Inspiration: November 8

Every week on Friday, I share a list of the most interesting and inspiring content I’ve read lately here on my blog. You can expect thoughts on productivity, happiness, balance, spirituality, politics, and more. Subscribe here to get updates. See archives here.

Inspiration: November 8 >> Life In Limbo

Are you into human design? I’ve been interested in it for a while now, but did a bit of a deep dive this week when I found this blog and this Instagram account! I particularly liked this post on recovering from Generator burnout. No idea what I’m talking about? Learn more here.

I found this podcast episode about working retreats super interesting and I think it would be helpful for designing a “DIY” retreat for yourself, should you be so inclined!

I bought my first pair of Sheertex this week and while they are not as unbreakable as advertised (I got a toenail snag on my first wear that they very kindly replaced for me!!!) they are completely unrippable by human hands or feet pulling or stomping. This is a gamechanger!

This week I also started listening to Harry Potter and the Sacred Text for the first time! I’m a Harry Potter nerd, but I also just love their idea of treating *anything* as sacred and seeing what meaning and inspiration you can draw from it. Fascinating and so well produced.

This week over on my business blog, I’m tackling the thorny issue of imposter syndrome and sharing my five favourite reframes and ideas to lessen its pull on us. I also shared a quote pulled from it on Instagram which seems to be resonating with people!

This week’s blog posts: Welcome to the Weekend, Tricks of Time, What Feels Fun?, Setting the Tone, and Energy Doesn’t Lie.

How did your week treat you? I spent much of mine dealing with the joys of being self-employed, aka figuring out how to charge HST. I also started getting up an hour earlier thanks to the nudge of DST and it’s been working out really well so far! I love having quiet, uninterrupted time before I need to get to work. I also launched my very first retreat! So that was fun, and scary and exciting. This weekend I have plans to take a dog walk with a friend, run a bunch of errands, and have dinner with another friend. And a bunch of resting too, since next week we’ll be off to Nurture. Which reminds me: no newsletter next week! Until next time, have a wonderful weekend too. xo.

Energy Doesn’t Lie

I’m an INFJ, and over the past few years have also self-diagnosed as a Highly Sensitive Person, which just means that I’m particularly affected by all kinds of sensory and emotional stimuli. (I score a 26/27 on this test.) I think that my intuition and my sensitivity combine to make me hyper-aware of energies in all situations. My sister is the same way. And yes, this is exactly as fun as it sounds!

Over the years, even though I’ve known this about myself I’ve struggled to take my own impressions seriously. Oftentimes, I’m picking up on dynamics that other people don’t seem to be as aware of, or at least not as affected by. It’s easy to start doubting myself and feel like I’m blowing things out of proportion.

But I have also seen enough evidence by now to know that I’m actually really not blowing it out of proportion. Maybe you can relate? When we start to take our feelings seriously and listen closely to what they’re telling us, we tend to have better results. We act more proactively, we set better, healthier boundaries, we find alternate solutions, and we have better experiences.

So here’s a gentle reminder to myself today: you are not crazy. Stop gaslighting yourself! If you sense a weirdness, or a heaviness, or a Codependent Creature® in the room, it’s probably there. Start by accepting that, take it as gospel, and stop wasting time doubting whether “it’s all in your head”. It’s not. Acknowledge it, and then decide what to do about it.

(The only exception to this is when you are super tired, like “didn’t sleep last night” tired, or super stressed, like “mid-panic about the CRA” stressed. At those times, energy still doesn’t lie, but you might interpret it a bit more dramatically than usual. You’re still probably on the money with your assessment, but you might be catastrophizing about what that energy actually means.)

Can you relate? Do you also sense weird vibes but doubt yourself? How have you learned to take your feelings more seriously? Help a girl out!

Setting the Tone

Every night, I sleep with my phone on Airplane mode. Not “Do Not Disturb” mode, but completely on Airplane mode, shut down to any incoming data, wifi, bluetooth, you name it. Right before bed every night, I render my phone completely useless to communicate with the outside world. I’ve been doing this now for years, at least three, and it’s one of the best habits I’ve ever established. Anytime I forget to switch on Airplane mode before bed and wake up with notifications, I feel off for the rest of the day.

I’m also noticing that the time of morning that I switch it off has an impact on my day, as does what I do with my phone (or computer!) first after it’s reconnected. If I immediately head to Instagram, it usually winds up being an Instagram kind of day, wherein I find myself doing far too much scrolling and checking obsessively. If I answer texts, immediately I’m sucked into an ongoing chat. If I browse Pinterest…well, you get the picture.

Yesterday on her stories, Amy Young shared that she’s been experimenting with something similar: not downloading the Instagram app until after 12PM. She shared that she generally feels less obsessed with it when she starts the day with this “Instagram vacay” as she calls it, and that feels true for me too. Taking some active space from the apps that obsess us is a great way to retrain our brains. We get to assert that these technologies do not control us, as addictive as they might be. We get to take some of the power back!

I’m realizing how important it is to set the tone for the day, in this and other ways. If I start by giving in to the shiny thing that’s going to give me a hit of dopamine, I’ll be chasing that feeling all day. But if I start by having a cup of tea and doing some quiet reading, or journaling, or meditating, I‘m actively creating space for myself. I’m limiting my exposure to these addictions and suddenly all kinds of energy opens up. I might tidy my apartment, or try a DIY, or make lists in my notebook. I have control over my day, and that always feels so good.

What Feels Fun?

I’ve been listening to the new season of The Lively Show, and while I don’t particularly vibe with her voice and cadence during the channeling episodes, I do like some of the wisdom that comes through! On the most recent episode, one of the questions she shares is, “What’s the most fun thing I could do right now?”

Obviously my mind has all sorts of resistance to this question. It worries that if we all did what was fun all the time, we’d never do anything important. The garbage wouldn’t get taken out (ew not fun!), we’d abandon our responsibilities and probably stop exercising altogether (just me?).

It also has some seriously dangerous tones of white supremacy for me – can a new immigrant just do what seems fun all the time? Can a refugee? The fact that Jess Lively can is a fact that is inextricably linked to her white privilege and coloured by the fact that she was already very financially successful when she started down the path of spending all her time getting into alignment in this way.

All of that being said, I still think it’s a good prompt to carry with us, even if we can’t act on it all of the time. I for one feel like I am constantly in danger of taking my routines to their extremes and not leaving any room for joy and fun in my life. If I’m not careful, my days can become very utilitarian and regimented. I want to leave room for fun, but then I start trying to schedule in fun or force fun, which of course are not fun at all.

Instead, I like that this prompt asks us to check in right now. Not later today or next week, but now. In this moment, perhaps I do have a choice to do something that feels fun, or comforting, or gentle, or exciting. 

And on that note, I’m going to go format a spreadsheet. I know, I know, but it feels fun right now! ;)