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How Smart Women Stay Busy

How Smart Women Stay Busy

I have the good fortune to spend meaningful time with a lot of smart women who keep me on track about whats going on in womens lives. One topic that resonates with many of these women and with me is the idea of busyness. This issue is of great interest in my Womens Learning Circles. Not being busy, for many of us, seems elusive almost selfish. Whether you are a stayathome mom, a career woman, or like most women I know wearing both hats, youve probably been well indoctrinated with the idea that you must stay busy all day, every day, no matter what. It keeps our mind very busy with no time for listening to the inner voice. Sometimes that inner voice were not hearing wants to give us advice. Sometimes it wants to ask us questions.

If we stay busy all the time, we cant hear this inner voice and cant find time to ponder some of the big questions: What brings me passion? What increases my energy? The first two answers that come to my mind are sex and more sleep! Other important questions might include: What do I value most? What are my gifts and how can I use them? What are my priorities? What am I doing to take care of myself, be of service, be fully alive? If I were living 100% authentically, what would that look like? What gives me a creative spark?

There was a time in my life when I could not answer these questions, and that terrified me. I was not fulfilled professionally. I was tired and bored and felt out of sync with the rest of the world. Looking back, I realize that I stayed in this mode for too long because I did not have solutions to create changes and I didnt give myself the time and space to listen to my inner voice.

Did I have ideas percolating during this time? Yes! I thought about how I enjoyed working with women, watching them process their lives and come up with great ideas and solutions with the help of other bright, supportive women. There was a lot of energy around this for me. The thoughts fueled me. Years ago, I was a member of a Womens Circle and I enjoyed it tremendously. But, again, I was too busy being busy to take action on this idea that intrigued me so.

I had my first child at the age of forty. When my son Jack and daughter Jenna were born now five and three, respectively I left my career to be a stayathome mom. Having children has been one of the greatest gifts I have ever received. In being a mother, I am the student and my children teach me about life every day.

As much as I loved being a stayathome mom, I knew that in order to be fulfilled Id ultimately need to integrate that role with having a career. For me, the way to do that was having my own business like I had before but this time around its a business that I am passionate about. Im doing work I love with people I care about and I feel fully engaged with this process. Am I busy? You bet! But what Ive learned is that its not about being busy its about being busy doing work that is meaningful.

For you, finding the right kind of busy may mean having a demanding career, staying home with your children, doing valuable volunteer work, or embarking on something wildly creative. It may mean balancing and integrating several things. Is your work at home, in your career, or in your community adding significance, purpose, and meaning to your life?

My work is about helping women successfully integrate all that they want to do in their lives. One of my goals with this newsletter is for it to be a space for women to share what they know about how to be busy in a meaningful way, about how not to be busy, and about how they successfully balance all the important roles in their lives.

In this issue of the newsletter youll learn about taking time for yourself by creating a meditation practice. You will read an interview with Pam Yelsky who is an amazing woman doing important work. Guest columnist Lynn Schoener writes about how to create a personal advisory board. Youll also find information on our upcoming Womens Learning Circles the place to find the support you need to create, maintain, and thrive by having an integrated and balanced life that works for you. Were also excited to announce a new teleclass series for entrepreneurial women which will launch in September.

It is vital that we as women take the time to explore what provides us with meaning, energy, and passion. Whether we are married or unmarried, with children or without, we all have the same number of hours in the day. We can spend those hours doing things that energize us. My hope is that this first issue of Reflections will give you some solutions to help you find, reflect upon, and respect your own thoughts and ideas about where your journey is leading you.

Joy Chudacoff is the founder of Smart Women Smart Solutions, a Certified Professional Coach and Motivational Speaker. Read our full Terms of Service.