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PACE Yourself in 2018 - A Remedy for Driven Behavior - Four Mindful Observations

Ever had the experience of feeling like you aren’t moving, gaining momentum, getting anywhere? Often, the more we push, the more we suffer and sometimes we just push harder – kind of like spinning your tires in two feet of mud. The negative effect of this can be cumulative and lead to all sorts of discomfort in our lives. That is, until we wake up and begin to lovingly and gently notice what we're up to.

In the past, instead of mindfully sitting with this experience in acceptance while providing myself the freedom to allow a more spacious approach to my next step, I have pushed – more times than I care to mention here. I call it “driven behavior” and what I notice is that the more driven and pushy I become, the more I observe that I am not actually going anywhere.

One day, out of the blue, I started thinking about how I needed to pace myself. At a time when I was feeling stuck, working a job that I knew was not going to take me where I truly wanted to be, a tiny lightbulb switched on in my brain - PACE had arrived. Months later, I was transitioning from leaving that full-time job and stepping into growing my budding private practice where I would truly be flying solo. I was feeling overwhelmed, pushing and not feeling so great about anything I was creating in the world. Interestingly, during this time of overwhelm and driven behavior, I was reminded that this idea of pacing myself was more than just about slowing down, pulling the reins or hitting the brakes. I discovered that PACE, positive action through creative effort, could help signpost my way to creating more space in my life while allowing me to make the shift away from driven behavior.

(Be) Positive

Simple, right? Maybe or maybe not – it is really up to us. Positivity is a quality of being that is accessible to all of us. There is a ton of material out there from great thought leaders, spiritual leaders and highly successful people in the world about being positive and how we can create positivity in our lives. My belief is that if we truly want to have positivity present in our day-to-day existence, being curious and open to the possibility of creating this positivity ourselves is the first step, even if it is a challenge. Plus, we need to find and traverse the pathways that lead us to it.

Some daily rituals might include:

* Practicing daily gratitude

* Practicing loving kindness meditation

* Practicing affirmations

* Actively engaging in self-care

Taking time (literally 5 minutes) at the end of your day to acknowledge yourself for your role in creating positivity in your life primes the brain for being open to even more positivity – give it a try for 10 days and check the results. Writing these acknowledgments daily in a journal you keep by your bed is a great way to mindfully stay in touch with your purpose.

(Take) Action

Taking action in moments of self-doubt if we are we awake enough to have taken a step back and begun to evaluate how we've been pushy or driven might seem difficult but there are ways to explore that process in a gentle and loving way. When acknowledging your capacity for positivity, take a moment to write down 1 or 2 of your daily accomplishments (same 5 minutes mentioned earlier). Be sure to acknowledge the little things – they add up and are every bit as relevant to what we think are the “bigger” things.

(Get) Creative

Our creativity is an innate part of who we are as human beings, period! For thousands of years we have had to come up with more and more ingenious ways to survive and thrive. We are still here. Whether it is getting a carload of kids off to school in the morning, finding a way to convince our boss that we are worth being paid more or even following through with the 2 acknowledgments I mentioned earlier, being creative is at the core of who we truly are. Acknowledge this inherent part of yourself and in the same 5 minutes mentioned before, list a moment or two where creativity played a role in your day. When we nurture this innate part of ourselves, our creativity can carry us as far as we want to go.

Effort (yes, just plain old effort…)

A lot of us don't love the idea of effort since the word “effort” brings up the impression of hard work - hard work that is exhausting and difficult. So, when we are toying with the notion of taking positive action in a creative way, it is particularly enticing to imagine how engaging this positive action creatively might actually generate a buffer to our preconceived notion of what effort is. Could this lead to our own lightbulb moment when it comes to driven behavior? If effort becomes almost effortless when we are positive and effort becomes almost effortless when we take action in a creative way and we do all of these things (including the effort) in a loving and gentle way, what are the possibilities?

Something to think about, huh?

Love and light to all!!

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