The things I find difficult ...

Thanks for all the love for last week's blog post: 15 things you never knew about me. Of course, some of you did know some of the things, but it was lovely to see so many of you clicking to find out more. In the same vein, today I want to run through the things I find difficult about living a kinder, calmer life; the things that challenge me most days. And I want to share them because sharing our experiences -- the pain, the joy, the glorious mess -- is powerful and reassuring.

But first, here's a reminder of why I think living a kinder, calmer life is one of the most important goals we can reach for: read this post and this one. Or, to really dig in, you could watch The Connection: Mind your body documentary here.

It's easy to look at others and think they're doing waaaaay better than you. But here's the thing: we're all just getting on and getting through -- as you will see from this list. I mean, I write a blog about living a kinder, calmer life, and yet these are the things I find difficult:

  1. Remembering all the ways I can move myself from chaos to calm. This includes both internally (breathing, relying on a belief in a loving universal energy etc.) and externally (being organised, managing the house, raising the kids etc.). I wake up most days feeling a touch overwhelmed and anxious about the day ahead. I'd love to change that so I wake up most days feeling calm and at ease. I think I'm getting better, but it's a slow burn.
  2. Tackling my 'to do' list in a consistently ordered way. I've only just started improving on this one, but for most of my adult life, I've been a bit hit and miss on the task front (some days I smash it, other days I barely get through the first job). Tomorrow, I'll have my top tip for tackling a 'to do' list (it's probably nothing like you'd expect) and how it's helping me to feel better and do more. In the meantime, check out this idea for a 'Daily Docket' from simple living blogger, Tsh Oxenrider (and then get her updated docket here).
  3. Not fretting about the future and obsessing about the past. Living in the moment is a major challenge for most people, right? Here's an outstandingly helpful article on the six steps to mindfulness (not as simple and as hackneyed as you might think).
  4. Not comparing myself to others, and feeling 'less than'. 'Comparisonitis' is rife, particularly in this social media age. Self-love guru Louise Hay says most of our problems can be traced back to the very common beliefs of 'I'm not good enough' and 'I'm not worthy'. If this sounds like you, read this or this.
  5. Not procrastinating. This one is fearing the uncertainty and potential discomfort around completing an important task (Will I fail? What if I succeed? Do I even know what I'm doing here?), and choosing distractions over taking action (Insta scroll, anyone?). But we can overcome procrastination. Read this great article from Zen Habits. 
  6. Wanting to write every post and implement every solution right now; IN THIS INSTANT! Patience was never my strong suit, and feeling this way only feeds my procrastination and overwhelm. I need to write lists and work to my top three priorities, or what Tsh Oxenrider (see #2) calls MITs (most important tasks), otherwise I'm adrift. 
  7. Remembering my 'super power'. We can use the power of thought to create our reality. Interesting, huh? Read Pam Grout's two powerhouse bestsellers, E-Cubed and E-Squared, for starters. 
  8. Staying consistently organised around the house. Yeah, right. I love The Organised Housewife blockbuster blog for this business, but I'm not too great on follow-through.
  9. Keeping all my notes in one place. Man, this is hard. I love stationery and it loves me, so I have about 10 notebooks on the go at once. Frustrating. 
  10. Remembering to do all the good things: meditate, drink 3 litres of water, feel grateful, be mindful, take 10,000 steps, take a siesta from social media ... I'd love to fit all of these things into each day, every day. But life gets in the way. See all of the above!
  11. Actively de-stressing. Stepping away from stress is one of the most powerful things we can do for our health. You really should watch The Connection.
  12. Worrying what people will think of me, and not showing myself to the world (too much). Writing posts like this one are a challenge for me, but I'm getting there, spurred on by the beautiful comments my readers leave me on some of my posts. If something I write helps only one person in the world, I'm happy.

How about you? Can you relate to these? How much does it bother you that you find them difficult? Any others you could add to the list?

PS The lead photo looks like it was taken in one of the many deserts of Utah. Which is funny since that's where I am living right now: pushing boulders up a hill on my way to a kinder, calmer life. :-)

Natalie Bartley