5 Tips to Bust Through Your Fears and Own Your Life Purpose

If you’re someone with a huge message, a conscious entrepreneur and a sensitive soul, it can be a huge challenge to move through the fear that automatically rises up when you decide to show the world who you truly are.

When you decide to own your gifts,  your message, your passion and live your life purpose, it seems that obstacle after obstacle will show up, taunting you and asking you,

“Are you sure?”

“Do you really want this?”

Fear is the Ultimate Dream Killer.

When it comes to your soul’s calling, it’s vital that you learn how to move through your fears instead of letting them squash your dreams. Your message is too big to go unheard and the world needs every single person brave enough, and with enough love in their hearts, to offer healing to this world. You are an agent of change and have tremendous gifts that deserve to be shared! Can I get an, “Amen!”?

Yet, when we first take the initial steps to be seen, to spread our message of love, to heal and live our lives full out and in our glory, fear after fear pops up and can stop us dead in our tracks.

We deal with the fear of:

  • Judgment
  • Criticism
  • Being challenged
  • Nay-sayers
  • Failure
  • Doubt
  • Negative inner voices

Sound familiar?

Our own inner voices are our biggest demons. That voice chimes in with questions like, “Who do you think you are anyway?” Then there are the outer voices to contend with who often have the same question, “Who do you think you are, anyway?” Often, these outer voices are disguised as well-meaning friends and family members who are unknowingly crushing our dreams.

For sensitive souls, these fears can be soul crushing. I’ve been there and I know first-hand how challenging it can be to step into our greatness and own our message. I’ve almost quit a million times, yet my soul kept finding it’s back to this work. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought, “Maybe I’m not meant to do this.” or “Maybe I’m just not cut out for this.” At times, my sensitivity to the fears, the judgements,  and the thoughts of those around me felt like something I couldn’t overcome, and it felt hard.

And hey, we all want life to be easy. I’m no exception. It’s easier to do the easy thing, right? It’s easy to live life unchallenged. It’s easy to give up.

While living your life purpose, your soul’s calling, is one of the greatest joys in life, it also puts you on the fast-track to massive personal and spiritual growth because it will challenge you to your core. But honestly, how freaking cool is that? Trust me, it’s freaking cool. You have the chance to become your greatest self, and that is amazing.

But how, you ask? How do I move through the fear? It feels crippling!

I hear you. I really do. Here are my 5 tips and strategies that have helped me own my message and live my purpose:

  1. Become friends with the fear: Fear will always be there. Ask any wildly successful person if they feel fear and they will tell you that, yes, they do. The difference is that they have gotten comfortable with being uncomfortable. Fear is like a shadow and follows you around. I literally feel fear in my business on some level every single day. I’ve accepted that it will be there, lurking in the background, or on a really bad day, smacking me straight in the face. However, the old adage, “Feel the fear and do it anyway,” comes immediately and easily to mind, and I choose to act despite my fear.
  2. You are divinely contracted to help your tribe: Trust and believe that there are people on this earth you are contracted to help. Your message will not be for everyone, and that’s perfect. If you can let go of the fact that you aren’t mean to help or save everyone on the planet, it gets much easier to put your message out there because you can talk to the people who will really hear and get your message. Reminding yourself that there are people who you are specifically designed to help can eliminate feeling like you need to please and help everyone. I remind myself of this on a regular basis.
  3. The nay-saying isn’t actually about you: This one is hard to really embrace, but it will give you so much freedom from what other’s think. First of all, what you’re up to as a lightworker in the world isn’t any of their business. Remember, it’s your journey, not theirs. People project their fears onto their loved ones all the time. Or they think they know what’s best for us. Or they are trying to protect us from pain. That’s all their stuff, not yours! The very moment someone shares their well-meaning, or not-so-well-meaning, opinion with you, immediately remind yourself that it’s not about you. If they truly had your best interests at heart, they would support you on your merry way.
  4. Your soul will never stop calling: Remind yourself that your soul won’t leave you alone until you face this fear and just do it: If it’s really your soul calling you, it won’t be ignored and it will continue knocking on your door to get your attention. So save your soul a little time, and listen. Walk through the door, step into your mission and your purpose, and go for it. We need you and your unique voice!
  5. Create your Badass Fear-Busting Identity: I am SO big on creating new identities for ourselves because this was where I had one of my biggest breakthroughs. It’s what has allowed me to go big or go home. Instead of showing up as someone who would shrink before fear, I became someone who says, “Screw it! I’m doing it anyway!” I decided to be the person who acts despite fear. I decided to be the person who is brave. The person who shows up despite whatever obstacle is showing up. And guess what? This was a choice I made and you can decide who you want to be, too.

Your identity is a

CHOICE.  

What is yours going to be? 

I can’t wait to see what big things you are up to!

I’d love to hear from you. So please leave your comments below!

With love,

Cortney

P.S. Did you find this helpful? Please consider sharing with a friend.

P.P.S. If you’re a Highly Sensitive Person and would like some tips on empowering your own Inner Badass, I’ve written a special FREE eBook just for you.

Free eBook: From Highly Sensitive Hot Mess to Highly Sensitive Badass: 8 Steps to Empowerment for Highly-Sensitive People, Empaths and Intuitives.

Simply sign up below and it will be delivered right to your inbox! You’ll also get my blog posts delivered via email.

Click HERE to sign up now!

You can also find me on Facebook and Instagram.

50 Shades of Sensitive, the Diverse Beauty of Highly Sensitive People

As Highly Sensitive People (HSP’s), we are amazingly deep thinkers. As such, I love the barrage of questions I get about the highly sensitive trait. We are so inquisitive about our nature and eager to absorb all the information that is out there! So in order to quench some of your thirst for knowledge, I want to answer some of the questions I get on a regular basis:

  • “Is being highly sensitive the same thing as being an empath?”
  • “Is my depression and anxiety directly linked to being highly sensitive?”
  • “Is being highly sensitive the same things as being introverted?”
  • “Is there a scale of sensitivity?”

The fact is, there are 50 shades of being sensitive. We are like snowflakes; not a single one of us is the same. While we may all share the HSP trait, from there, our differences are many.

  • You can be an HSP and an empath.
  • You can be an HSP who also experiences depression and anxiety.
  • You can be an HSP who is neither an empath nor experiences depression and anxiety.
  • You can also be an extroverted or an introverted HSP.

Let’s take them one at a time:

What’s the deal with empathy? Is that the same thing as being an empath? 

First, there’s a difference between the ability to feel empathy and being an empath. Feeling empathy simply means being able to understand how someone is feeling. It’s the old, “Imagine walking in his/her shoes” technique of trying to understand how someone else might be feeling from their perspective. Highly sensitive people tend to excel at this.

An empath, on the other hand, is someone who absorbs the feelings or energy of those around them. The empath will excel at understanding what others are feeling, but goes one step further and takes those feelings on as their own, which can be very confusing for them. It makes it quite difficult to determine if what they are feeling is truly their own feeling or that of someone else.

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Inherently, being highly sensitive does not necessarily mean that you are an empath. For example, my mother has most of the traits of an HSP, but she does not absorb the feelings of those around her. She is very sensitive to how other people are feeling and can intuit their moods without absorbing them. I, on the other hand, tend to do both. I would consider myself an HSP and an empath, although the intensity of my empathy is in direct response to my vibration, energy, and how grounded I am, which is impacted by my self-care and how overwhelmed I am at any given moment.

Depression and anxiety are not necessarily caused by your high sensitivity. 

This one can be very confusing because there are many HSP’s who experience depression and/or anxiety, yours truly included. However, you can be an HSP without necessarily experiencing either of these. My completely unprofessional take on this (I am not a trained psychologist or therapist) is that high sensitivity can exacerbate depression and anxiety. I experience this when I abandon my self-care, or if I’m put in a situation that is too overstimulating for me.

One story I like to share is the time my dog almost sent me to the nut house.

I have mentioned before that I have Seasonal Affective Disorder, which means that in the winter, my body doesn’t produce the serotonin it needs because of the lack of sunlight. Up until the winter we got Jasper, it was mostly managed without light therapy or medication. I still got depressed and was certainly not thriving, but I wasn’t depressed enough to do much about it. (This was before I became a badass, a pleasure-diva, and self-care ninja!) 🙂

Jasper, our adorable and sometimes insane English Setter, came to live with us in December of 2012. I adore him and thank the lord he’s pretty, because he is a handful. His energy is either off the charts or he’s fast asleep. It’s the off the charts energy that was the problem. I work from home, so I was around his energy all the time.

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Jasper is a born hunter. His favorite past-time is running around the house, jumping up and slamming his paws against the window panes, barking at everything that moves outside. I was so overstimulated on an hourly basis by his chaotic energy, that my nervous system didn’t have adequate time to recover. Add a completely stressed out nervous system to Seasonal Affective Disorder, and I was at rock bottom. I was frazzled, and I was a mess. There were daily breakdowns and rivers of tears. I was the most depressed I can ever remember being, and it was scary.

I firmly believe that my depression would have been there regardless of my sensitivity, but adding massive overstimulation to depression made the depression much worse. My winter with Jasper was the catalyst to my deep dive into massive self-care, so thank you, Jasper. I love you, and I am grateful every time you are asleep. 😉

Introversion and the HSP: Are all HSP’s introverts? 

Short answer: Nope.

It’s a misconception that HSP’s are introverts or that all introverts are HSP’s. In fact, 30% of HSP’s are extroverts. It’s likely that this is a misconception because many HSP’s relish alone time and this is typically thought of as an introverted quality.

Is there a scale of sensitivity? 

Personally, I believe there is. If you take the quiz, Are You a Highly Sensitive Person? on my website, you will likely answer “yes” to a certain number of questions, but you will also answer “no” to some. I answer yes to all but one, indicating that I’m quite sensitive. There are other people who will answer with enough “yeses” to qualify as highly sensitive, but who don’t have all the sensitive traits.

You can also be moderately sensitive. My husband wouldn’t be deemed an HSP, but he answered “yes” to 10 of the questions. We all have sensitivity, HSP or not, but some of us are more sensitive than others.

I also believe that lifestyle can directly impact how sensitive a person feels at any given time. There have been hard times in my life where I’ve been convinced that I must be the most sensitive person on the planet. I used to describe myself as, “Allergic to life.” However, there have also been times where I’ve wondered, “Am I still highly sensitive?”

The severity of my sensitivity seems to be directly reflected by my self-care.

What do I mean by this? I mean the amount of pleasurable self-care activities I’m doing to regenerate my energy and nourish my soul, my mindset and the thoughts I’m thinking, and the boundaries I keep in place to honor my sensitivity. This is my mission: To help other HSP’s find their sweet spot of self-care.

I would really LOVE to hear from you on this topic, so please share your comments below!

With love,

Cortney

P.S. Did you find this helpful? Please consider sharing with a friend.

P.P.S. If you’re a Highly Sensitive Person and would like some tips on empowering your own Inner Badass, I’ve written a special FREE eBook just for you.

Free eBook: From Highly Sensitive Hot Mess to Highly Sensitive Badass: 8 Steps to Empowerment for Highly-Sensitive People, Empaths and Intuitives.

Simply sign up below and it will be delivered right to your inbox! You’ll also get my blog posts delivered via email.

Click HERE to sign up now!

You can also find me on Facebook and Instagram.

 

The Power of Superfriends: How to Create Nurturing Support Systems for Empaths and Highly Sensitive People

I was talking to a good friend of mine this morning, a fellow HSP, and we had a great a-ha moment on the phone. You know those friends who just lift you up? The ones who are the best cheerleaders in your life? The ones who support and love you and throw nothing but positivity your way? Well, she is one of those. I call those “Superfriends.” It had been over a month since I had spoken to her and we both agreed that way too much time had passed. We made a deal to talk at least once a week so we could lift each other up and raise each other’s positive vibes.

It is said that you are the accumulation of the 5 people

you spend the most time with.

Let’s think about that for a moment: Who are the 5 people who you spend most of your life with? What kind of people are they? As HSP’s, we need to be very in tune with the people we are spending out time with. Why? Read on.

As highly sensitive people, especially empaths,

we can be deeply affected by others’ energy.

On the one hand, that is pretty awesome because if we are hanging out with Superfriends, we are surrounded by positivity and we will likely feel pretty damn good! However, hanging out with Negative Nellie’s, the Complainers, and the Sulky Steve’s ( I made that one up – not bad, right?) of the world, can leave us feeling pretty low, if not downright drained. I’ve been there many times, and I’m sure you can relate!

Does this mean you have to ditch everyone you love

who complains or is negative? Nope. Not at all.

No one is perfect. Personally, I’ve been known to complain and have my Negative Nelly days. Gasp! Thank you for being shocked. It’s hard to believe, I know. 🙂 We all have our moments, and so do our Superfriends. However, everyone is on a different journey and some people out there have worked hard to find more positivity than negativity in their lives. There are people out there who are more aware of their energy than others. These are the people who tend to make awesome Superfriends.

What do these people have in common? Superfriends tend to practice the following:

  1. Gratitude: No matter what is going on, Superfriends will find something to be grateful for on a daily basis. The gift of simply being alive, breathing, and feeling the sun on your face is enough to be grateful for. Finding gratitude in all things, big and small. This is a daily practice for Superfriends.
  2. Positive Focus: Another Superpower is finding the positive in all situations. The practice at looking on the bright side of things takes work. Some of us are better at it than others, but this is one area that Superfriends work on daily. Finding the good, seeking out the positive, training the mind to see the light while it feels like it’s in the dark.
  3. Non-Judgment: Superfriends are pretty amazing at accepting you for who you are. This might be one of the best perks of hanging out with Superfriends: they love you for who you are and they want the very best for you at all times. This is priceless.

It’s time to take stock of your current support system: Are you surrounded by enough positive people? Or are you surrounding yourself with too many toxic people? No judgment here, either way. Simply take stock of your current situation and if you notice things are out of whack, it’s time to add more Superfriends to your life.

Need More Superfriends? Here’s How:

For many of us, it may feel like Superfriends can be hard to find. Personally, as a highly sensitive person, I used to feel very trapped in my own head and I struggled to create deep friendships with people. I did have a few friends, but I had not yet become a Superfriend myself, so it was yet not possible for me to attract Superhero friends. You attract what you put out, and I was not in the habit of thinking positively, supporting others, practicing gratitude or non-judgment. That came with inner work.

Over the past few years as my mindset has changed, my overall energy, vibe, whatever you want to call it has skyrocketed. I finally have Superhero friends! I’m sharing this so that you don’t immediately worry if you aren’t surrounded by positive people who build you up. The fact is, they are hard to come by and it takes some inner work to get to the point where these people show up in your life in droves. However, the more you work on yourself, the more you will find that you will draw these Superfriends into your life. The work starts from within. I love the saying:

Give more of whatever it is you want more of.

Want more money? Give more money.

Want more love? Give more love.

Want more Superfriends? Be a Superfriend.

On a final note, and possibly the most important part of this post: We also have to be our own Superfriend. If we are plagued by an inner voice who nags, criticizes, judges, berates, and only looks to the negative, we aren’t being a very good friend to the most important person in our lives: ourselves. The better we become at building up our own inner Superhero, the better we will show up as a Superhero for others. When we start showing up as a Superhero for others, we will attract more of them into our own lives.

With love,

Cortney

P.S. I would love to hear your comments below, so please say hello! Did you find this helpful? Please consider sharing with a friend.

P.P.S. If you’re a Highly Sensitive Person and would like some tips on empowering your own Inner Badass, I’ve written a special FREE eBook just for you.

Free eBook: From Highly Sensitive Hot Mess to Highly Sensitive Badass: 8 Steps to Empowerment for Highly-Sensitive People, Empaths and Intuitives.

Simply sign up below and it will be delivered right to your inbox! You’ll also get my blog posts delivered via email.

Click HERE to sign up now!

You can also find me on Facebook and Instagram.

5 Tips on Handling Tension and Conflict for Empaths and Highly Sensitive People

Oh, it pains me to even write this. If there’s one thing about being highly sensitive that surely doesn’t feel like a Superpower, it’s managing tension and conflict with someone else. If you’re like me, fellow HSP, you feel it all over and inside your body. The discomfort, the unease, the ickiness of it all. It’s just, blech! Am I right? If you’re at all sensitive or empathic, I know you know what I’m talking about!

After years of massive effort to become IN-sensitive paired with the highly ineffective technique of running away, I simply can’t seem to figure out how to live a conflict and tension-free existence on the planet. So the next best thing? Acceptance. Yep, I’ve had to learn how to just deal with it. Moan! Groan! The good news is, there are things you can do to help move through it, so keep reading!

Here are my best tips for managing the extreme discomfort of tension and conflict and I hope they help you. If anything, know that you are not alone.

  1. Let yourself feel it: Back to the moan and groan, right? But the sooner you acknowledge the ickiness of the feeling and allow it to be there, the sooner it can move through. You can even add vocal acknowledgement to the feeling. Just this morning, I found myself hugely uncomfortable over an exchange with someone. I loudly acknowledged to my empty living room: I AM SO UNCOMFORTABLE! I FEEL REALLY, REALLY NOT GOOD ABOUT THIS! This empowers you to own your feelings, acknowledge your right to them and help move the energy.
  2. Move it through your body: HUGE, friends! Movement is essential. For me, dance is highly therapeutic. When it comes to tension or anxiety, not only do I put on powerful music and dance, I literally shimmy it out of my body. This kind of looks like a whole body shake session, like the hokey-pokey on speed. I shake it out of my arms, my legs and I shimmy my shoulders back and forth. You can even add some sound to this practice. This is POWERFUL! Tension and conflict can make us feel small and helpless. What’s the best antidote to feeling small and helpless? Creating the feeling of power in your body and energy field! You are POWERFUL! Remembering your power when you feel powerless over your empathy can help ground you in your body.
  3. Remind yourself that it’s temporary: “I’m not going to feel this way in a few hours.” Think back to another time you were deeply upset or uncomfortable about something. Do you still feel upset about it? Likely, no. It passed. Emotions always pass. Reminding yourself that you have always moved through past emotions and have never been stuck in a feeling can help reassure you in the moment and make the feeling a bit more bearable.
  4. Tell yourself it’s ok if someone else is upset: For empaths, this is such a toughie because it can feel so heavy and unbearable to feel someone else’s feelings. I very often have to consciously tell myself: “It’s ok for someone to be upset.” Reminding myself of this helps me to acknowledge their right to their own human journey, emotions and all. It’s essential to consciously relinquish control and let go in this moment. Acceptance of the moment requires us to acknowledge that it’s ok for them to feel. Saying out loud: “I can accept this moment” will remind you of the badass empath that you are.
  5. Thank the moment: Huh? How can you be grateful for something that has crapped all over your energy? Well, it’s an opportunity to practice all these awesome techniques, for one. It is also a great opportunity to look at what has triggered you and why. Finally, there might be a hidden opportunity the moment will provide. For me, my highly uncomfortable exchange this morning led to this blog post. Thank you, unnamed person who triggered me!

Finally, be gentle with yourself. Be loving. Do something that makes you feel really, really good. Honor your sensitivity and your beautiful soul. While sensitivity can challenge us to our core, it is also a Superpower.

With love,

Cortney

P.S. I would love to hear your comments below, so please say hello! Did you find this helpful? Please consider sharing with a friend.

P.P.S. If you’re a Highly Sensitive Person and would like some tips on empowering your own Inner Badass, I’ve written a special FREE eBook just for you.

Free eBook: From Highly Sensitive Hot Mess to Highly Sensitive Badass: 8 Steps to Empowerment for Highly-Sensitive People, Empaths and Intuitives.

Simply sign up below and it will be delivered right to your inbox! You’ll also get my blog posts delivered via email.

Click HERE to sign up now!

You can also find me on Facebook and Instagram.

 

How to Create the Juiciest Morning Routine to Set You Up for a Positive Day

Welcome back for Part 2 of the power of the morning routine! If you missed Part 1, here you go: Part 1: Can Creating a Morning Routine Change Your Life? Find Out! (and yes, it can!)

In Part 2, we are going to talk a bit about how to create your routine, how much time you need and what do actually do with your morning! In this case, the video says it all, so please tune in and I’d love to hear your comments below!

You can also find me on Facebook and Instagram.

Love,

Cortney

Part 1: Can Creating a Morning Routine Change Your Life? Find Out! (and yes…it can)

I’m back from vacation! I spent an entire month unplugged…well, mostly. I very consciously took a step away from my normal day to day so that I could free up some mental space for my new Highly Sensitive Endeavor. I started this blog a few months ago, but I’m in the process of getting a new website together and birthing a new business to serve other Highly Sensitive People and it’s thrilling! And terrifying! And thrilling! It should be rolling out in the next month or so.

Anyhoo, during my “down time,” I decided to see what life would be like if I fully embraced the non-routine. It was not pretty. You see, over the past few years, I have implemented the most amazing, wonderful, luxurious morning routine. I love it. I go to bed excited to wake up and do it. Does this sound crazy to you? Don’t worry. I’m actually fairly normal. (I think!) So what happened when I gave up my routine? I was cranky, anxious, ungrounded and generally unhappy. I kept trying to figure out what was wrong with me – after all, I was on vacation! Then it occurred to me that perhaps it was because I had abandoned my morning routine. Sure enough, within a day of starting it again, I was calmer, happier, much less anxious and my monkey mind had mostly shut up.

I was not always excited for the alarm to go off. I used to dread the idea of waking up one second earlier than I absolutely had to.  However, life challenges and hitting rock bottom will often push us where we are sometimes unwilling to go. I was pretty much forced into creating a morning routine. A few years ago, I experienced one of the hardest winters of my life. I have SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and it went unchecked for years. I was diagnosed when I was in college and my doctor told me about light therapy and how it would help ease my depression. I literally had a solution in my hands, but I was very unwilling to wake up early to sit in front of the light box my doctor recommended. This was the light box that was going to help alleviate my depression, but I just couldn’t fathom the thought of waking up to actually do it. However, a few years ago, my depression got so bad and I decided I never wanted to go through that again. I vowed that I would make the effort to wake up a little bit earlier and do my light therapy. The challenge was on!

That was the beginning of my love affair with the morning. I can confidently say that creating and implementing a morning routine has been one of the most effective things I’ve ever done. First, let’s go over why it’s so amazing:

  1. It sets you up for the day: Very often, we roll right out of bed and directly into our frenzied schedule. Creating some space first thing in the morning allows us to mentally prepare for what’s ahead. I often recommend setting an intention for the day of how you want to feel, what you want to accomplish and how you want to go through your day. Creating a strong intention first thing in the morning helps you get focused for the day. Remember my favorite saying? “What you focus on grows.” When you start your day with focus and intention, you are more likely to accomplish the things you actually want to accomplish.
  2. You get to be gloriously alone: HSP’s need a lot of alone time. For many of us, this can be hard to come by, especially if you are in the midst of raising a family. Over the past few years, my days have become more and more cluttered with activity, and I have had less and less time to myself. I was surprised to find that the time I spent by myself in the morning was some of the happiest of my day. There were no distractions, the house was blissfully quiet, and I got to do whatever I wanted to do! I answered to no one but myself.
  3. You’ll be happier:  If you find the right formula of activities for you, you’ll be a much happier person once you’ve had a good dose of morning time. Ideally, this time will nourish you, raise your energy, get your vibration humming at a higher frequency and generally make you feel really, really happy. I can’t tell you what a difference it makes for my family when I’ve implemented my morning routine. By the time everyone else wakes up, I’m wide awake, in a great mood, and I’ve accomplished a lot! On days when I miss it, they get a groggy, cranky, sleepy Cortney who is a bit frustrated that I missed out on my morning time.

So what should you do in the morning? How much time do you need? How the heck will you get up? I’ll get to that in Part 2 of this post, so please stay tuned! (Here is PART 2!)

Tune in here for my video:

 

Love,

Cortney

P.S. I would love to hear your comments below, so please say hello! Did you find this helpful? Please consider sharing with a friend.

P.P.S. If you’re a Highly Sensitive Person and would like some tips on empowering your own Inner Badass, I’ve written a special FREE eBook just for you.

Free eBook: From Highly Sensitive Hot Mess to Highly Sensitive Badass: 8 Steps to Empowerment for Highly-Sensitive People, Empaths and Intuitives.

Simply sign up below and it will be delivered right to your inbox! You’ll also get my blog posts delivered via email.

Click HERE to sign up now!

You can also find me on Facebook and Instagram.

 

 

Busy Being Busy? How to Replace Busyness with Pleasure!

I hope you are having a wonderful summer and soaking up the sunshine! I’m heading out on vacation soon and I’m beyond excited. It’s been a long time since I’ve given myself permission to completely unplug, but I’m going to do that. That means I’m not going to be checking Facebook or email. Gasp! This is actually going to be hard for me, but my goal is to quiet my mind and see if I can find the value in simply being. I’m planning on doing things for fun with no agenda than to enjoy the moment. Over the past few years, I’ve found myself devaluing things that I feel aren’t “productive.” I’ve become a productivity addict. But guess what? When we tend to say busy simply for the sake of being busy, most of what we spend our time doing isn’t productive anyway! It only makes us feel productive. However, I’ve noticed when I truly step back and take the time to rest and do things that bring simple pleasure, I’m able to be productive in the actual sense of productivity.

We spend so much of our time tending to our to-do lists, giving to everyone and racing around at the speed of light. Summer is a wonderful time to slow down and get just a little bit lazy. Guess what? It’s ok to do that. My hope for you is that you treat yourself to some time just for you. Whether it’s a vacation or simply 5 minutes of undisturbed peace and quiet. I’ve given myself permission to slow down recently and it feels amazing. At first it was hard, but I discovered that I am actually able to focus just a bit more on my real priorities.

Spending quality time doing pleasurable activities is crucial. Here are some of the things I’ve been doing with my time:

  1. I’m doing a Harry Potter puzzle. This was meant to be a bonding moment with my daughter, but I was abandoned after 5 minutes and I’ve spent the past 2 weeks sitting down at the table and putting the puzzle together. Turns out, I love puzzles. Who knew?
  2. I’ve been reading. For fun. I’m definitely guilty of “every moment must be productive” syndrome, and my reading often falls into that category. I often feel that I should be reading something that will open my mind, teach me something new or expand my horizons. I’m still doing that, but I’ve also been reading fiction. Getting lost in a book is fantastic!
  3. Going for walks with no intention other than to enjoy nature. I often move my body with the intention of being productive. If I go on a walk, it’s often to exercise or work up a sweat. Recently, I’ve been strolling. Taking my time and simply looking around at the things in my neighborhood. This is actually a meditative practice, teaching me to be in the moment, the now. I will also add a bit of gratitude walking, where I start recounting all the things I have to be grateful for in my life.
  4. I’ve been taking photos for the sake of capturing beauty. I love walking around with my camera and capturing beautiful moments. This is definitely one of the activities that keeps me in the Now. Here are some of the pictures I’ve taken from my walks.

These are just examples from my own life, but I’m hoping they unlock some ideas for you. What can you add more of into your life? Are you spending too much time “being productive” or “being busy?” Can you slow down? How do you want to feel? What can you eliminate from your life that is simply causing you hassle? What can you delegate? What could you bring into your life that would cause you to feel some pleasure, some joy?

Love,

Cortney

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