As a parent of three young people, I know the time and energy needed to keep a household from falling completely apart. It happens fast! My partner is luckily an equal team member, and we share all the duties from packing lunches, buying groceries, folding laundry, and picking up Lego pieces so they don't go rogue and stab an unassuming foot.
Parents, we do a lot! And it's an honor to do for these little people. We get to be the nurturers of our most excellent teachers.
As a creative person, I always have a few projects and dreams I'm seeding.
There's the screenplay that's been calling me. The sober daytime dance party. The women's retreat. The fun Airbnb business idea. And so on.
It's fun to have ideas, tune in to how they feel in my body, and then make space to cultivate them and see what sprouts.
However, last year, I noticed how I organized my time so that my household tasks always seemed to come before my creativity or all the things that sparked my joy.
I had a voice that said — FIRST, do the laundry and the dishes and then pick up the house. Then, get some work done. Pick up the kids. And if there's time before bed, get in some writing time. Or make the playlist.
And I noticed how backward that is. I was giving all my power and energy to these care tasks and leaving my tank empty for the bigger things I wanted to create.
It's how we get burnout backward. The antidote to burnout isn't always doing LESS. It's so much more about doing DIFFERENT.
Care tasks NEED to happen. And unless you're someone with full-time help, they aren't going anywhere.
What if I fold laundry after I sit down to write for one hour? Or after I time block the thirty minutes to plan the upcoming retreat? Can I actually schedule swimming in the river before I unload the dishwasher?
What makes me believe care tasks are more critical than my creativity force energy as a woman and parent?
It was a huge realization for me.
Once I put this into practice, I set aside 1 hour to write before doing other nonessential work and household care tasks.
Guess what? After the writing, the creative energy lit up and energized me. Rather than being too drained to do the laundry, I found a new level of energy because I committed to creativity FIRST.
So, my plea is that your creativity is more important than the laundry. It's more important than your emails — about 99 percent are nonessential.
Your creative energy is the most potent energy you have. And you must tend to the fire.
How can you make small shifts in your day to put your creativity first?
The energy you will get from committing to your creative force will take you through the day.
Because the dream is worth it, your vision of hitting send on the manuscript, dancing on the stage, or giving the speech is not a mistake.
Believe in the vision. Carve out time for it.
After you carve out time, you'll feel the energy flowing, and I'd be willing to bet that your body will be more open and relaxed.
Resistance will come up — I will talk more about that next week — but you will know that you feel so much more alive when you say YES to your creative vision.