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Putting Out Our Little Fires

By Lisa Jo Barr

Have you ever woke up to the reality that your life is completely out of control? That there are a million things you need to do and the pressure to get them done paralyzes you from doing any of it?

It is as if an invisible unwritten list of to-dos keeps tugging at your heart and your head. You feel haunted and distracted at the same time. An inner voice is pleading, “Get to it,” but your energy is tangled up in too many loose ends. You might be wondering: How do I get out of this mess?

Simply begin with a list. Get out your pen and paper. Put down all the small things you have been meaning to get done, but have avoided for way too long. Maybe it’s getting a pair of shoes fixed, balancing your checkbook, calling your favorite uncle back.

Listen to your gut, your intuition. Really get quiet so you can hear the tiny voice inside of you. Explore the benefits of doing these tasks. Ask yourself:  What are some positive consequences of getting this small thing done? For instance, if I organize my desk and dust it, then I will journal more. If I get an oil change, then my car will last longer and I’ll be able to avoid expensive repairs.

One example is that I have this nice pair of black pants. When I bought them, they were way too long. I knew that they needed hemmed. The little voice inside of me started nagging me to hem them. A couple of months went by. The longer I put off the hemming, the louder the inner voice got. During this time, every day I thought about hemming them. It hurt my brain. Then I’d feel this resistance and rebellion and turn my attention to something else.

Then one day, I started looking for more work opportunities. I really started putting myself out there. I wasn’t getting any response. Every time I envisioned myself being interviewed, I was wearing the pair of black pants that needed hemmed. Finally, I put pen to paper. On my to-do list was to hem my pair of pants. Still I put it off. I began to experience anxiety, worry and panic. The more I reviewed my list, the more I saw that I needed to hem my pants. At last I surrendered and hemmed them.

Two days later I got two interviews. A coincidence? I think not.

When you put out the little fires, it frees up a lot of energy. Energy that you can use toward your positive goals.

Remember: big crisis fires start with little fires. When you become your own fire fighter, then you will begin to move confidently into the direction you want to go. You can direct your life by taking responsibility for it. This will act as a solid foundation for you to enjoy your life, know yourself better and discover and follow your dreams. Freeing up the energy allows you to get back in touch with your power. By tying up loose ends you’ll practice taking ACTION, an important key to success. Action is what makes things happen. The more you take ACTION, the more momentum is created. The more things you get done, the quicker you can reach your goals or take a brilliant idea from new-born to fruition.

What causes procrastination? It’s fear. You are afraid to move out of the familiar chaos into a new place, even if that new place is so much better. You stubbornly hold onto the old pattern, as an attempt to control. You know what to expect in the past. It’s predictable. You don’t know what to expect when moving into somewhere new. Instead of letting your fires build up and burn a bridge to your shiny future, put them out, so you will have more energy to move across safely. It is a guarantee that where you are heading will be different, but in a better way. Take care of business and put out all of the little fires, one by one, so that the foundation of your new place can be built on solid ground. Have faith and let go.

If you are faced with a lot of stress in your life and are afraid to take action, know that you are not alone. We’ve all been there, done that. Make a list today and turn it into a game. See how many things on the list you can cross off each day. Make note of how you feel after you put out a fire. You will be amazed.

Happy firefighting everyone! 🙂

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About Lisa Jo Barr

I am a Social Media Director and freelance writer. My articles and columns have been published in newspapers and magazines worldwide. I've done copywriting and technical writing. Poetry and personal essays. Et cetera. I am a lover of art. I am a very visual person and love to do collage art. I love art in all mediums and have created a virtual art gallery on Twitter ( @ABCcustomframe ). Swimming, volunteering, meditating, traveling, dancing, I love the art of conversation. The art of creative writing. The art of storytelling. The art of leadership. Great customer service. Great theatre. Great people. I dig these. I love to have fun, to laugh, to inspire. Life is an adventure. Love conquers all. Be who you are.

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