Friday, August 20, 2010

Learning to Pace Oneself -- Elm Flower Essence

"Work smarter, not harder." That's my partner Paul's motto. But I always think that there's too much to do that we haven't even attempted yet. Work more, persist harder! Isn't that what we were taught? No pain, no gain? That the people who persevere are the ones who win? That if you haven't succeeded, try try again?

Then why did I feel SO tired when I faced yet another revision of the packaging I use for my Mama Love perfume simply to avoid using what I perceived as an overpriced print shop? I did my research--I checked out the competition and they insisted they could do it for the price I expected. So I dutifully revised my layouts to fit their parameters. . . only to find out that they didn't know how to do what I needed. Sigh!

Luckily Paul saved the day from being a total loss by reminding me to work smarter, not harder. I figured out how to make a template for my design and did the five product package revisions I need right now in less than half the time! It may be for nothing THIS time but I'll have the template ready next time and that might be enough.

It taught me something else as well: PAY ATTENTION TO THOSE INTERNAL SIGNALS THAT I'M ABOUT TO TAKE ON WAY TOO MUCH. My job was done--I could have taken it to the overpriced high-end print shop in the first place. But I wanted the best price, not keeping in my mind the price of my time. Several hours in this case and that cost me a fair amount of another sort--especially since it didn't work out and I have to go to the GOOD print shop anyway!

And that reminds me of Elm Flower Essence--an essence that probably should remain my theme song for awhile. Elm is for highly ambitious, some might say "driven",  people who overestimate their abilities, push themselves too hard, use up their inner reserves, and collapse (psychologically) into an acute state of overwhelm and feelings of inadequacy. It calls upon first chakra energy (base level strength and well-being) to replace one's tendency to rely on 3rd chakra drive and ambition to create that feeling artificially. It allows a person to pace him-or-herself, accept what is possible and proceed on their way without giving up. More fundamentally, it's about allowing help—assuming you can find the appropriate assistance without excessive effort--and knowing you CAN be supported by one's life experience as well. Like a duck just expects to be supported by the water it swims in while it hunts for its supper. It doesn't concern itself with the BEST ways to be fed or work really, really hard to "get ahead". It floats on the water, paddles around, and eats.

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