What Would a Vacation-Mindset Look Like as a LifeStyle?

Consider the mindset that you enjoy on vacation. You are free to set your own schedule, not worrying about what you have to do today, not worrying about the time — just being — minus the anxiety. 

Now imagine the mindset of being busy at work or in any of your important endeavors: doing one task while being anxious about many others, worrying that you may not be doing the right task, interrupted by others, distracted and stressed.

These are two different mindsets, and yet, what if we could enjoy the vacation mind while working? 

Well, we would need to forego the lazing around, but the mindset could be the same. This has the potential to result in a more sane lifestyle, not just living for the weekend or the little vacation time we have, but the ability to navigate life so that we are truly happier every day.

How can this be done? We would need to practice and develop a few small habits, that will make more sense as we go along.

WHAT WOULD THE VACATION MIND LOOK LIKE AT WORK?

Often just thinking about work tasks can alter our mindset from relaxation to anxiety: worry for what we need to do, deadlines, dealing with difficult people, information overload, being on the right task, even concerns as to whether we may be missing out on something important. A life, perhaps :-)

A vacation mindset lets the anxiety go and is simply present in the current moment. Time is less important, enjoying yourself is the priority. You let go of the anxiety. You aren’t worried about getting it all done, or doing the right thing right now, or all the things you have to do later. 

You are immersed in the task you are working on and are able to set a pace of doing it so that you can enjoy the present moment.

So how would this look? You choose to work on a particular task, perhaps writing something. You, obviously, have quite a list of things to do but this is the thing you decide to work on at the moment. 

Could there be other things you should be doing instead? Of course, there always are and will continue to be. Imagine for a moment how efficient you can become if what you are doing and what you are focused on are actually one and the same. 

I would venture to say that several things could happen. 

You might find that you actually enjoy what you are doing when you aren't constantly having to pull your focus back from what you are concerned about.... or maybe because you don't want to do the hard work of focusing on the task at hand, your mind wanders (and takes your fingers on the keyboard with it), to shop or research online. 

This is where it is easier to lose focus and get even more behind in the project that we are working on.

As for the best thing to do right now, the moment of perfect certainty never comes, so just pick something and do it in a manner that affords you time to be intentional, consistent, and to apply your level of expertise and experience. No short cuts. Be ready to sign your name to the final draft. 

If you want to touch on a healthy dose of self-esteem, this is the thing that gets you there. There is no amount of framed or engraved awards that will ever bring the self-satisfaction of that of a job we've done so well that we are excited to see it again and again, revisit the effort and enjoyment as well as share the finished product.

By practicing being able to enjoy the task at hand we are able to be more present, which is must less exhausting than attempting to juggle too many plates. 

Let other tasks take their rightful place, the time to do them will come. Immerse yourself in the current task. Focus on enjoying yourself as you do it. 

At times, you may mentally step back, come up for air and take a look at the bigger picture, and then return back to the project. This is what I like to call “laser-focus”.

And you can do this when you talk with a co-worker or client. You can do this with an important email, or processing paperwork, small tasks, designing something, programming, creating art, helping a patient or student. This is a learned strategy. It is a discipline that is easily doable.

However, we can’t just flip a switch and be good at these things today … they do take practice, like any other skill, but in the long run, I can say that they’re worth practicing, even if you never master them, because they can transform your relationship with work and any important endeavor that you undertake.

Here are some helpful practices that you can consider working on a little every day:        

-Pick something, get immersed in the act of being creative. Focus on the enjoyment of creating something that is uniquely your idea. Being able to work from this relaxing mindset affords you the time to think with a higher level of energy. This will play out in everything you endeavor to do.

-Let go of anxieties. This takes practice. Learn to recognize when you begin to feel anxious and notice the source of the anxiety. This is typically focusing on an outcome you want to happen, such as, looking good in front of others, being highly productive, controlling a situation, etc. Realize the desired outcome is merely a fantasy, and other outcomes can work out just as well. Realize that holding on to this fantasy of how it should turn out causes stress. Let go and restore your creative energy mindset.

-Come up for air and see the big picture. Diving in is goal, and, it is also helpful to step back at times, and assess what is going on around you. Notice people who are nearby and if anyone needs your attention, how you’re sitting (and whether you’re sitting too long), etc. Is there an appointment you should get to? See the big picture, then go back into immersion.

-Be less worried about time. Time is important but we can be mindful of it while not being “lorded over” by it. It matters that we show up on time for appointments we have, paying attention to completion deadlines, billing clients etc. There are times when we can waste time worrying about the time we need to do or not be doing something. Practice a balance of being aware of when time matters and when there can be some leeway.    

You may be considering if this is truly doable. The answer depends on you. You’ll be surprised what you can do — if you have the “want to”. 

At the end of the day, you'll feel more energetic over the good things you've accomplished. This will help you to be less stressed, treat yourself (and others) better and ultimately, to create a life you don't need to escape from. 

There are so many ways we can let our 'have-to-do' items (we have to work to make a living) spill all over our 'would-like-to-do' items. 

When we aren't fully focused on what we're doing, we can spend an inordinate amount of time worrying and stressing over what we could've-should've done differently. 

We can pretty much eliminate this drama by simply practicing doing our tasks (if we have a career, our own business, or are retired and have personal projects) in a manner that allows us to be vacationally-minded. 

When I think about the truth behind taking a calmer pace, besides the tortoise and the hare, I am reminded of a story my mother shared with me years ago when I first began driving.

My mother had a lead foot... and she treated it like a badge. LOL. However, when I started driving, she had some teachable moments to share. 

She told me about driving home to our hometown, Pembroke, Georgia, every weekend when she was working 2 hours away. Numerous times she had gotten warnings after being pulled over by a police officer, and occasionally, a speeding ticket. 

After one particular time when she received a ticket, she brought up to her supervisor how frustrating her drive was: there was no interstate (at the time), all the small towns with their speed limit signs and the endless redlights. 

He nodded in a kind and knowing manner and mentioned that in a situation such as she had described that passing everyone and being in a constant hurry really was a waste of time and stress. He told her to pay attention on her next drive to all the cars she passed. He said she may be surprised to find that at the traffic lights when she had to stop, she would likely see a number of the same cars she had passed, lined up right behind her. She accepted the challenge and noted that he was absolutely correct! 

I still exercise this practice today because I love taking a back road. You can't miss me when I do, I'm the car you'll pass and who will leisurely pull up behind you at the next traffic light. So when you look back in your rearview mirror, just throw up your hand and remember I'm smiling right back at you.... with a little less stress :-)

Until next time.... 

-Sheri xo

Sheri Geyer is a Relationship Coach for Women who are ready to Create Joy-Filled ❤️ Relationships, Emotional Wellness & Lasting Joy! Let's Go...

*Enjoy Peaceful Relationships by Eliminating Negative Beliefs and Unhealthy Habits.
*Experience Emotional Wellness by Establishing Safe Personal Limits aka Boundaries.
*Eliminate the Need to Spend Time, Energy & Money for Ongoing Therapy, Attorney Fees and Relational Losses.


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Have You Ever Been Afraid to Address Conflict in a Close Relationship?

Often, the most difficult part of family or working relationships is when a little grain of sand makes its way into the otherwise seamless flow of everyday living. 

A grain of sand inside an oyster causes an irritant. Once the oyster layers the irritant with nacre to reduce the discomfort the grain of sand causes, the irritant eventually becomes a pearl. 

Working to resolve the “irritants” in our relationships can make the climate where we spend most of our time and focus a lot more pleasant. Overlooked, the irritant may grow and continue to have a negative impact.

These situations can and most often are based on assumptions made by one party toward or about the other. These assumptions can be “birthed” by idle chitchat from a third party and can make the normal routine very tense. 

Taking steps to overcome this unfortunate circumstance can replace the climate balance and life can resume. 

Refusing to address these issues can consume a lot of mental energy. 

Consider what resolution may look like in the way of managing conflict.

1- Build a unique confidence to confront in a kind and loving way when necessary. 

It is common and normal to have a certain hesitancy around addressing an issue that is assumed as having some sort of conflict attached to it. The fact that fear is present in the concern around confronting the issue doesn’t mean it should be avoided. 

While we often shy away from fear, it actually can help develop a needed confidence to address issues before they can get out of hand. True, feeling fear is uncomfortable, but not much outside of stepping out of our comfort zone will ever stretch us to be all we can be. 

Most of our growth comes from times of uncertainty. We just know that the way things are have become a challenge that needs attention.

Consider the costs of the situation remaining as it is or imagine the worst case scenario. Can you live with that? If not, step forward. If you think you can, consider the best case scenario of what it could be if it were to be resolved. Can you live with less than that? If not, take a baby step forward. 

Since a moment of quiet prayer can actually calm you, prayerfully consider the best time to approach the other person. When the time feels right, calmly let them know what you are sensing and inquire as to what their thoughts are around the subject. 

Regardless of the response you receive, it will be more liberating for you to get it out in the open in a calm, well thought out manner, than for you to continue to fret about it. 

You may not receive the immediate response that you desire, but in time, you may be pleasantly surprised.

2 – Taking ownership of what we may have contributed in the breakdown can be empowering. 

While no one would argue that we aren’t always the cause of all of our problems, confronting an issue in our mind and heart before we approach another person can often help us to sort out our sensitive feelings and determine what we are responsible for in the situation. 

Having done so, we can be empowered to confront the other person in a manner that will be less hostile and will diffuse the temptation to become defensive. 

I recommend journaling thoughts and feelings for clarity so you can organize them and work through your emotions. 

Diffusing emotions before addressing an issue will help maintain self-control without derailing the process by anger.

3 – Actively listen to the other person as they respond. 

The second most difficult part of a confrontation that seeks to clear the air and restore peace is making a concerted effort to really listen to the other person as they share their thoughts or feelings. 

This is especially true if you disagree with what they are saying. Listening does not mean agreement. Listening is demonstrating respect. A good rule here is to listen to the person as you would desire to be listened to in a situation that may be difficult for you to express. 

In coaching, I often find that when a person is truly acknowledged, listened to and heard, they feel safe and are willing to share and work through the process to create a breakthrough. It can sometimes take a breakdown to bring a breakthrough. 

We may be working to achieve a higher level of relating than we could ever have imagined by allowing ourselves to grow in the process. If we gain a deeper understanding, we may gain a stronger bond in the relationship. 

This will work in building teamwork at home or at work. What do we have to lose if the air is already thick with tension? 

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. It can be a risk well worth taking. 

What is the value of restored peace? 

For me, it is priceless.

As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments.  -Sheri xo
Sheri Geyer is a Relationship Coach for Women who are ready to Create Joy-Filled ❤️ Relationships, Emotional Wellness & Lasting Joy! Let's Go...

*Enjoy Peaceful Relationships by Eliminating Negative Beliefs and Unhealthy Habits.
*Experience Emotional Wellness by Establishing Safe Personal Limits aka Boundaries.
*Eliminate the Need to Spend Time, Energy & Money for Ongoing Therapy, Attorney Fees and Relational Losses.


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Have You Allowed False Assumptions to Harm Your Significant Relationships?

Have you ever spent time with your spouse, parent, son or daughter, or a close friend and mentioned an idea only to have them either respond with silence or a host of questions? Or perhaps, they have mentioned something about your idea that brought some anxiety or concern to them? 

What happens next? Do you calmly try to ease their minds by providing additional info or holding space for them to share their thoughts or concerns? Or, like many of us, do you assume the worst... 'they think my idea is bad', or 'they are angry at me for suggesting this' or 'they really are not open to try anything different', etc.? Are we too easy to jump to conclusions on situations because we read too much into them?

Let's consider for a moment that they may simply be processing their thoughts and want to learn more about the specifics of what you are sharing with them? Maybe it isn't that they are unwilling, but simply that their personality may naturally just be one that is more curious and they prefer having more details.

Mama always told me to "Never assume!" You may have heard that before as well. However, my mother was not one to use the word 'never' because she believed that 'we should never say never because we never know!' So, when she said not to assume numerous times, it was something I paid close attention to. 

She had a little pun to add to it. I won't write it here but I'll give you a little riddle. The first three letters in the word 'assume' describe the King James term for a donkey. The last three letters tell who is made out to be the animal described in the first three letters. So, have a little fun and you will figure it out. If not, reach out to me in the comments below (You will need to click the link to my site at the bottom of this email. The comment form is displayed at the bottom of the post on my site). 

I am a verbal processor so I will often repeat back a thought or an idea that is suggested to me. Sometimes, I make sound like a parrot, LOL! This is the only way I have been able to internalize what I've heard. Without verbal processing, it is also difficult for me to remember what I hear. I'm a little weird in that way!

Internal processors (they need to 'think' on it), can get really annoyed by folks who process the way I do. In fact, when we need to think on things, often it can be a real challenge to avoid assuming because we don't always experience our curiousity right out of the gate. The challenge presents itself later when questions come to mind and whoever shared the idea with us may no longer be around to provide the clarity that is needed. 

We typically view the world through the lens of our own experiences, history, personality, temperament and perhaps, through the way we were raised. Additionally, we interpret words and body language in similar ways as well. 

What this means in significant relationships, is that we tend to routinely misunderstand or misread what is said or done. And more importantly, we may take it personally! And then, take offense. (Note here: offenses are taken, not given, so think on that a bit). 

Wrong assumptions and mistaken perceptions typically increase conflict in relationships, and can often lead to damaging arguments. This is especially true in marriage and other close relationships.

Here are some negative patterns to be on the look out for, in order to avoid negative relational issues:

1) Pay attention to your thoughts and perceptions. When you notice you are making assumptions, ask yourself, "Is this perception accurate? Or am I reading too much into this?"

2) Be aware of the lenses that you are seeing life through. When my oldest daughter was a teenager, she once stated to me a simple but profound truth. She said, "Life is a perception issue, Mom. It is what we perceive it to be, whether or not it is true". Such wisdom! Our perspectives can be accurate or they can be terribly distorted at times. Consider the experiences that you've had that have shaped the way you view life: anger, fear, loss or rejection, shame or guilt, hopelessness, perfectionism, people pleasing, avoidance, or withdrawal, etc. When you are processing what someone may mean when they are saying or doing something that you are uncertain about, ask yourself if you are observing their words or actions through any of these lenses that may have caused much difficulty for you.

3) Identify negative thoughts and feelings that may surface as you listen to what your loved one is saying. (One major issue to be aware of here is to be sure you are actively listening. Active listening means not interrupting and not focusing on what or how you will respond... just listen!) Bring your negative thoughts or feelings out in the open and pose them as questions to gain greater clarity and avoid the risk of harming the relational connection. 

4) Make the effort to move your thoughts in a more accurate direction. Our thoughts have a lot of power to move us forward or mislead us in destructive ways that hold us back. This is especially important to remember. Consider the words of the Apostle Paul, in 2 Corinthians 10:15, "Take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ". If you find that you are tempted to make wrong or negative assumptions, pause before you react, and consider if the lens you are viewing the situation through may be distorted.

By putting these strategies into practice, you can avoid rocky relationships. Letting go of your assumptions and focusing on what your loved one is actually trying to communicate helps clear up false assumptions and expectations that lead to misunderstandings, and provide for more pleasant and joy-filled relationships!

If this is an encouragement for you, please share with the other amazing women in your life!

-Sheri xo 
Sheri Geyer is a Relationship Coach for Women who are ready to Create Joy-Filled ❤️ Relationships, Emotional Wellness & Lasting Joy! Let's Go...

*Enjoy Peaceful Relationships by Eliminating Negative Beliefs and Unhealthy Habits.
*Experience Emotional Wellness by Establishing Safe Personal Limits aka Boundaries.
*Eliminate the Need to Spend Time, Energy & Money for Ongoing Therapy, Attorney Fees and Relational Losses.


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