Below is a blog post I really enjoyed from a few weeks ago. It addresses something I am constantly muddled by, which is my desire, my need really, to read quietly by the fire and take contemplative walks, that is thwarted by the sheer overwhelm of a modern working mother's life. I have been taking this woman's (Tonya Leigh a Martha Beck Coach who is a very insightful former nurse who is inspiring to me) advice. In this post she combines leisure and hustling in a way that has been working for me the last couple of weeks. I'm not getting everything on my to do list done, but I am making some progress and taking better care of myself through taking some walks, doing some yoga and meditating. I thought I'd pass it on. (I loved this quote, "Life honors the lady who respects herself and life enough to take a little extra time for pleasure.")
“I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and… I believe in miracles.”Numerous jokes have been made about me being a lady of leisure, and it’s true! I am indeed.
― Audrey Hepburn
― Audrey Hepburn
My husband usually comes home to find me lounging on the sofa with a glass of wine reading Rumi.
My daughter knows that I’ll be taking a bubble bath between the hours of 8 and 9.
My massage therapist expects to see me bi-weekly.
I spray my favorite perfume on before going to bed and first thing when I wake up.
And, the thought of being in a hurry rarely crosses my mind.
Yet, my house isn’t falling apart. My daughter is functioning quite well in society, and I have a thriving business. Actually, when I think about it, it amazes even me.
So, I was quite shocked when I looked up the term “lady of leisure.” Turns out that it implies that a woman is free of responsibilities or duties or a polite term for an unemployed woman.
Well, I am neither. I have a family to tend to, a home to manage and a company to run.
I have discovered that I have two women within me: my inner lady of leisure and my hustler.
So, I started thinking about this concept of “leisurely hustlin,” not two words that you’d normally put together, but I’ve discovered that it’s completely possible. In fact, it’s the only way, in my opinion, to go through life, combining moxy and ambition with elegance and sophistication.
A Peek Inside my La Tête
First things first, let’s talk about mindset, because leisurely hustling is more about what’s between your ears than anything. So, I’m going to let you peek inside my head for a moment.
My old (frazzled) beliefs:
I don’t have enough time.
I have to get things done.
I’ll do (insert that thing thing I really want to do) tomorrow.
When I finally (insert a goal), then I’ll do (insert a desire).
I don’t have enough money.
My new (leisurely hustlin’) beliefs:
I have all the time in the world.
I don’t have to do anything.
I’m right where I need to be.
I have all the money I need right now.
Pleasure can’t wait.
Feelings, not goals, are what I aim for.
This moment is where it’s at.
This mental reprogramming took some time, but it’s been worth the wait.
Start the Day off With Some Leisure
Jumping out of bed checking emails, cooking breakfast, taking the trash out or feeding the dogs is a great set up for a stressful day. That energy just spills over into the next thing of the day, keeping you on the wheel of doing. This, darling, leaves very little room for leisure.
What if you started your day off with a conscious cup of coffee, reading a passage of Hafiz or taking a stroll around your neighborhood?
Life honors the lady who respects herself and life enough to take a little extra time for pleasure.
Dress the Part
Ladies of leisure take great pride in how they present themselves to the world. Think Audrey Hepburn or Jackie O. On the flip side, a hustler is always ready for the next opportunity.
So, you must dress the part – both for leisure and hustling.
I’ll admit that it’s really tempting to sit around in my PJ’s all day, because no one would know. Or, would they?
I am a big believer that everything is energy, and the words I write are a direct reflection of how I’m feeling in that moment. My inner lady of leisure wants to look fabulous, and my hustler wants to be fabulous.
So, putting on a cute dress and a little lipstick actually sparks inspiration and productivity, and you never know when your destiny will be knocking at the door. That hustler in you better be ready, with heels and lipstick, of course!
Know What you Want (And, be reasonable)
Each Sunday, I decide on my top 3 projects for the week. Did you notice, I said just “3”?
I no longer feel the need to inflict torture upon myself with these god-awful modern day to-do lists.
This week, for example? The French Kiss the World Society details, Website Redesign and Book. That’s it. Just 3.
Of course, I’ll break these down further, like “talk with event planner about location details,” “get font selections to designer” and “write 5,000 words by Wednesday.” But, I have a direct focus of what’s important to me this week. It’s amazing how much time this frees up for leisure.
30 Minutes at a Time, Darling
I’ve never admitted it in public, but I think I suffer from ADD. Actually, I think everyone has a touch of this modern day disorder. But, that’s no excuse to not take action in your life. However, there’s a way to work with your attention deficit, and it’s called “30 Minutes at a Time.”
30 Minutes of Hustling, 30 Minutes of Leisure.
30 Minutes of Writing, 30 Minutes of Dining.
30 Minutes of Exercise, 30 Minutes of Pinterest.
30 Minutes of Studying, 30 Minutes of Facebooking.
30 Minutes of Planning, 30 Minutes of Daydreaming.
30 Minutes of Calls, 30 Minutes of Pampering.
You get the idea. And, it’s amazing how much you can get done in just 30 minutes when you have a clear focus and know that 30 minutes of leisure awaits.
Decide How You’re Going to Show Up
I am a big believer in taking inspired action. I don’t push myself to write when I’m not feeling it. I don’t create programs when I’m out of alignment. I don’t believe in grinding, gripping or pushing myself. That’s too much testosterone energy for me.
I know what you’re probably thinking. “But Tonya, how do you ever get anything done if you’re always waiting to feel good?”
My answer is simple: I work on feeling good before I do anything. I decide how I want to show up in that moment, and then I generate those feelings for myself. Then, and only then, do I do the work.
If I’m feeling resistance, I don’t avoid action. I just get inspired before taking it.
Nothing is worse than creating from a state of fear, anxiety or overwhelm.
Nothing is better than creating from a place of love, generosity and excitement.
Ladies of leisure know this, which is why you’ll often find them having a Eureka moment during yoga class or while they are covered in a salt scrub. Then, they are ready to hustle!
Know your Non-negotiables
Movie night, a beautifully set dinner table, coffee dates with friends, bubble baths and nightly readings are a few of my non-negotiables. These are the things that I will not sacrifice in order to get more things done.
These beautiful moments are creating my life, and there’s no amount of money that will tempt me away from them. I work to live, not live to work. (That’s my lady of leisure talking.)
I am a master of combining work and pleasure, and I have discovered some fun ways to combine leisure with my hustling spirit.
For example, meet a business associate at a spa, exchange your home with someone else for a week in the South of France, find a way to speak to a group in a place you’ve always wanted to visit, serve Champagne at your next presentation, recruit your kids to help with social media.
With a little creativity, you can combine what you love with what you do.
Sometimes, I must remind myself to slow down. So, I bring my walking pace down to a sashay. I slow down at the table. I slow down my speech and listen more.
The truth is that I love living fast, but I also want to live slow enough to savor my life, which is why I’m always reminding myself to decelerate enough that I can take it all in.
Most women are living fast out of fear – fear of being behind, not being good enough and fear of failure. The problem is that actions taken out of fear create more fear. It’s a toxic cycle that’s impossible to escape unless you’re willing to slow down.
So, repeat after me: there is no hurry, and I’m right where I need to be.
The Leisure Effect
It seems counter-intuitive to take moments for leisure when you’re wanting to get things done in life. So, let me offer you a reframe that may entice you to become a lady of leisure (who also happens to be a hustler). I’ve noticed this consistent occurrence associated with my leisure time, and it’s called inspiration. In those moments when I step away from the office and meet up with friends, go for a hike, play with my dogs or cook a divine meal, I have revelations. Ideas are sparked. People show up. The next step is revealed.
All this leads me to my final conclusion: a woman who feels good is a magnet to her desires, and her inner hustler will know how to make it happen!