What is necessary

Giving 200% effort is the gold-standard.

The corporate world certainly values that. Get on that ladder and make your way up, fast and furious.  Put in the hours.  Do what needs to be done. Work is called work for a reason, right?

Nike admonishes us to Just Do It, which implies, with the athletes in the commercials, working ourselves as hard as we possibly can to achieve nearly impossible results of perfection, by standards someone else deemed "right".

The message is loud and clear: work super-duper, extra hard to get what you are supposed to want: the body, the house, the car, the money, the status...

But what amount of action is truly necessary to get you the results you really want?

You want to grow a business built around your muchness and you want your muchness to create a better world in the process. Maybe you also want time to practice yoga, go for a run, and have time with your friends. Or perhaps you want to be present for your children.  Certainly you don't want to be too tired or exhausted to play or cook dinner or go on a date with your other.  You want flexibility with your time and you want to be compensated well.

In other words, you have defined what is important to you.

And yet, sometimes, even with this clarity going into the business building process, something goes awry.  Even when you hold the keys to your schedule, somehow it begins to look like a Nike ad or a corporate job description:  too busy, not enough time, limited energy, no time to think, and a whole lotta stress.  Glued to the computer, WILLING the business to to grow. right. now. dammit!

In the meantime, the important bits that you really want energy for, slip by.

It's habitual.  It's cultural.  It's... easy.

It's easier to focus on busy-ness than it is to intentionally create the harmony that we truly desire.  It's easier to go with the cultural flow and be stressed out and discontent.  Sticking with Just Do It and working at 200% until you can't take any more is accepted and supported and will get you the knowing nods of empathy in the Starbuck's morning line up.

But it's not what you want, deep down, in your bones.

In yoga, I ask my students to do just what is needed.  How little effort can you exert and find ease in the posture?  Use as few muscles as possible to create effort, without tension.  There is exertion, with peace.  There is a smile, instead of a furrowed brow.

In your business, what effort is necessary to create what you truly want in your life?

Can you locate that place of effort that doesn't feel like exertion of will? Can you create fluidity and grace between the different parts of your life that you are cultivating?

Can you limit yourself to doing just what is necessary and drop the rest?

Namasté to you, business yoginis!

12 comments

Lisa Alessi Mar 22, 2011 02:27am

Thanks Nona -- you are singing my song -- this is so on target to what I was thinking about today. As a recovering "make it happen" girl, this is exactly what I used to struggle with on a daily basis and still do but my ticket to balance is self care -- why am I pushing so hard, what do I need at this moment and like you said how can I give myself that such as adding elements of enjoyment to the task at hand so it puts a smile on my face as opposed to a furrowed brow -- love that.

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Susie Amundson Mar 26, 2011 12:30am

Dear Nona, Thank you for the reminder and a little tussle of a wake-up call regarding understanding our "enough." Years ago, a celebrity (but not then) yoga instructor taught me about coming to my mat and setting my intention. I've found that to be such a peaceful way to approach yoga and also work life. And all of life. We really need to be clear on all aspects of our intention so that we can honor it along the way.

I certainly need to bring myself back to connecting my human wholeness and the workplace, continually -- or else I can get trapped on that runaway train -- wondering how I got on there. Return on investment can really be a key ingredient.

Thanks so much. Susie

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Starla, it's kind of like meditation practice, isn't it? We get distracted (which can masquerade as a lot of different and valuable things) and we aren't living our intentions and then, boom, we wake up to what we are doing and we bring ourselves back, gently, to what we really want to be focused on. Beautiful!! Have so much fun on those important bits. :) xoxo.n

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Helen, I think you are a beautiful model of doing what is necessary to find that harmony between the different aspects of your life.xoxo.n

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Judy Murdoch Mar 22, 2011 02:17am

"Enough" has different meanings to me depending on the context. One of my teachers told me that when it comes to reflecting the light of the Divine we are always in a state of being polished and perfected. Also, can there ever be too much love - meaning love from Source. Our hearts have an infinite capacity.

On the other hand when it comes to worldly success and possessions, it becomes important to define what "enoughness" means. I've been wrestling with that one lately because our consumer culture is so relentless when it comes to what really is enough and it seems the bar keeps being raised. Hugs Judy

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Such an important message Nona - in this buzzingly busy culture that we live in, you are so right, it's so easy to be pulled into over busy and brow furrows, on the road to befuddlement and exhaustion. Being mindful of the choices we make daily and consciously, intentionally deciding on what is important to us, truly important, and acting on that. For me it's a daily, loving and compassionate practice. Sometimes I pull it off, sometimes I don't, but it's part of my process now. Much love, Hxox

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A Different Kind of Thank You | OutWrite Living Mar 23, 2011 06:53pm

[...] OMG, REALIZED… that my writing work is begging for my full attention.  That, to use the words of Nona Jordan,  ”the important bits that I really want the energy for are slipping me [...]

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Thanks for this - you know I find refuge in my busy-ness sometimes, and as my business is getting off the ground I have to remind myself the reasons WHY I made the changes. For the flexibility, to be able to build in time for myself, for my family, for the *important* stuff. Luckily I have a (business) partner who is totally down with this and wants to see me succeed, both at work and at home. Actually, I specify business because I'm think of that, but my home partner also wants that. So we are all on the same page! Bliss! And gratitude!

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Starla J. King Mar 22, 2011 09:47pm

Nona, just last night I was thinking about how I've managed to ONCE AGAIN get into this place of what I call "arrested focus." And of course you post a blog today speaking directly to that. "In the meantime, the important bits that you really want energy for, slip by." YES.

It's time to return my focus to those "important bits." Starting. Now.

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Judy, so right about "enough-ness" having different meanings in different contexts. Developing awareness and discernment of enough in one area tends to spill over to other parts of our lives -- but in fact, it takes tremendous energy to stay mindful of our own definitions of enough in the face of our consumer culture. I would argue that is it love from our divine Source that gives us these opportunities to come home to ourselves, to bask in that love, to know what 'enough' is for us.

Thank you so much for commenting.

Big love! xoxo.n

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Jill, I thought of you, and me, and many others while writing this post. I require reminders and you are right, the WHY is so important. Always. I love it that all the people in your life want to see you succeed in that way! Perfetto! xoxo

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Lisa, I love that "a recovering make it happen girl"!!! The furrowed brow, for me, always means I've gone beyond enough and it's time to step back and take a breath. I wonder if that is true for you, as well.

xoxo.n

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