Today I’m talking about rules and how they can sometimes get in the way of creating your best life.

If you’re a hard worker, like me, you may find this topic a tad uncomfortable.

After all, rules help us succeed, right? High-achievers love the satisfaction we get from following the rules. It gives us accountability, structure, and a sense of accomplishment. 

But what if there’s a cost to blindly following the rules?

And let’s be clear, I’m not talking about legal, moral, and ethical rules. I’m talking about the mountain of self-made rules that go hand in hand with self-discipline. Here are some of my favorites:

– Get out of bed early (weekends too)
– Only working at your desk counts as “real” work
– Don’t treat yourself unless you’ve earned it
– Never splurge unless you can pay for it
– Work all day with minimal breaks regardless of how you feel
– Only buy things when it’s a good deal
– Don’t go to bed with wet hair (is that just me?)
– Don’t be selfish–put other’s needs ahead of your own
– Resting is lazy

I’m sure you have a million more. It seems the more successful and productive we are, the longer the list of rules we have. These are the rules that validate us and give us certainty.

But they rob us of three precious, creative gifts: Pleasure, joy, and self-listening.

Rules lead to autopilot and default thinking. That’s because rule-following takes us out of the present moment, we’re no longer aware of what’s happening inside us or how we’re feeling, we’re not exercising preference and choice (essential to creative living).

When we live outside of the present moment, life goes on cruise control. In this mode, we don’t attune to our true needs and we can’t access pleasure and joy.

But why do we do this?  

Because rule-following is safe and it can be an excellent way to hide. Control, checklists, and efficiency come easily to people like us. It’s a head-game and we’re rewarded for our smarts and celebrated for our productivity. It’s how we’ve survived.

Living via feeling, emotion, senses, intuition, inspiration, that’s a heart-game. That can feel risky, precarious, and a little weird to people like us. Not a lot of control there. To live this way, there’s a prerequisite that we practice trust, receiving, and allowing. Oy, so hard.

But we know as creators, as businesswomen, that we DO need time to replenish and restore. We need new insight, we need creativity. We need to get centered and get clear on our energy, what we’re putting out into the world and how we’re showing up energetically. 

Much of the time, these self-made rules are not conducive to fulfilling our creative goals let alone our Creator potential. 

So again, a good time to check your rules. 

What’s a safe way for a Type-A to explore rule-free living?

I’m glad you asked. 

My best strategy for creating less structure is to… structure it!  

That’s the role of pause. I create pause as a rule-free zone where I practice self-listening, choose pleasure, and revel in small joys. It’s a space dedicated to following impulse and inspiration and inviting conversation with my inner guidance.

Pause is a place where I check-in, get present, and honor my needs. The reward is profound connection and insight as well as soul-level recharge. Pause fills me up so I can continue to create a life I love.

Wanna give it a try?

If you’re ready to put your toe in the water, join me this Friday, Jan 29th from 11-noon PST. We’ll enjoy an hour of clarity and intention-setting practices that will leave you enlivened, centered, and ready to share your awesome sauce with the world. 

>>Hit reply and I’ll send you details for Mini Pause: Take A Break From Busy event. It’s totally free. 

And, If you’re ready to jump into pause with both feet, let’s talk. I offer a custom-designed, Personal Pause Day packed with powerful practices to boost your clarity, energy, and focus.  You can read more about it here.

However you do it, give yourself a break from the rules and see what breaks through.