Overwhelmed? Try An Intuition Check

It is easy to be overwhelmed when you can’t decide out of a whole world of possibilities which things are actually true for you.

When I woke up this morning, my mind was swirling with all of the choices. So many, in fact, that I felt a bit off balance. It’s the beginning of the week of Christmas and there are packages to mail, cards to write, and I’ve got to get a bit crafty because a major car repair two weeks ago devoured anything that might have resembled gift money. And except for the holiday greetings we’ve begun to receive, there’s not a single decoration in sight.

Plus it’s a work day. I have my own business and there are emails waiting for a response, a newsletter that needs to be written, and a book that I vowed would be submitted to the publisher by the end of this year. I have checkbooks to balance and marketing to be done for the clutter clearing class that starts again in January.

The floor at my office, which converts magically back into a home when the children arrive at 3:00 pm, needs to be tended, as does the laundry and the half bath. If the dust was glitter, it would look like fairies live here. For the record, the difference in dust since we took out carpet and installed hardwood floors (a most generous gift from dear friends this time last year) makes me wonder if carpet isn’t the nastiest thing on this planet. Seriously, the dust level seems to have tripled since the carpet came out.

Anyway, all of this and more was swirling about in my head when I woke up this morning, “Pick me! Pick me!”† My impulse was, I like to think rather understandably, to go back to bed and hide from it all. The reality is that there is no way all of this can be done today. It isn’t even an option. I’m sure that many of you felt the same way this morning. There is so much to do. Much of it is even important. But, this isn’t about being a diligent list writer. This is bigger than staying on task. Some of these things need to be chosen, and a good chunk of it needs to be left behind for another day, another person, and perhaps another lifetime.

Instead of wondering how I’ll get this all done, the question instead becomes, “At this moment, what is the best use of my time, energy, brain power, and other assorted resources?” This is my power position, with great emphasis on in this moment and best use. When I say “best use,” I’m looking specifically for the action that is going to cultivate the best results for me today.
While my brain was buzzing with overwhelm, I searched for the courage to pause–for just a couple of minutes, sometimes only seconds. I had stop and wait for guidance. I had to wait for clarity, a knowing from somewhere deeper, about how best show up in the world at this moment, on this particular day.

I need an intuition check and so, I wrestled myself into a moment of silence.

I do not use the word wrestled lightly here. It’s still a struggle most days, although I hear that eventually some of the resistance will pass. Lots of days, I don’t win the big fight but today I did.

And, it turns out, most of that to-do list isn’t true for me today and I now understand what few things are. I know about connecting with those who’ve written to inquire about working with me. I know to do what I promised I would do for my existing clients. I know that while I will balance the checkbooks, I can’t waste another moment freaking out about the bills that I’m unable to pay today.

When I calm down, freaking out never makes the list. It doesn’t serve me or anyone else. It doesn’t open any doors to allow goodness to flow in. It doesn’t help. Ever. Who can afford to lose another moment to the hysteria?

When I calm down, impossible things don’t make the list either, like decorating today. My back has been acting as if it would like my attention. It doesn’t feel wise to drag the stuff down from the attic, and possibly risking my back wanting even more of my attention. I just need to let it go and trust that a solution will present itself later in the week but today, there are things I can do to bring myself a little closer to ready for Sunday. I can finish that last gift and mail the box of goodies for my people in Colorado, leaving it enough time to get where it’s going.

When I calm down, solutions flow in. People do what they say they are going to do, sometimes even wonderful, generous, helpful things that I don’t expect them to do. The words flow with ease and the time seems to slow and work for me, instead of against me. It’s the same when I do yoga, meditate, journal, dance, or walk in the woods. When I do these things I feel grounded. I can hear my wise self, my intuition, whispering to me about what’s best. I can trust me with meÖ as long as I remember to listen to my true voice.

Are you listening to your intuition? What does it whisper to you in the still moments? What do you hear in your dreams? What are the activities, people, and places that support your inner dialogue? Are you getting enough of them lately? What do you need to feel supported? What kinds of answers are you looking for? Have you asked for what you need and then, waited for the answers to bubble up from within? If not, are you willing to begin right now?


Eternal Gardener
Eternal G6 years ago

Aaaarrrgghh, enough to give me a heart attack by just reading.....

Susan C.
Susan C6 years ago

I find I should always listen to myself when that little voice of intuition is speaking...

Lori K.
Lori K6 years ago

I always have too much to do. I teach full time, foster abandoned animals, take care of a husband who is a cancer survivor and my autistic son, etc.

My house is not tidy, and I do not like clutter. My husband is a "collector", and my children don't notice the mess. I can either spend my free time fuming, and nagging, and complaining to my loved ones who have a lower standard of cleanliness than I do, or I can clean what I can and ignore the rest. I choose the latter.

Jillian B.
Jillian B6 years ago

yes, I've felt over whelmed more times than not this year. Slowing down and just breathing can do wonders. Hyperventilating and pacing has never helped me at all. Also playing a dorky Wii Game and listening to music can really be helpful if you can get away with it. :)

Santanita G.
Santanita G6 years ago

Slowing down can be a good thing

Robert O.
Robert O6 years ago

Thanks Christy.

Geetha Subramaniam

Good one. Thank you for posting.

Kirsten B.
Past Member 6 years ago

My post was too long ...

When I got rid of everything which didn't belong on my mental list right now (like starting to declutter the basement and washing all the windows again .....) I realized that I'd just freed up over 20 hours!!!

I celebrated with a shorter than planned Nordic Walk (its still very icy in places) and a second cup of coffee.

Thank you Christy !!!!

Kirsten B.
Past Member 6 years ago

Funny that I should read this just now - I started reading once I finished writing up a personal calendar to go along with my family monthly one for next year: one where archery, Nordic Walking, walking, yoga, piano, writing, progress and maintenance work, paperwork, fasting and all the other things which are important to me have their set place and time each week. I printed out January's and hung it up - I know I'll only have to print it out every 3 months or so because the activities are repeating.
I also updated the general calendar to include meetings with friends every 4-6 weeks so that I'm not caught unawares and just checked that everything I need is in there ready to be printed out.
Yesterday I worked on the to-do list, including de-cluttering and progress items at regular repeated intervals and checked off everything I have done so far.

And I was feeling totally overwhelmed yesterday - to the point that I took the car out in a snowstorm to drive to the city to look in vain for 2 presents, forgot to look for a 3rd one and, after a very minor (but still first and scary) accident on an icy bridge, abandoned the main reason I'd taken the car (to go stock up on Indian food at the Indian store) and inched my way home through the snow and ice.
Suddenly today, after thinking things through, I realized that I actually have almost all the time in the world over 2 and a half days to get through the stuff. I crossed everything off my mental list which didn't belong there (

Sam T.
Samantha Trosky6 years ago

I need quiet time to center myself or I get really stressed out!
Thanks for the article!