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If you’re a single mompreneur, I bet we tell the same stories.

“It’s easy to stay focused when running my business and I never second-guess my decisions.”

“When I speak with my clients/children/students, words come naturally, with perfect clarity, wit, and charm.”

“In my home, the floors are swept each day, furniture is regularly dusted, and everything is always kept in its place. ”

Ha! What a load, right?!

The truth is, while I’m pretty good at helping my clients market their business, I rarely focus on my own. In the classroom, I often forget the names of my students, not to mention the project deadlines. And in my home, dust attracts more dust, piles have their piles, and the kitchen floor is freckled with drops of spaghetti sauce and ice cream.

I don’t have office space anymore. I did, once. I invested my life’s savings in a beautiful executive office building that separated work from family life. Mostly. But that’s all changed now. Today, everything falls under one roof. Laundry detergent sits next to toner cartridges, my son’s dance shoes have their own office chair, and paperclips get frisky with the hair clips in the junk drawer. When my “desk” isn’t riddled with sticky notes, laptop cables, and my daughter’s French homework, it’s transformed into a craft table for this week’s school project. Being a single mompreneur also means being a Jedi Master of priority juggling. Should I clear out the guinea pig cage or the seven overloaded email accounts? Should I sort the dirty clothes or the chicken scratches from the last client meeting? Should I dive back into the website html or back into bed for a nap? So many demands compete for my attention that I’m afraid of doing something foolish, like the morning I made breakfast and was so distracted by an email, I nearly set the house on fire.

I used to get straight As in college, so why can’t I figure out how to better manage my time? Why can’t I be more disciplined and put things back where they belong? Why do I have an addiction to buying more, saying more, doing more? Why can’t I just focus on just ONE THING! And worst of all, why can’t I get my monkey mind just to shut up!

On days like this, I have to remind myself that the only way to get past the incessant mind chatter is to give it a job. Back when I had the cash and time to invest in personal coaching, my mentor taught me how to do that.

Here’s how:
1) First, find your favorite pen and writing pad, journal or just an ordinary, blank sheet of paper.

2) Then close your eyes and take three, long, deep breaths. (This helps the speeding train of thought slow waaaay down.)

3) Finally, give yourself permission to identify and feel every conflicting thought. Then write the way out of your own head…one sentence at a time.

Here’s what I wrote one morning after dropping my kids off at school and returning to a sinkful of dishes, a looming stack of bills and an avalanche of work on my desk.

When I feel overwhelmed, I give myself permission to slow down.
When I feel overwhelmed, I give myself permission to rest.
When I feel overwhelmed, I give myself permission to say no.
When I feel overwhelmed, I give myself permission to purge.
When I feel overwhelmed, I give myself permission to turn off the media.
When I feel overwhelmed, I give myself permission to accept that multitasking is a myth.
When I feel overwhelmed, I give myself permission to stop reacting to the needs of others.
When I feel overwhelmed, I give myself permission to do just one thing that will make me feel at ease.
When I feel overwhelmed, I give myself permission to trust myself.
When I feel overwhelmed, I give myself permission to ask for help.
When I feel overwhelmed, I give myself permission to need nothing more.
When I feel overwhelmed, I give myself permission to believe I am more than enough.

This process works for me every time. By the end of writing that twelfth line, the oxygen returns to my head and my pulse drops from the stratosphere. My body is no longer paralyzed and the tunnel that seemed to be closing in from all sides only moments earlier, opens up just enough for me to move forward – even if it’s just one tiny step.

And you know the secret?

That “one thing” we’re searching for, is always one step forward!