bit about how we roll. There are three kinds of interventions you’ll see out in the wild:
Intervention Type 1: A solution for your overwhelm TODAY. This will get you through overwhelm in the moment with quick and clever tips, but it won’t change the pattern or tendency of overwhelm. For example: how to prioritize. Most common type of intervention.
Intervention Type 2. Counteract a tendency to take on too much. Let’s help you with that. For example, learn to say “no.” Also pretty common.
Intervention Type 3. Both the moment of overwhelm and the underlying pattern point to a mindset or habitual “way of being” at the root of your overwhelm and busyness. We’re focusing at this root level because we want to help you grow out of overwhelm and busyness for good.
To get there, we’d like to suggest you see overwhelm not as a problem to solve, but as an opportunity to overhaul something that’s holding you back. Because we can promise: it holds you back in more ways than “just” being overwhelmed and burnt out. Overwhelm is a clue, an invitation to change, grow, expand what you think is possible for you, and to evolve inwardly. There’s a greater potential on the other side of this threshold. Question is, how to realize it?
There are two keys to taking advantage of the opportunity that’s hidden in overwhelm: 1. Transforming the specific inner habits at the core of your tendency, and 2. Developing or strengthening capabilities to think, feel, and act outside of those habits in healthier, more generative ways.
As an example: let’s talk about TIME.
Time is more flexible than you think.
When you feel too busy, or when you’re overwhelmed with too much going on, sometimes the simple truth is that you’re just not present. You’re distracted and at some level struggling to find an anchor, a place of inner stability or grounding. As a result, time rushes by: you have too much to do and not enough time to do it.
In contrast, have you ever experienced being in flow? Anxieties about time fall away, and you get stuff DONE. Things happen. You create something, and it all feels, well — if not effortless, then natural and easy. If you have, look back on that experience. Time seemed to be fluid, expanding or contracting according to your inner orientation — ”in flow.”.
These days, we all need a bit of a different relationship with time. It’s not just units of unrelenting, indifferent, and objective ticks of the clock. Your experience of time can be much more subjective, flexible, and in tune with your personal rhythms and life. This truly is the gift of time”: when we’re fully present and engaged, there is always time. We can reframe our relationship to time so that we’re not always rushing, always pressed. Ok, how can you do this? Two things to help you:
- Being Fully Present
What created that flow? Well, there are a number of elements, and there’s lots to learn about the state of flow, but one of the keys is being present, grounded, focused, and absorbed with your whole attention. Distraction, fear, anxiety, worry — all these keep you from being fully present and engaged. So, taking the time to investigate what is preventing you from being fully engaged and present can be very helpful. Instead of those fears and anxieties being vague and shapeless in your soul, sucking away your energy, shine some daylight there and get some real clarity. To find out how, keep reading to the very end of this article.
Remember when we said that overwhelm is an opportunity and there is a two step process to discovering what it is? Here’s an example of what we mean: first, name the root cause of your overwhelm and burnout that is preventing you from being present and focused — it’s often related to fear or anxiety — and second, develop the inner stamina to be focused for longer periods of time. Presence of mind is a practice. Which leads us to No. 2…
- Training Your Will
Being present as a practice is a conscious act of will. Just as your thinking is connected with your head and nervous system, and your feeling is connected with your heart — think of your will as connected with your metabolism and limbs, the muscles.
Just as the muscles need to be warm during physical activity, so too the will needs WARMTH — the warmth of your enthusiastic engagement, a psychic engagement with the tasks before you.
Can you find your big inspiring reason for doing what you are doing? Are you connected to a Bigger Why? We call that big why your “North Star.” It helps you navigate through the rough waters of hard work and daily grind without losing hope or direction. Moreover, that North Star can help you keep your will engaged, warm and ready to move. It’s how you keep your enthusiasm alive.
If you want to know more about training your will, discovering your North Star, being more present, and if you already know your overwhelm has to do with fears and anxiety, then you will definitely want to check out our brand new free video training. See below for details.
All Love and happiness to you
Louisa and Jeff
P.S. If you found this helpful, do you want to conquer your overwhelm and burnout permanently? It’s absolutely possible. Click here for our fresh take and deep dive on conquering overwhelm. We promise you will be glad you did!