Jill Tanis

Procrastination is a form of...

Have you ever sat down to do something important and an hour or two later, you’re watering plants, loading the dishwasher, googling resorts for your next exotic vacation you will likely never take, feeling captivated by a Dr. Oz episode, reading a Facebook article on George Clooney’s childhood or laughing at cat videos on your couch?

 

And then you roll into bed at the end of the day and that important task? Not completed.

 

Rinse & Repeat. Rinse & Repeat. Month after month. Year after year.

 

Last week, I listened to phenomenal speaker, author and coach, Mel Robbins, at the annual Young Living Convention in Utah. She shared a line about procrastination that sparked my attention and I want to share it with you. She said:

 

“Procrastination is a form of STRESS RELIEF.”

 

Many people connect procrastination with poor time management skills or a lack of self-regulation (overspending, overeating) or a lack of self-discipline.

 

But I have to say that this was a description on procrastination I had never heard before and it fascinated me. The more I think about it, the more I am curious about it. What a gracious way to look at it.

 

When we are doing something we don’t want to do or something that evokes fear or anxiety or self-doubt about doing something new (i.e. improving your diet, adding exercise, changing the way you put yourself out in the world, asking for what you need) there are certain feelings that might surface: I’m nervous. I’m scared. I’m terrified. I doubt myself. I can’t.

 

We experience an 'unwanted feeling'. Naturally, we want to escape that feeling and find something that 'feels better' right away to take us out of our stress response. We’re much more focused on our immediate feelings to bring us comfortable rather than focusing on the long-term feeling of accomplishing the important thing we set out to do (which naturally triggers all sorts of “unwanted feelings” at the beginning.)

 

Experts say we make around 35,000 decisions EVERY SINGLE DAY. And they tell us self-doubt wins nearly every time.

 

Here’s a true story:  EVERY time I begin writing a blog post, I can’t sit long enough to finish it. Sometimes I only get two sentences in. I get up. I walk away. I start cleaning. I check Facebook. I reply to emails. I say I’ll try again tomorrow. I do ANYTHING else other than write the blog post.

 

And darn it, I did it again today. As a result, my bedroom hasn’t been this clean in months. I even took a Q-tip to the dirt creases on my windows and I dusted. People, I dusted. That says it all. In other words, I walked away from writing this post ALL day.

 

Why do I do this every time?

 

Because putting myself out to you is scary to me. Writing does not come easy for me. What do I say? Is it helpful? How do I share what’s been ruminating in my spirit? How do I really feel about what I’m sharing? I constantly doubt my ability to be an effective writer.

 

And this is why Mel’s message about procrastination is helpful. I experience large amounts of self-doubt, fear and anxiety around writing. And therefore, it evokes a stress response. So my natural reaction is to find some stress relief. Like right away. Apparently cleaning my bedroom and removing dirt with a Q-tip from my windows is a form of stress relief for me today. And, indeed, it was very satisfying.

 

It has me thinking…if you’re someone who feels like a procrastinator and has ladled on all sorts of shame, guilt and negative self-talk about yourself for procrastinating, what if you were to change the conversation?

 

What if – every time you found yourself procrastinating – you paused for a moment to better understand it. To better understand yourself.

 

In other words, the next time you find yourself walking to the kitchen to eat when you’re not hungry or mindlessly binge watch Netflix for hours when you know you want to be doing something else or you need to call your doctor but you keep putting it off or when you load up the reasons why you don’t have time to make nourished eating and exercise happen because your days are too busy, I invite you to listen to your spirit and ask:

 

  • “What am I stressed about?”
  • “How is my procrastination seeking stress relief?
  • “Do I need more margin/more downtime in my life?”
  • “Do I doubt myself?”
  • “What do I need?”
  • “What am I afraid of or anxious about?”
  • “What is the deeper message for me here?”  
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As I continue to ponder this new idea about procrastination + stress relief, I am beginning to wonder, what would also happen if you had nourishing forms of stress relief built into your day? Breathing, exercising, stretching, self-care, time alone, dancing, connecting and talking with others, getting in nature, etc.

How would that support you? What would inspire you to keep going? To honor and allow yourself to feel the unwanted feelings and let them be ok, knowing the longer term rewards are worth it?

In addition, I'll be picking up a copy of Mel Robbin's book: The 5 Second Rule and encourage you to do it too if this resonates with you and let’s keep the conversation going.

Flourishing...is it even possible?

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Two years ago, I was in an interesting place. Uprooted is the word that comes to mind. Feeling the excitement of a kitchen remodel we had been dreaming about for years and in the throws of starting The Nourish to Flourish Society and launching our first 14-day Spring Reset program.  

 

I was also going through treatment for Chronic Lyme Disease.

 

Lyme is a mysterious, elusive, debilitating disease. I don’t remember the tick bite. What I do remember though is that for years I had been feeling incredible fatigue, depression and brain fog which eventually migrated into chronic pain in my joints and muscles and spine. I would spend hours awake in the middle of the night only to then spend the day in bed, so tired and unable to function. I had a terrible chronic cough. For months, leading up to my diagnosis, I had spent more time in bed than not. I felt like I was going mad.

 

I was both relieved and saddened with my diagnosis. Relieved because I finally found a provider who gave me a diagnosis and a holistic treatment plan that felt promising. Saddened because I had not met anyone who was completely healed and thriving after that diagnosis.

 

It's not something I have talked about openly up to this point because I am not 100% “better” and I’m still trying to understand it all. I continue to quietly work through seasonal ups and downs.

 

Last year I suffered for 4 months with intense stomach pain. I had to stop playing tennis, which had been a huge source of stress relief and a social staple 3-4x every week.

 

While my stomach issues have subsided, I still haven't been able to pick up my racquet again because the stiffness and pain in my right wrist and hand is quite fierce. It makes it difficult to hold a pen, type this blog post or use a chef's knife without pain...all things that are my life's work and my passions.

 

I finally decided a couple months ago to return to tennis.  I was going to wrap my wrist and give it a whirl. The day before I returned to the tennis court, I tore my hamstring....doing yoga. Can you believe it? Yoga. As a once very active vibrant body & spirit, an accomplished athlete, able to do almost anything physically I put my mind to, I have felt the limitations of my body.  And all of this has challenged my spirit as well.

 

My body tires quickly and my mind requires more downtime and space than it used to. I used to multitask with the best of them and crank out work and create things really quickly. But in this season, I simply cannot.

 

If you've read my blog posts over the past year, you’ve seen some themes. Lessons I’m learning and teaching.

 

Slow down.

Surrender.

Breathe.

Let go.

 

I pray daily for full recovery and I'll receive any and all prayers for my healing, because I want to live well. Live fully. Live vibrantly. I want to run around with my kids without getting winded in the first minute. Have energy to play basketball with them. Run the bases and pitch to them. Play a flirtatious competitive game of tennis with my husband again. All without feeling stiffness & pain, fatigued and in bed for a couple days thereafter. I want to carry out creative projects.  Chop vegetables and lift heavy pots and pans safely. Think clearly. Be pain free. 

 

In this season, I've been pondering these words:

 

Jesus has a vision for wholeheartedness. It emerges in the one who comes to the end of herself, mourns the old, is humbled by the process and grows in new longings for a life of grace and mercy. She is a person of character consistency. A person who rings true whenever you tap her. She keeps promises, says one theologian. What you see is what you get. The inside matches the outside. There is no show...God comes to you disguised as your life." (Falling into Goodness by Chuck DeGroat)

 

And here I am today. In many ways at the end of myself. Mourning the old. Humbled by the process. Longing for a life of grace and mercy. What you see is what you get.

 

Do you know why am I writing this today?  

 

It’s obvious, isn’t it?

 

I run a company called The Nourish To Flourish Society.

 

How ironic, right?

 

By all definitions, my life doesn’t look or sound so flourishing.

 

To thrive. To grow luxuriantly. To prosper.

 

In some ways I haven't wanted to share my story because I haven't wanted to taint my brand and give people a false hope that if they don’t see me happy and vibrant and “flourishing” what good is the work I do? Am I giving women false hope? Do I have integrity in the work I’m doing? Does my brand reflect what's possible for women if I can't achieve this myself?

 

Here's the thing.

 

I AM FLOURISHING.

 

Just not the way I originally envisioned a “flourishing” life and not the Webster’s Dictionary definition.

 

The joy, the pain, the ease and the challenges; the highs in my marriage and parenting along with the absolute lows; the moments of abundance and the disheartening financial strain of paying out of pocket medical bills; feeling deeply connected and then feeling the anger of injustice and inequality all around us...there’s an invitation to flourish IN ALL OF IT.

 

We just need to look through a different lens.

 

And that’s why I’m writing you today.

 

I don’t want you to look at The Nourish to Flourish Society and assume that when we say “flourish” we are saying all will be well. Life will be perfect and that you all of a sudden ‘arrive’. I don’t want you to assume our lives are perfect; that somehow our homes are immaculate, our meal plans are 3-course from scratch, our diets are flawless, our workouts happen every day, we’re always patient with our kids and husbands. We don’t want you to assume that we don’t know struggle or hardship or pain or grief or depression. We do.

 

But still, when I’m with women, there’s this assumption that flourishing means you’ve got your shizzle together. Like all the time. Or that you will only flourish when things are going well for you.

 

“When I lose ___ pounds, I’ll flourish.”

“When ___ happens, then I'll flourish.”

“When my kids leave the house and I have more time for myself, then I can flourish.”

“When I’m done taking care of my elderly parent or retire from this stressful job, then I’ll flourish.”

“When I have the perfect diet, then I’m on the road to flourishing.”

 

Flourishing isn’t about arrival.

 

Flourishing isn’t when you have it all together.

 

What if we reframe what flourishing is.  

 

Consider a different version of flourishing that you can take through any season of your life:

 

To nourish IS to flourish.

 

There is no “arrival” point. No destination.

 

There is no “once I do __, then I’m perfect/enough/got it all together and I’ve arrived and I’ll be flourishing forever!” kind of life.

 

We will ebb and flow out of it. We are human. It’s not all or nothing.

 

So instead of looking at this whole flourishing thing as only happening when you've got it all together, how’s this instead:

 

ANY time you choose nourishment (in thought, word or deed), you are simultaneously choosing to flourish for that moment. Every nourishing act is an opportunity to flourish.

 

And a "nourishing act" is not just about food. 

 

I have found myself nourishing in non-food ways that feed me on the deepest of levels. When I slow down. Breathe. Surrender. Ask for help. Practice vulnerability. Listen well. Pray. Smile. Laugh. Practice connection and compassion. Practice gratitude. Celebrate life. Receive grace. 

 

Maybe together, we can shift our idea of flourishing. Moments of nourishing lead to moments of flourishing. And begin to string more and more of these moments together to create longer, meaningful seasons of flourishing.

 

I invite you to try something.

 

At the end of each day for the next week, simply ask yourself:

 

How did I nourish and flourish TODAY?

 

Start here. And let’s keep the conversation going.

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What to Do When You're Overdoing It?

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This week Jill counted similar conversations with 8 different women. Eight women who are all feeling scattered, frazzled and overstimulated. Feeling run over by their to do lists or kids’ sports schedules or work deadlines. They are either going to bed waaay too late or crashing by 7:30 because they have nothing left. The constant speed and demands of our life can make us grow weary.

Especially when the wisdom of winter invites us to slow down, hibernate and rest.

Maybe you feel this way too?

In response to these conversations, Jill wrote this week's blog post on this topic and just before she finished, she lost the entire blog post...and it was unrecoverable. 

So instead of rewriting the entire post and getting frazzled - which would be complete irony - she put into practice what we encourage our Reset members to do when things go awry. She removed herself from the stressful situation and asked: "How can I let this be easier?"

Because what do we usually do when things get stressful?

Often times we keeping going. Keep pushing. Keep hustling. Keep grinding. And sometimes that's okay, but she wasn't feeling that way today. And because Angelle is a business partner that aligns with these beliefs too, there's freedom and permission in letting it go.

Maybe you too would benefit from asking the question “How can I let this be easier?”

Click through to read Jill’s popular post: What to do when you’re overdoing it? to get a glimpse into how asking this very question often leads her into just what she needs to do: Slow. Down.

Here's an excerpt: 

If you find your life overwhelmingly full and you're always in a hurry, perhaps the best remedy is not to step on the gas. It is not to push, grind, force, crank it out, hustle, lose sleep, compromise connection within ourselves, our self-care and our loved ones. It's simply to step back and recover from the motion sickness and recalibrate your bearings.  All while listening to the new belief in your mind:

  • I do have time.
  • Life can continue without me rushing about.
  • My family will manage without me for this hour.

So this weekend, staring at all the things I could be doing. I dropped it all. Because...

IT’S NOT POSSIBLE TO CREATE A NOURISHING LIFE WHEN MAKING DECISIONS FROM A PLACE OF ANXIETY, OVERWHELM, STRESS, SHOULD’S, OUGHT-TO’S.

 Read the entire post HERE. 

Ask this ONE question to find exercise that fits YOU.

5:15am. Alarm buzzes. Jump out of bed and head to the gym. 

 

Every Day.

 

That was me at a time in my life where exercise OWNED me. I did the same workouts every day. I hit the treadmill for the same amount of time. Burning a certain amount of calories. Doing the same stretches, lunge routines, arm routines and cardio workout.

 

Every Day.

 

Because, hello!? Body image.

one of my favorite summer salads

This is one of my favorite summer salads and this is the perfect time to make it. Why? Because the veg for this salad is fresh and in season. I hope you will wander down to your local farmers market this weekend, pick up cucumber, heirloom tomatoes, red onion, a colored pepper, cilantro, organic corn on the cob and give it a try. It boasts a lot of flavor and if you can find yourself some fresh local garlic...even better. Fresh garlic, to me, makes all the difference.

summertime pesto

So I got this hefty load of fresh basil from my local CSA share last week. Isn't she gorgeous? And the smell is intoxicating. I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. I posted this lovely photo on our Instagram page last week (Come and follow us! We'd love it!) and a woman posted and shared how she buys basil just to smell it. I LOVE it. There are some really fun ways to use basil. 

here's the menu for my summer vacation

The bags are (almost) packed, and the grocery list is nearly complete as we head out of town for our annual summer vacation up north.  My husband and I look forward to this low-key time together every year.  We'll tap out of nearly all electronic devices – the computers stay home and the phones go on airplane mode - and we'll bring food for every meal so we don't have to drive anywhere.  All this to soak in family time, sun, water, nature and down time.  

They Say a Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

This is me. 20 years old. Profoundly depressed, completely malnourished, unbelievably underweight, and experiencing the most intense battle of my life with food, mind and body. I was riding the downward spiral of guilt, shame, deprivation, obsession and starvation. I put on a "happy" face and protected this corner of my life from everyone. I didn't talk to anyone about it. When people asked how I was doing, my response was always "I am doing fine...how are YOU?" focusing on others while turning a deaf ear to the blaring chaos in my own internal world. Inside, I hardly recognized myself. Starving myself was "eating away" at my truest nature: playful, vibrant, silly, feisty, social, intuitive. I became withdrawn, obsessive, overwhelmed, rigid and reclusive.