Your Unlimited Brilliance
Do you ever feel anxious about putting your work, art, or ideas out into the world because you want to save it for some special project or occasion?
Do you obsess about keeping track of all your genius and organizing your thoughts, journal entries, etc. so you can find it later?
Rather than approaching your work (and life and hobbies) from a place of limitation and scarcity, withholding your brilliance or searching for old ideas you had last year (or last decade), what if you adopt a new thought:
There's more where that came from.
Postponing is Prolonging.
This week, I heard someone say "prolong" when they meant to say "postpone."
It was something like, "You could just prolong it until next week."
And I was like, wait a minute...
to cause or arrange for (something) to take place at a time later than that first scheduled.
to extend the duration of.
The difference here is subtle, but PROFOUND.
She was talking about putting something off. Doing it later. But what she said actually meant extending it. Dragging it out.
The reason I can't quite remember the context here is because my brain was like 🤯.
Everything you're postponing, you're actually prolonging.
I do this with - among other things - dentist appointments (can I get an AMEN?). I *think* I'm just postponing the unpleasantness of it. Like, eh, I'll worry about that later.
The thing is, just because I'm not consciously worried about it doesn't mean I'm not subconsciously worried about it. In fact, postponing anything just means I've buried it. It's still there, running in the background, slowing down my processing ability like allllll those extra browser tabs open on my desktop or notifications of software waiting to update.
And WHY would I want to prolong that? Not only is it there in the background of my subconscious, stressing me out in ways I don't even realize, but every once in awhile I remember that I still haven't made the appointment and I get a surge of anxiety in the pit of my stomach. Instead of just making one unpleasant appointment -- "unpleasant" being 100% a reflection of my THOUGHTS, by the way -- I'm making it last so...
By the way, those prolonged tasks don't simply turn into fleeting feelings. There are real things -- unhealthy things -- happening in your brain and gut when you stress yourself out like that. And then you're confused when you're crabby, anxious, fearful, fatigued, or mysteriously ill.
What are you prolonging?
You don't need a magic pill.
I'm full-time breastfeeding a five-month-old. A week ago, my supply started dropping. Like, almost disappearing. Having never experienced this with my older child, I panicked.
My brain said, YOU NEED MORE INFORMATION! START GOOGLING!
"You need this kind of seed and that kind of tea and no more mints and, and, AND....!!!"
(Spoiler alert: You don't need more.)
I was looking for a Magic Pill. The perfect herb, supplement, trick... to restore milk production.
My husband suggested I call my midwife and I resisted.
Why was I resisting?
Because I already knew I wasn't doing the most basic thing: Drinking water.
Basic things are simple. Obvious. And so underrated.
(By the way, all those articles I read said "make sure you're drinking lots of water" and I was like yeah yeah water whatever I NEED SOMETHING MORE.)
The moment I realized this - that I already knew the answer but had undervalued it - I started downing water like it was an olympic sport.
That night my baby slept better than he had in a long time because his belly was full. Because his mama is a gold-medalist in Water Drinking.
Stop looking for a Magic Pill to solve your problems.
If you're looking for THE THING to help you lose weight, have you stopped eating processed food and sugar?
If you're looking for THE THING to increase your energy, have you been getting enough sleep?
If you're looking for THE THING to improve your mood, have you been exercising or moving your body in any way?
If you're not doing the basic, simple, boring STUFF YOU ALREADY KNOW, then a Magic Pill isn't what you need.
Now go drink some water.
See you next week!
Did you TRY to put your pants on this morning?
Unless you're a child, new to the task - unless you have cognitive physical limitations that make getting dressed more difficult - you didn't even think about it. You just did it.
Whatever else you're "trying" to do, stop.
Stop indulging in confusion.
Nike was right. Just do it.
Have an awesome week!
The power of ONE
I'm an all-or-nothing kind of person. I often do nothing when I can't [or won't make the time to] do a lot. But an all-or-nothing mindset misses out on the power of one.
One is not twice as much as zero. It’s not a hundred times more than zero. Compared to zero, one is everything. One is active. One gets you in the game. One is the difference between existing and not existing. BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH.
Dramatic much? (Who, me?)
BUT SERIOUSLY THINK ABOUT IT.
The difference between one and one million is closer than the difference between nothing and one. You can't multiply nothing. Nothing comes from nothing. So start with ONE.
One elimination from your diet.
One minute of meditation.
One hour of focused work.
One day of vacation.
A multivitamin. A sun salutation. A deep breath.
Get rid of one thing. Organize one drawer. Read one article.
If you can't do a lot, do one. And tell me about it.
See you next week!
What would your higher self do?
A question that’s been helping me a ton lately:
“What would my higher self do?”
Some people like to ask, “What would [fill in the blank with someone they admire or even worship - e.g. Jesus] do?”
That was never super helpful for me. Jesus wasn’t an American teenage girl in 2001. He didn’t go to college. He didn't own a business or use social media. He wasn’t a mother. And I guarantee his personality and preferences were very different from mine.
So instead I've been asking "What would my higher self do?" Actually I just think "higher self" as I go about my day. It's been amazing. And SO SIMPLE.
And lest you think my higher self has me running around super productive all day... this week I lay down to take a nap with my baby, fully believing that it was my highest call for that moment.
What about your higher self? Who is that person? What would she choose? What would he do? And if you're not sure, reply to this email and schedule a free one-hour consult with me. I would be honored to help you see your higher self.
Owning your decisions
I bought a new home this week. When signing all the paperwork, my realtor made a joke about it being the second time my husband and I had bought and sold a house this year. The loan officer smirked, "What, you didn't want to live there?"
Feeling somewhat sheepish, I launched into a clumsy explanation about what exactly happened and why we didn't move into the other house. My words faded with every signature, and the guy continued his smirk until finally putting me out of my misery with, "Yeah, I once owned three houses. Had one, bought a new one, decided I didn't want to live in it, and bought another."
The confidence with which he shared that floored me. Like it was no big deal that he bought a house and CHANGED HIS MIND. And then bought another on top of that to boot!
But guess what? It's no big deal if you change your mind, Monica! You get to do that. As many times as you want.
And whatever happened with that other house we bought is kind of irrelevant at this point. Reasons, reasons, blah blah blah...the bottom line is we didn't want to live there.
I'm continuing to internalize this: I don't need to explain my feelings, my values, my decisions, or my preferences. And you don't need to explain yours, either. It's your life. Do what you want and OWN IT.
I challenge you to own something in your life this week without explanation. And I'd love to hear how it goes if you care to share.
Too many changes = zero new habits
A couple of months ago I told you I had formed a habit of making my bed every morning. It’s a habit I was able to form rather quickly, unlike many other habits I’ve attempted over the years.
Imagining I was on a roll of some sort, I added four new habits to integrate into my life. Truth be told, it was partly because my new planner had a habit tracker with four slots and I just decided if that was the standard (whose standard, Monica???) then surely I could manage it. And you know what? I haven’t gotten any of them to stick.
When I formed the bed-making habit, it was the only one I was working on. I’d just had a baby and didn’t expect much from myself in terms of world-changing personal growth. I’d also internalized a practical need for it, since baby and I spent a lot of time on that bed.
These other four habits are disparate and a little arbitrary, not to mention the fact that they are FOUR instead of ONE.
So instead I am looking at my life and what’s ahead and asking myself, what’s the next thing I want to integrate? What ONE thing?
And I’ve decided that one next thing is brushing my teeth first thing in the morning. Not after breakfast, not before I leave the house, but right away, per my dentist’s recommendation. Even though it seems like such a small thing, I haven’t been able to master it while trying to implement three other things. Now that I have a focus, I will pour my rewiring efforts into this one thing, and I’m confident that I’ll have a new habit in three weeks.
What’s the one next habit you’d like to form?
Until next week,
How can you have both?
We often hear that “you can't have it all.” And maybe you can’t have everything in the way you imagine it.
But my question isn’t “can you have both?” it’s “how can you have both?”
How can you have money AND time?
How can you have a career AND homeschool your kids?
How can you do what you want AND consider the feelings of others?
How can you be a solopreneur AND get the camaraderie and encouragement of a team?
How can you have a full calendar AND stay grounded?
How can you exercise every day AND get enough sleep?
Having to choose between two very close priorities can feel impossible. So what if you don’t have to choose? What if it just doesn’t look the way you expect?
I'd love to hear what you want to coexist in your life!
You know that thing - or perhaps, like in my case, "things" - you haven't been doing because you don't want to take the risk?
You don't want to risk looking foolish.
You don't want to risk hate.
You don't want to risk failing.
I just want to remind you (AND MYSELF) that not taking the risk is more risky than actually doing the thing you're hesitating about.
You who are afraid to leave your cage risk something far greater than the safety of its bars.
...you risk never seeing what was possible.
...never knowing your power.
....never making your dreams a reality.
Every day within your self-induced confinement is a day you are definitely not living the life you want.
Go take a risk this week.
P.S. I know things like this can sound trite and are more easily said than done. That's where I come in. If you are ready to make some changes and fast-track your growth, reply to this email to book a free consult with me and let's talk about where you are and where you want to be. I promise that one hour on the phone will give you a totally new level of clarity, whether or not you choose to become my client.
Monica Gill is a life coach and image consultant in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.