Can less activities bring you more happiness? Why this life coach thinks you need to stop over-scheduling yourself.

Have you ever held an oak tree seedling in your hand?

They are surprisingly robust. 

An acorn creates a seedling with the longest strongest root.

When I am out weeding my veggie garden beds, I reach to pull out a baby oak growing in the middle of my garden bed. This baby tree isn’t even 1 year old, or six months old. It fell in the fall and started sprouting in the spring. Yet it takes both of my strong hands wrenched around that seedling to pull it out.

Oaks and acorns know that to they have to start with a strong root to survive. To build something incredible.

I’m working in my garden lately, getting ready to plant my veggies and feeling great about the warm weather. And throughout this, I think about how the seasons have such an impact on us, and how sometimes we cruise through the same inner and outer seasons at the same time, sometimes we don’t.

Sometimes we spend a long time where our inner lives are in ‘winter’ where we need quiet, alone time.

Time to feel the bareness and sparseness in our lives. But although nature looks quiet and still at that time of year, trees are putting down stronger roots.

If you are in a time where its not clear that anything big is happening and it feels like a waiting period, that’s fine. You’re simply setting down deeper and deeper roots so that you can be stronger and more solid in the months or years ahead.

It takes a lot of courage and strength to honor your own inner inclinations in a world that constantly pulls at our attention and begs us to conform.

Sometimes people find it strange that I refuse to pack a day full of plans.

After I had my first child, I realized within a few months, that while I was fully capable of planning and packing a whole day full of activities, I didn’t enjoy that type of day. It felt too hectic and harried. I didn’t get to enjoy my memories of interactions as I drove or walked away, because I was thinking about timing, directions, and the next place we were going. 

When I had only one event, one plan that I committed to, the experience was totally different. I looked forward to and prioritized seeing the people I most wanted to see. It was special, I was more mindful and I really noticed and appreciated the activity and the people. 

So now we only plan one ‘big’ thing a day, whether its a playdate or tea with a friend. And sometimes I feel inspired or motivated to do more, but I try never to require it of myself. I write more about minimalist scheduling here. 

I don’t actually know if am I an introvert or extrovert, because I love connecting with people and I love the bustle of a good party- and yet, I abhor being overscheduled and having too short of a time to have actual connections and in-depth conversations.

Try out scheduling less for 2 weeks and see if fewer activities lead to happier days for you. 

For years I tried to contort myself into being the extrovert that I thought the world demanded of me. This was in the days before there were so many books, websites, etc devoted purely to introverts (thanks to Susan Cain for opening wide the floodgates with Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking). I thought to be successful I had to be out and about all the time. But a great counselor pointed out that that was simply a belief that I had, that’s all.

I’ve spent years being doggedly loyal to myself and my inherent needs and inclinations. Ask my husband or closest friends, its not always an easy path being close to a woman who is fiercely committed to herself- someone who will not be talked into things that her intuition or strong preferences tell me not to do (case in point, house hunting that I wrote about here). Or listen into this podcast interview on self-trust.

Staying connected to your roots, your core, your truest essence of you is the wildest, most fun, and most real ride you could ever go on. Oak tree seedling. The importance of strong roots.

If you desire support in connecting to your core essence, visit my page and schedule a free 30 minute strategy-intuitive coaching call. I’d love to help support you in developing greater self-trust and a life that feels wonderfully aligned and radiantly yours. 

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