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For Freelancing To Equal Freedom, Choices Are Required-dataload

Entrepreneurialism The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that 8.5 million people identify themselves as consultants or freelance workers — and other sources have that number as high as 30 million, and growing. One aspect of freelance work that many people underestimate is the amazing number of things that can surface preventing you from working productively. Another is your own fears, bad habits, and neuroses staring you boldly in the face with fewer people to project blame upon (like your former co-workers, boss, customers). Almost twenty years ago, when I first started my career as a freelance writer, I was earning very little money as a writer, and when friends would call to chat during my work time or ask me to go for a hike or out to lunch, I would often snap at them, "Don’t you take my work seriously? Don’t you take ME seriously? If I was working in an office, you wouldn’t suggest this…" I honed a thorny edge that ripped at others when they dared call during writing time. Nobody knew why I got so wound up but I knew: even after I was a published author, I didn’t take my creative work seriously. It seemed frivolous when compared to friends who made big business deals or cared for their children or took care of sick people. I was slightly ashamed, a bit abashed that I sat around reading and writing personal growth books — so intangible! So soft. So girly. I chuckle now when I think of those years, and how I saw my work and my time. Clearly this all happened BL — Before Lillian, my now pre-teen daughter. Her birth almost instantly taught me that ruthlessly choosing what to do with my time and energy was the only way I would ever survive the near constant crush between wanting and needing to be with her and wanting and needing to be creating and thinking. I’ve seen the same thing happen with women who care for aging parents or a dying friend — no time for bulls**t anymore. If I continued to let pleasing others, shoulds, or trying to do too much shape my daily choices, I knew I would spontaneously combust. Poof! Fierce and focused choosing when it comes to spending our most precious resources — time and energy — is perhaps the most essential self-care tool we have. It is certainly why I’m such a fan of my Inner Organizer as a way to become aware of why you are making the choices you are. Because being fierce and focused takes a whole lot of courage, a whole lot of awareness, and a tremendous amount of damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead verve. However, it can also become too much of a good thing, as in a controlling, over-scheduled, things-have-to-go-my-way attitude that can obliterate intimate relationships, cut off spontaneous aliveness, and sever you from grace. Too much fierceness can become a way to hide from life and all it’s endless permutations and surprises, and you can become a dour pursed mouth control freak who hides behind self-importance. If you say yes only on your terms, life stops inviting you to play. What does healthy, open, soft fierce choosing look like? How do you walk the edge between standing up for your life and opening to life? Remember it’s all about choice. This morning I was in my driveway holding the three blue plastic recycle bins when my neighbor drove by and stopped to chat. As the conversation went on, I found myself becoming angry that he didn’t realize I was holding these bins and they were heavy. It was only when the conversation was finished and I was in the garage putting the bins away that it hit me: I had the choice to put them down! Silly story, but how often do we forget: we can always, always, always choose. Practice mindful listening or what I’m now calling intuitive organizing. Pause when someone asks you to do anything, take a breath into your center, and ask, "Is this how I choose to spend my time?" Listen for what your body says, your gut. The answer may be no, but you realize you are fulfilling a larger commitment — for example, I’m not so keen on driving on field trips but it fulfills my larger commitment to being a mom who is connected to all aspects of her daughter’s life. Acknowledging that to choose mindfully and honestly how you spend your time means you must fundamentally value yourself — or why not give yourself away? It is an act of gorgeous self-love to choose how you spend your time. It often isn’t just about saying no to things you don’t want to do — this seems to get a whole lot easier after 35 or 40 anyway. No, the real rub is saying no to the things you do want to do but recognize you don’t have the energy or time for, or that the time is not right. This is not easy for anyone but if you keep saying yes to everything and everyone, you will become unavailable to who and what needs you the most. You cannot answer the call to express your gifts without practicing discernment. Mindful choosing does not feed self-importance, which pops up in comments like, "I am just too busy" or "I could never take a day off during the week." (I’m ashamed to say I used to think this way and it was most obnoxious.) Mindful choosing feeds awareness and compassion, as in "I love that you offered and I am choosing to spend my time on my garden this weekend." Watch for denial and shadow comforts when it comes to choosing and managing time and energy. When we deny our gifts, our power, our life force as a genuine miracle that the world needs, we are a lot more comfortable playing another round of computer solitaire or staying on the phone for forty-five minutes gossiping. What will you choose? The best part of freelancing is the freedom of choicewe just have to remember to exercise it. About the Author: Jennifer Louden is a best-selling author of five books, including her classic, The Woman’s Comfort Book, and her newest, Comfort Secrets for Busy Women. She’s also a creativity and life coach, creator of the Inner Organizer, and a columnist for Body + Soul Magazine. She leads retreats on self-care and creativity around the country. Hear her live on Martha Stewart Living Radio, Sirius Channel 112 every Sunday at 8 am Pacific, 11 am Eastern. Visit her world at: .www.comfortqueen.com Article Published On: ..articlesnatch.. – Entrepreneurialism 相关的主题文章: