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Issue 9 September 2006

Sanity Saver #11: Balance Being and Doing

Remember when your mother or father said, “If something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well”? Well it’s not quite that black and white, especially not today. There are very few things worth doing well and there are an endless number of things not worth doing at all. But in between are numerous everyday things that need to be done--but not done perfectly. In fact these tasks invite shortcuts and simplifying.

Let me tell you a secret, “If a thing is barely worth doing, just barely do it.” Write that on the dust on your bookshelf. To determine if something is worth the effort to be done well, ask yourself three questions: “Will it matter in five years?” “Do I need it?” “Can I simplify it?”

By using these three questions, you’ll develop new skills: the skills of discretionary neglect, selective prioritization--and of discerning those things worth doing well, those things barely worth doing and those things not worth doing at all.

Three Questions
Take a few minutes and think about all the things in your life that you consider crucial and ask yourself these three questions in relation to each one. I think you’ll be surprised to discover that you can adjust the amount of time and energy you devote to many of these tasks.

The result of continuing to do, do, do is that we become more like robots than human beings and we lose touch with our humanity.

You know the phrase, “Don’t just stand there, do something?” I’m suggesting that, in many cases, you don’t do anything but simply stand there and begin to discern what you need to do and what you don’t need to do at all. As you adopt this attitude you will create more time to feed your deeper needs and longings.

Making Time to Feed My Soul
Remember, keep it simple, but be sure that you do something that allows you to quiet your mind and turn your attention inward. We have become so expert at supporting other people that without a space of our own, it’s often difficult for us to connect with our Wise Self.

While not everyone can have a room of her own, we can create a sacred space, whether it’s a windowsill, a corner or an area in your garden. The location isn’t that important. What is essential is that you make a space that’s just for you and you alone. Stake a claim, the way pioneer women did in the Wild West. We each need a piece of real estate we can call our own. When you carve out a space for yourself it’s a declaration of your own worth and the value you place on your inner life.

For more information on 30 Days to Sanity please visit www.30daystosanity.com.