Q: “How do you eat an elephant?”
A: “No one should be eating elephants, you sicko!” *Grr*
😛 Yes yes, I know it’s a popular analogy about dealing with overwhelming challenges “one bite at a time” and all that. But animal cruelty isn’t acceptable even metaphorically.
So let’s consider a less gory analogy, shall we?
Q: “How do you build a house?”
A: “One brick at a time.”
Or better yet, my favourite one…
Q: “How do you go vegan?”
A: “One meal at a time.” *grin*
The point is, when there’s a seemingly large project or big, life changing decision ahead of you, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed.
But instead of trying to take it in as the whole, break it down into parts. One chunky brick at a time. One compassionate meal at a time. Doesn’t that make it so much more doable?
This seems like a very obvious solution. Like, why am I even feeling the need to write about it? But you’d be surprised at how often we overlook simplifying things for ourselves in this way! It’s ridiculous really.
In my line of work three areas in which I see people getting overwhelmed are – becoming vegan, running a conscious business, and developing a spiritual well-being practice.
Let’s look the the solutions for dealing with each of these situations.
WANT GO VEGAN BUT FEEL LIKE IT’S TOO BIG OF A DECISION?
With veganism, it’s often a case of fear because the decision seems significantly life changing. Most people see their whole lives ahead of them as a vegan (without knowing exactly what it entails) and get cold feet. Hey, we’ve all dealt with commitment issues at some point in our lives. The solution is pretty simple. You break the time down into parts.
I have many friends who say, “I’ll try this vegan thing for just one month and see how it goes.” When they do that, it doesn’t seem so scary to start anymore. And usually by the time they reach the end of that month, they see that it’s so much easier to be vegan than they’d imagined and just stick to it.
DOES IT SEEM LIKE THERE’S ALWAYS TOO MUCH TO DO WITH YOUR CONSCIOUS BUSINESS?
As far as running a conscious business goes, overwhelm usually comes from weak boundaries. There’s too much happening all at once and when lumped together, it looks like a huge challenge. The solution for this isn’t as straight forward as the vegan one, but it’s very doable.
Make wedges of the different areas of your business, then slice each wedge down to bite sized tasks. Work on each one with complete focus (multi-tasking is counter productive). When you get each mini task done one at a time, you’ll surprise yourself with your steady, peaceful progress!
FEELING OVERWHELMED AT THE THOUGHT OF DEVELOPING A DAILY WELL-BEING ROUTINE?
Spiritual well-being practices are all about baby steps and being in the present moment. Want to meditate daily? How about journaling every morning? Perhaps you’d like to make a gratitude list or affirmation list each night before bed? Put the “daily”, “every morning”, “each night” aside. You thought of it now, just begin right now. Meditate for even one minute, write just one paragraph, say only a few words of gratitude and affirmation.
Commit to yourself that you’ll do the same thing tomorrow too. Then the next day, whenever you remember, stop anything else you’re doing and put in a few minutes towards your spiritual well-being. Starting at a few minutes a day like this is all you need. As you experience the benefits of the regular practice, you’ll naturally find a way to carve out more and more time for it.
Those three were examples from my life. But I’m sure you can see how the core ideas can be applied to pretty much anything, anytime something feels like it’s too much, or too big. To conclude…
Want to handle anything big and life changing? Stop obsessing about the future. Don’t think of what the status might be like next year, next month, tomorrow or even later today.
- Bring yourself fully into the present moment. It takes off a lot of pressure.
- Break the challenge down into smaller chunks.
- Ask yourself, “what small thing can you do right now to move forward towards my larger goal?”
- Do it, surrender, and move on to the next baby step.
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“I’m a Spiritual Vegan Multi-Passionate Entrepreneur. I read voraciously, find humour in most things, and believe kindness and authenticity can make this world a happier, loving place.
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Vegan cuisine and holistic business building are my two biggest passions. If you’re looking for guidance with vegan cooking, or want to grow your conscious business with joy and fulfilment explore ways we can work togetherhere.”