Do Less, Be More

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I’ll admit it, I’m a list-maker. I love lists. I’m not necessarily a doer of said lists, but I’m a list maker none the less. Shopping lists, books to read lists, todays to-do list, the lists go on. But more recently than not this collation of lists has been giving me a little bit of anxiety. List-anxiety. I’ve got such a huge amount of things I want to achieve/buy/complete/read/experience that I’m not sure if I’ll ever be finished with the lists, and that kind of scares me. As a society, we’re all about striving for more, climbing and reaching for things to fill any empty spaces. But how much is too much? I recently read a Japanese concept that helped explain this feeling:

KYO JITSU; when something is too full, something has to empty”. 

Sometimes we need to remove things that are taking up precious space/time in our lives in order to create room for all the good stuff we’re constantly striving for but somehow cannot attain. 

So I’ve decided to take a list break. I’ve shifted my focus from what should I add to what should I remove, both physically and figuratively from my life, that will ultimately add to my happiness and health. 

The concept’s pretty simple, but to get those creative juices flowing here’s a real life example the Treign coaches and I had recently experienced in the world of social media. A few of us had realised that our use of social mediums (the gram to be precise) was eating into our time and our happiness. Too many times we would finish a lengthy scroll sesh feeling deflated, angry or inadequate. It is after-all a marketing tool; a vessel that shows us what we can’t be, have or afford. We all know everyone shares their greatest moments on social media but sometimes the constant comparison of someone else’s highlight reel becomes too much – yes, even for your coaches!

With this in mind, we set an activity for our Treign community. To delve into their social media followings and evaluate who they’re following and why. If they stumbled across a page or person that made them feel less than adequate they’d unfollow. We had some massive numbers, I personally unfollowed 250 pages. Our girls then gave suggestions of inspiring or funny pages to follow. This of course included copious dog pages (@dogsbeingbasic anyone?)

What followed was an influx of girls with a new sense of control over who they’d let into their lives and more importantly who they’d let into their downtime. I myself have felt lighter. The simple act of unfollowing has made me feel more connection to the inspiring content I see online (yes, it’s out there!), more present in my life (less followings = less time scrolling) and more control over who I let into my life. Now perhaps you’re all good on the social media front but you’ve got a few personal relationships that feel a bit more give than take. Or maybe you’re constantly hard on yourself - when you see burpees in a workout you head down a slippery slope of negative self talk before you’ve even started warming up. Whatever it is it won’t take long for you to find it. Listen to what your gut is telling you, write that shit down (always) and get your “KYO JITSU” on and begin the process of removing it from your days. Sometimes to have more, we must first have less.

Melanie Corlett