It was October 2014 when I requested my own intervention.
I was busy (the curse word kind where you feel like there’s no rest) distracted, and at the mercy of my own day and I needed help making it stop.
So Chad and I went to Emily & John’s house (my sister & her husband) and met my parents there and we mapped out a way for me to make it all slow down, have healthy boundaries and figure out what Yeses were most important and what Nos needed to happen.
The first step was for me to schedule a six week break from mid December through January. It took me 10 weeks to complete all of my prior commitments before the middle of December and a lot of strength to say No to some fun, interesting opportunities, but I fought for it and I was able stop and rest.
I still did work during my break, but the difference was that I didn’t HAVE to do any certain thing at any certain time for any certain person, I just let inspiration come to me and wrote and created whenever I felt like I couldn’t not. That happened surprisingly often and the joy of writing and creating crept back into my work.
During my break I read the book Essentialism–where all of these quotes are from…
It changed the way I went back to work.
I asked myself: what’s the easiest way to help people that makes sense with my personality?
In other words: how could this INTJ homebody who sees the world through house colored glasses and has a business encouraging women in their home make the best use of her time and gifts and personality to help others in the best possible way without making it too difficult?
I finally gave myself permission to cater to my gifts and my personality quirks and create something I’d always wondered about, and I asked the smartest tech guy I knew to help me make it happen. Together we created the Cozy Minimalist Online Program.
I didn’t know if it would be horrible or great, if I would love or hate doing it, or if it would be a major waste of my time. I just knew I had to try.
So that was my focus for the first half of 2015. It felt so good to focus on ONE thing–yes, I still did other things but the course was my focus, I wanted to encourage women in their homes in a way I had never tried before. And like any normal human that has a focus, I said lots and lots of NOs to lots of wonderful things, but because I knew what I needed to focus on, I was free to accept the fact that right now, those things were better suited for someone else.
Meanwhile, I’ve been reading Soul Keeping and like relationship between a good wine and that perfect cheese, Soul Keeping pairs beautifully with Essentialism.
So, now that my course it out and running and actually helping women love their home, I’m ready to focus on another new, risky, fun, thing…
This time, I teamed up with my sister, our dad and of course our favorite tech genius, Brian.
Here’s the thing, there are only a few things that I do well that I enjoy:
- I’m a pretty good cook and I like being in the kitchen–the more people to feed the happier I am
- I wrap gifts that look beautiful–put me up against anyone and I’ll out wrap them
- I help women find contentment in their home because I know how that affects us all I truly believe that it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful
- I want to be your No Whisperer I think lots of us have been saying Yes to the wrong things. It squelches our creativity, steals our joy, wastes our time and ultimately makes us feel helpless. I want you to see the value in making the time to do those things you are uniqely gifted to do, it makes me sad when we ignore this–because I’ve done that and it feels just awful. I’m not sure all the ways I can be a No Whisperer, but I do know one…
Maybe one of those things you’ve hoped to do is write.
Maybe you have a blog, or a book idea or a pile of journals or four published books.
If so, we started hope*writers for you.
At hope*writers we focus on writing, career, technical information (eg: growing your email list) but also pair that with the keeping of your soul–because if you can’t do that then none of this matters. And we have a great community where we can all hang out and ask questions and be encouraged.
To me hope*writers feels like the books Essentialism and Soul Keeping had a baby, and that baby happens to make a living as a writer and wants to tell you everything it’s learned.
We have all sorts of content including videos (like Emily’s daily writing routine) and interviews–one with Carolyn McCready, my editor from Zondervan where she demystifies what an editor does, and we’ve even got an interview with Ruth from Gracelaced all about instagram for writers coming out this week. We’ll be releasing dozens more interviews with writers you know and love over the coming months!!
But, whether you want to write or not, I hope you give yourself permission to say NO to lots of non-essential things, so that you can say YES to the most important things–the things you’ve been gifted to do, that allow you to focus on your highest contribution.
I HIGHLY recommend Essentialism to pretty much everyone I meet. It’s applicable whether you are running a fortune 500 company, a non-profit or carpool. Pair that with Soul Keeping and I’m pretty sure you’ll start changing the way you make decisions.
And to writers of all kinds; your writing helps people, we’re here to help you.