I have always had a bit of a monkey mind and have spent the second half of my life searching for ways to calm it. I tend to hyper-focus on a project and lose myself in it but when I come out of my project bubble, I tend to get lost and untethered.
When I come out of my cave, I start surfing Social Media. I find myself watching what others have been doing while I was away and questioning all of my values, my choices, my life! I get totally distracted by a new strategy, a better version of what I should be doing, and how I should be doing it.
I re-enter society to discover a new way to eat that will make me feel better, look better. A new work-out that will work my core and take away all of my pain; a new supplement that will make me feel like I’m 20 again. Celery juice or a turmeric and almond milk concoction that will un-swell my aging joints. A new parenting methodology that will ensure my kids don’t feel pain, or the one where disappointment is good and they should learn to experience pain. Or a new way in which I should be running the preschool, a new way to speak to my staff so that everyone feels more valued. There are so many “Shiny Objects,” ever changing, always improved methodologies for EVERYTHING everywhere.
Once I expose myself to all of these new options, I get lost in a sea of noise and lose my ability to discern, to choose, and my life becomes the house of the 3 bears. Here I am a latin middle aged Goldilocks running around in circles of uncertainty; by the time I get to the bed option, all I want to do is disconnect and binge another show on my device curled into child pose!
Everything out there can be “too much, too little, and eventually just right!” but by the time it’s just right, I have exhausted myself into a Netflix Binge in a bed that is too soft, too hard, and might be just right? I don’t even know anymore.
The Goldilocks Syndrome happens because we get lost in a world filled with SO MANY options, and if you are anything like me, I like to make good and informed decisions. Here’s the thing, I have learned that every decision can be great and at the same time it can be horrible - there is so much information to support either end of the spectrum. Where a good decision lies, is in answering the question:
Is this the right decision for ME?
I have to be 100% honest, at 48 years old I am only starting to be able to answer this question. And to do so, I will oversimplify and say that it has to do with knowing deeply my values and my guiding principles. The bottom line is that choosing what’s right for me, for my family, starts by understanding ME - not the world out there and all of the shiny objects that are constantly coming at me.
I recently read a book called “Essentialism” by Greg McKewown. Half-way through reading, I felt that (as I have countless times before) that I had fucked it all up. I have kept too many things, done too many things, said ‘yes’ to too many things… However, I realized that while not every aspect of this book speaks to me, I can choose and pick aspects that fall in line with my values and principles.
In his book , Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, Greg McKewown says: “Essentialism is not about how to get more things done; it’s about how to get the right things done. It doesn’t mean just doing less for the sake of less either. It is about making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to operate at our highest point of contribution by doing only what is essential.”
After reading this book I have been applying my new favorite discernment tool-- I ask myself:
“Is this essential for me right now?” (me includes my kids, of course)
❍ Not essential
I am an early childhood educator, here to speak about all the shiny new methodologies out there, and I will start by telling you to:
Put on sunglasses to ease the blinding light of a world with TOO MUCH, and first and foremost, answer the question who are YOU? What are your values and guiding principles? As an individual, as a parent, and as a family?
Read, explore, but do not choose without quieting all the chatter and truly listening to your inner voice. That wise, truly connected voice that knows you, even better than you know you!
You can pick and choose. Not every part of every book, podcast, advice, is for me but I do find value in checking it out and seeing what aspects fit me, or accessorizes my "Best Me." Even finding that something doesn't fit gives me more clarifying information on who I am.
It has taken me years of exploring and trying lots of things on for size, lots of fads, techniques, methodologies, and I can tell you, in full transparency that now and only now, I know what works for me.
I have surrounded myself with an inner circle of people who have similar principles and it is only them, after me, who get to have an opinion on my Essentials. We bounce around ideas and explore together; I value their opinions and they value mine.
I can and will give you lots of shiny objects to explore with me and invite you into my new Project Bubble, into my circle, and if you and I speak the same language and have similar principles you might check off the “Essential” box and if not, I would love the opportunity to discuss and grow together. Let’s discuss how things might be too much, too little, or just right!
Thank you for reading!
Con mucho amor 💕