How To Do What's Really Important aka Put the Big Rocks in First
This summer, my husband, Brett, and I did something we don't often do. We took a two-week vacation that involved flying to Arizona and camping at the Grand Canyon with some dear friends. As many of you know, Brett and I are both freelancers, which means we work a lot, and we generally like our work.
When we talked about it, we realized that we hadn't taken more than four days away from work (except for meditation retreats) since 2011. So, we made the trip a priority. We both had to decline work opportunities to make it happen, which is hard for us to do for a whole variety of apparently good reasons - money, not liking to disappoint our clients, and the need to find a cat-sitter, just to name a few.
All that said, over the past few years we have made a practice of putting the big rocks in first. That's a reference to an often-told story that uses a large jar, big rocks, small rocks and sand to illustrate that we have to put the bigs things in first in order to get everything to fit in our lives. Here's a link to a really nice two minute cartoon of the story which you may enjoy...
Anyway, another thing that many of you already know is that I look for learning opportunities just about everywhere - and this was no exception!
For me, the lesson of the process around taking this trip, and of the trip itself, is about listening to the deeper, wiser inner voices about priorities, rather than heeding the limiting advice of the surface asepcts of the mind, aka, worry, anxiety and the like.
Deciding to take the trip and finding that it all went ok - in fact we had a wonderful time, the cat survived, our bank accounts are not entirely empty and we have both returned to our work with renewed enthusiam and energy - helped me gain confidence that doing the wholesome things I am drwan to is what what makes life basically happy.
As I think back on my decision to work as a freelancer, a risky move by many ways of calculating, I realize that the same inclination drew me in that directions as well. I slowly and carefully made that transition, testing the waters each step of the way, with a growing confidence that listening to my heart about its important priorties is one way toward deeper happiness.