answers to a few readers’ questions

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Q: I’d love to know your secret to how on earth you fit so much into your schedule and don’t end up totally run down and worn out. I signed up to some evening classes as well as working 8am-5pm and it’s wearing me down! I’m ready for bed the second I get home. But I guess it’s the price I have to pay for earning a living as well as going after my goals!

A: Great question and I think this could be a book, entire blog or entire podcast focus, as it is such a complex question. I do what I do out of extreme passion for writing (Hip Tranquil Chick), creating (TranquiliT), yoga (Tranquil Space), and do-gooding (Tranquil Space Foundation). All these are key values of mine and compliment my initial offering of teaching yoga out of my living room.

I work on these projects 24/7, along with professional development (reading inspiring books, taking online classes – naropa university authentic leadership training and creativity coaching training, taking in-person classes and workshops), and organization (home and work are quite intertwined since i mainly work from home so i’m constantly trying to find better systems to keep the businesses in order and my home life less compressed). I haven’t found a “secret” per se. I’m just internally committed to make things happen and fulfill whatever passions come my way – hence the creation of Tranquilista Gems after taking a beading class.

Is this healthy? I’m sure that the answer to this varies from person to person. We all make choices on how to spend our time. What fuels me is different from what fuels another. I do find that escaping from time to time to refresh is key. For example, I’m out in West Virginia right now getting a ton of to-dos done (writing, sewing, online courses, column writing, blogging, podcasting, e-mail catch-up, working with webmaster to finalize new look) but also away from my daily reality so I’ve been sleeping a ton (6-hour nap last night, then 9-hour evening sleep), watching ridiculous TV (reality shows that pop up while channel-surfing. oh my! we don’t have cable at home), keeping silly hours (naps from 6pm-midnight), and just basking in being.

It’s exhausting to work a full day in a job, take evening classes in your passion, and stay energized. I call this “moonlighting” because you have your toes dipped in your passion while still paying your bills through a full-time job. I did it for one year (worked full-time at Georgetown and taught 10 yoga classes). When I reached my edge and had to jump, I knew it. Others can do this for years. We all have different thresholds and oodles of options. Pursue flex-time in your bill-paying day job. Not an option? Find a job where it is. All this is much easier said than done, I know, but it’s all about realizing WE HAVE CHOICES. Very liberating!

Hang in there and know that even when you find your passion or do it full-time, it is still exhausting. As I mentioned in my post last week, sometimes you work very hard for little monetary reward. For some people, that would not be an option. We are all unique and it is important to pursue what makes us feel fulfilled and to question it regularly as we are constantly changing (which is why I’ve added more to my repertoire than teaching yoga). I hope this helps! If anyone out there knows the secret, please share!

Q: What are some of your favorite magazines? Do you listen to any podcasts? I am very much into being “green” and I have discovered that some women I know use a diva cup. What do you think of this? Do you know anyone or do you yourself use this? I know that it will not only save money, but environmentally it will be better. Will you be coming out to California this year?

A: I love Body + Soul by Martha Stewart’s company. I love O, Lucky, Real Simple, Yoga Journal, Fit Yoga, Shambhala Sun, Bead Style, and browsing lots of ’em at the bookstore.

Would you believe that I don’t listen to any podcasts and have never listened to my own? I love the concept but tend to work in silence or with eclectic music on nearby.

I’ve heard great things about the Diva Cup but I’ve never tried it so I can’t speak to it.

No California plans at the moment but I hope to be out there late 2008 or in 2009.