At Sunday’s clarity retreat, after journaling about the future we long for and beginning to identify core values, a participant raised her hand and asked this question (one that I imagine is on many people’s minds):

There’s a part of me that’s wondering whether there is a time when we get to just be in the world without having to process so much. Like, when do I get to go back to being a kid and just play and do the things that I want to do? When can I just let go and trust the spaciousness?

In today’s love letter, I want to share with you my response to this participant.

Here’s what I said:

First, I’ll share that I resonate so much with the need for play and rest. It is so hard to take time for spaciousness in our culture of nonstop productivity.

Full stop.

And also, I feel called to respond to this question with an energy that may initially feel like the opposite of play and spaciousness—the energy of commitment.

I’m curious:

What commitment might you make to the part of yourself that’s longing for play?

I find that when most of my clients come to me, they’re burned out and tired. They’ve been making lots of commitments to lots of things that they care deeply about, commitments they don’t necessarily want to let go of.

But what they have yet to make are commitments to themselves.

They’re committed to showing up for their communities and the people they love, but they’re not committing to—or following through with their commitments to—rest and play and spaciousness.

Often, for us to have time for play and rest, we must commit to dedicating that time.

Granted, it can be a bummer to have to be so disciplined about play. I mean, wouldn’t it be amazing if we could just wave a wand and make this time magically appear? I wish I could do this for myself!

But what I’ve found is that dedicating this time requires commitment.

And so, I’m curious about what commitment you might make to rest and play and trusting the spaciousness and being like a kid.

Reading this now, I invite you to ask yourself:

What commitment are you called to make to yourself?

Here are a few pointers about commitment:

One: The most worthwhile commitments are at least a little bit scary.

During the retreat, I noticed that while I’m living in alignment with most of my values, I’m longing for Sabbath. I’ve dedicated many weekends to writing recently—which I’ve wanted and consciously decided to do—but part of me is longing for a break from screens. And, for me, saying I am a commitment to Sabbath feels quite edgy.

And, of course, commitments to resting and prioritizing ourselves feel scary. Those of us socialized as women have been trained to put everyone else’s desires first. All of us socialized under capitalism have been trained to believe that we’re only valuable and worthy if we’re constantly working.

So, of course, it feels scary to devote a day to doing whatever the hell you want, whatever moves you in the moment. Of course, it feels scarier than committing to writing a book or getting a lot of stuff done.

Two: You’re making a commitment to your younger self.

Sometimes, a new client comes to me and says they want to commit to doing a practice every single day from now on. I ask, Can you commit to following through? And they say: I don’t know.

It can be far more healing to make a smaller commitment to yourself—like engaging in the practice for two or five days rather than every day—and then follow through.

When you make a commitment to yourself, imagine that you’re making the commitment to your younger self, the part that was let down by other people, the part of you that longs to be able to trust you.

Part of the goal of making commitments is learning to heal this part of yourself and rebuild a trusting relationship with it.

So make your commitment doable.

Three: Powerful commitments inspire action.

For example, if I say I’m a commitment to Sabbath, I immediately know it means I must take specific action. It makes me think: Oh! No email or social media today. Or, Oh! Time to go to bed. Or, This is when I turn off the screen.

When setting a commitment, ask yourself: When I think of this commitment, do I know my next step? If not, tweak your commitment to inspire specific action.

Four: Play with how you begin your commitment.

I learned the commitment practice from my teacher, Doug Silsbee, and in our lineage, we begin commitment statements with the phrase I am a commitment… For example, I am a commitment to Sabbath. This language connotes that we are an embodiment of our commitment.

That said, I’ve found the other phrasings to be equally inspiring, such as I am or I am committed to or I choose.

For example, some possible commitment statements might be:

  • I am a commitment to play.
  • I choose rest.
  • I am committed to dedicating one day per week to allowing myself to be a kid again.
  • I trust the spaciousness.
  • I am committed to dedicating time each week to following my inner child’s lead.

What matters is that your commitment feels like a quick link to the heart of what you’re longing for and is easy to remember.

Do you have a commitment for the time ahead?

If so, I’d love to hear it! Feel free to send me an email and share :).

May you find play amid the seriousness, space amid responsibility, and rest amid all your important work.

In love and solidarity,

P.S. If you’re longing to dedicate space to your commitments, I’d love to help you learn how!

On Wednesday, February 22, I’ll be starting my four-week, pay-what-you-can course, Scheduling Boundaries, to help you organize your life and devote time and space to your most important commitments.

Here’s why Mariah shared about how the practices I teach in the course changed her life:

As a recent college graduate, transitioning into the professional world was confusing and overwhelming. Katherine helped me learn how I work best. Soon after working with Katherine, I got a promotion. I now have much more interesting work and a lot more responsibility.

I still use a lot of the tools and strategies I learned with Katherine to formulate my schedule and routines, and as a result, working from home has become SO MUCH EASIER.

That cannot be emphasized enough. It was a real struggle before I worked with Katherine, but I actually enjoy it now.

I’ll share more details about the course soon, but to learn more and sign up, I invite you to click here: Scheduling Boundaries. I’d love to see you there!

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