In writing this post, I’m pretty sure I’m letting everyone in on a secret. Though I seem somewhat conventional on the outside, I’m really not. I’ve been called responsible and a goody-two-shoes, and I’ll own a little of that. However, my heart is most rebellious.
Once, when I was ten, I painted the legs of our back deck pink. Needless to say, my dad wasn’t that thrilled. In my defense, I didn’t set out to do anything wrong. I was simply carried away by the beauty of the pink paint, and I’d run out of surfaces upon which to explore using it.
Though I’m no longer ten, I’ve retained much of that creative, rebellious spirit. When my heart longs to explore something, I follow it.
I’m not really a fan of most rules. Especially cultural rules that constrain the creative spirit. I take heed of rules that create safety, but the rest? Well. Rules were made to be broken, right?
On the other hand, I do have a strong inner perfectionist who likes to create things that turn out really well. She has a high standard of excellence. She will push me and shove me past all my body’s limits and override my soul-needs just to achieve something great.
If it weren’t for my rebellious streak, I think my inner perfectionist would have tortured me to death by now.
Instead, for my entire life, I’ve had a way of creating what I want without really doing all the things I “should” do. I cut corners. I cut myself slack. I take out steps when they don’t all work for me. (This drives my engineer spouse crazy!) I see directions as rough guidelines, and then I let the creative spirit take over.
My inner perfectionist has often found this behavior abhorrent. She cringes, even now, as I admit all this in writing.
Certainly, there have been times in my life when she pushed and overrode my creative spirit; and every time, I got sick. My body broke down. I was exhausted. I lost my joy. Whenever she wins, I lose.
Finally, I realized that my slacker way of doing things always results in magic. I create way more magical results in my life when I take the pressure off myself and don’t push, force, or listen to my inner perfectionist.
Here’s the key to Slacker Magic: I do not cut corners that matter.
I do not lie in a hammock and stare at the sky and hope great things will happen to me. Instead, I listen, very carefully, to that tug in my heart. It’s the tug that beckons me, inviting me toward joy. I call it inner wisdom. I take action based on that.
Inner wisdom is the creative spirit and the magical wisdom that’s always waiting to guide me. I listen.
Because I do this, I’m able to slack strategically.
Does this recipe really require me to zest the lemon? Usually, no. Nothing is lost, and I have more fun cooking.
Is it really necessary to volunteer to run the first-grade Valentine’s Party just because my inner perfectionist thinks I should be supermom? No. Nothing is lost, and I am a happier mom for it.
My inner wisdom is always showing me where to take effective action. I’m a big doer; I rarely take time to really be a couch potato with the life goals of a sloth. (Sometimes, though, I purposefully do this, because it’s super healing!) I am not in danger of becoming a total slacker. My inner perfectionist would have a heart attack.
What I do need, however, is a way to remember, when I forget, how to slack and use magic, trust my inner wisdom, and let go of self-pressure. Self-pressure sneaks up on me, attacks from behind, and before I know it, I’ve face-planted into a to-do list a mile long.
The reality is, I have to fully embrace the magical slacker in me. I have to own it. It’s brought me nothing but joy, creative energy, health, and delight. Even if my inner perfectionist is bowing her head in deep embarrassment, I have to admit my magical slacking techniques to the world and embrace this more natural way of being. I call this Slacker Magic.
Slacker Magic is a lighthearted remedy for taking ourselves too seriously and falling prey to perfectionism.
Since perfectionism kills creativity and well-being, using a good dose of slacking to counteract self-pressure is the main focus of Slacker Magic. When you take the pressure off (slack) and follow your inner wisdom, you find you need way less effort and have a lot more fun while getting much better results (magic).
Slacker Magic is the approach I’ve used to create well-being, enjoy more creativity, and be more present. Because it’s funny when it’s called Slacker Magic (oh, it makes that inner perfectionist cringe!), it’s easy to remember. The moment I notice stress popping up, I can recognize the self-pressure sneaking in, turn my attention to strategic slacking, listen to my inner wisdom, and take action from a place of inspiration instead of pressure and fear.
It can take time to cultivate the ability to really hear inner wisdom, to trust it, and to act on it. Culturally, we’re taught just the opposite. We’re supposed to be listening to the authorities in our lives, achieving, and pressuring ourselves.
Yet, the more pressure you put on yourself, you might notice, the harder it is to create something great. Fear stops you. Dreams get waylaid.
I have a slight advantage, because I’ve been studying the mind-body connection for years, and I’ve cultivated the ability to tune into my body, listen to its subtle sensations, and understand the messages it’s sending me. The great news is, I’ve developed a set of mind-body-spirit tools called the Anamsong Method™ that can help anyone get really great at Slacker Magic.
If you’re ready to release the self-pressure that’s getting in the way of your dreams, you can learn how to tune in to your inner wisdom. You can learn to pay attention to your body and what it needs. (Including, and especially, rest.) You can learn to approach yourself with exquisite kindness and listen to your heart. You can learn to throw away the shoulds, let go of cultural pressures, and trust your soul to guide the way.
Listening to your body, hearing your inner wisdom, and trusting yourself enough to act from that place is simply a skill you can develop. With a little practice, you, too, can start painting decks pink and ignoring your lemon zester. I promise; you’ll never look back.
Ready to start learning mind-body-spirit tools so you can listen to your inner wisdom and explore Slacker Magic techniques? Come hang out with me in the Mind-Body Magic Facebook Group, where I share tools, tips, and ideas every week.