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Michelle Basey
Bowenwork, MLT (manual ligament therapy), I-AM (Integral-Awareness Modality), Mind-Body-Being integration, bodywork, massage therapy
Seattle, Washington
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Ignite the Spark Within

Feeling a bit depleted?  weary?  Lost that motivation even though you absolutely love what you do?  Learn how to re-ignite the spark within.

Written Jan 28, 2008, read 2760 times since then.
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I was on vacation in Kauai after about 7 months of over-working.  It was day 3 when something inside me jolted me from my stupor “Ummm, excuse me here, but we are in Hawaii for a limited amount of time, and you have wasted two whole days sitting in this condo stressing about WORK!?  You’d better get off your duff and see this island.  And you’d better be making BIG changes when we get back because we are never doing THIS nonsense again.”

The rest of the trip, was an amazing scuba journey every day, afternoon smoothies - fresh from the plant at the local stand, wonderful beach spots to commune toes in sand with the ocean, and meeting locals with wonderful life-stories of how they had dropped out of the rat race.

The big change became an invention called “the day of no obligation”.

Day of no obligation.

I’m not talking about that Saturday when you are doing ADHD yard work, laundry, and bathroom cleaning; or that football game you agreed to go to but would rather be sleeping; or that time you love with your kids, but feel the nagging wish you could open that novel you’d been meaning to read.

I’m talking nothing scheduled at ALL in any way shape or form.  I’m talking “day of N.O.” written on the calendar.  Get up when you feel like it, shower if you want, eat what you want, sit at Alkai all day watching the scenery, curl up with hot chocolate and a book, follow the whims of the moment.  Only do things that you really want to do, only things that make your heart sing, however small or seemingly silly.

Entrepreneurs are we.

24/7, always “on”, rock-n-roll, don’t stop til you drop, keepin' it real.

Stop for a moment, ask yourself “When was the last time I scheduled an appointment with Me, the most important person in my address book?”  It is so easy to book every moment.  There are endless important projects to complete, people to contact in a timely manner, “must do’s” that press on your Soul until you complete them.  The motivation wanes.  You used to have passion, motivation, that fire in your eyes.  Where has it gone?  Depletion has crept in.

To regain the fire, you need to restore your Spirit, you need to schedule Me-time.

Don’t wait until your body lies you flat out with illness. Take that hour or ½ day, and schedule something whimsical that you love.  Mill around the bookstore, art gallery, Pike Place Market, pull out the fingerpaints and get messy, make it something you enjoy fully.

And then, the key element, be present, and enjoy it fully.

Taste all the flavors in every bite, feel every tactile sensation, see beyond, see shapes in the clouds, hear beyond, that subtle sub-terrain of your favorite songs.  Allow yourself to reconnect and renew.

Mono-a-mono, you with yourself.  Getting that oxygen mask on yourself first, breathing in fully, restoring your inner fire.

If you are still skeptical, still feeling like it’s more important to complete tasks, ask yourself:

  • Do you notice when someone else is running on fumes?
  • Is it obvious when someone is weary behind their shining smile?

Your clients notice too.

  • Are you more productive at 50% for 8 hours,
    or at 100% for 4?

That ½ day off is time well spent.  In fact, it's the most important thing you can do to keep yourself "on".

Personally, I take a full 24 hours at least once every two weeks, ideally weekly.  Experiment.  Find what works for you.

And the day after?  You can’t even imagine how full of fresh insight & energy it will be.

Be careful with this tactic though; this sort of thing is dangerous.

You may end up taking time for yourself on a regular basis, improving your health, maintaining motivation levels and having a more balanced perspective on life!

Learn more about the author, Michelle Basey.

Comment on this article

  • Self Promotion Expert 
Hoboken, New Jersey 
Ilise Benun
    Posted by Ilise Benun, Hoboken, New Jersey | Jan 31, 2008

    Michelle, i agree with you. sometimes the best thing you can do for your business is remove yourself from the day to day.

    Twice a year, I do a retreat with my partner, peleg top, where we clear our heads, and leave the clutter, phones and the emails behind. we remove the chaos and take some time to really focus on the big picture. Some of our best ideas come from these retreats. I think it's even better than a vacation, because it leads us closer to our goals. Thanks for the article.

  • Photostylist 
Seattle, Washington 
Joanne Rice
    Posted by Joanne Rice, Seattle, Washington | Jan 31, 2008

    It is possible to go too far in the other direction. If I work 14 hour days to bring in a project on schedule and within budget, I kinda collapse when I finally get time off. The challenge is to keep motivated, efficient and energized, during the time off. Good article!

  • Bowenwork, MLT (manual ligament therapy), I-AM (Integral-Awareness Modality), Mind-Body-Being integration, bodywork, massage therapy 
Seattle, Washington 
Michelle Basey
    Posted by Michelle Basey, Seattle, Washington | Jan 31, 2008

    I agree, Joanne, preventative maintenance prevents the collapse!

  • Counselor 
Seattle, Washington 
Noreen Wedman M.S., L.M.H.C.A.
    Posted by Noreen Wedman M.S., L.M.H.C.A., Seattle, Washington | Oct 28, 2008

    Kauai is a wonderful place to go to de-stress!

    I love Days Of No Obligation and and thanks for giving me a name for them. When I take a DO.NO., before I begin any activity, I ask myself, "What do I really want to do?" And I wait for a response and wade through and eliminate responses that seem based on guilt. DO.NO.s are great for getting in touch with one's core self and healing the over domesticated, duty bound, traumatized parts. There is an African saying that "to deal harshly with a child is to cause the child to walk a day from itself." DO.NOs are great for getting back in step with oneself.

    cheers! Check out my website

  • Career Counselor 
Seattle, Washington 
Laila Atallah
    Posted by Laila Atallah, Seattle, Washington | Dec 01, 2008

    Michelle: love this idea! My mother-in-law still talks about the Sacred Mondays I used to take. A day just for me and soul-replenishing activities. How those fell by the wayside, I don't remember but maybe it's time for a reprise.

    Thanks for sharing your personal story and a much-needed reminder of the sweetness that awaits us if we will only pluck the fruit.

  • Internet Sales Consultant 
Seattle, Washington 
Howard Howell
    Posted by Howard Howell, Seattle, Washington | Jan 29, 2009

    Michelle... I love your DONO suggestion and will add your reminder right along side Steven Covey's: "take time to sharpen the saw". Great advice given in an interesting and engaging manner. ...Howard

  • Ghost Writer/Blogger 
Los Angeles, California 
Terra  Paley
    Posted by Terra Paley, Los Angeles, California | Feb 04, 2009

    Time, time, time-oy vey as we say in my tribe. Good article and we need our SPACE. Thanks for sharing this. I am not getting up at six tomorrow-period.

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