with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

What’s Draining You?

In Week 6 of the book, Life Makeovers, Cheryl Richardson discusses the concept of energy drains and invites you to take action to stop up the drains in your life. When I look around my desk and computer right now, I can see piles of energy drains everywhere: stuff I’ve put off, papers I need to file, work that needs doing, half finished projects awaiting attention, letters needing responses, all within just a meter around me. When I step away from my computer there are other energy drains like the needs of my family, the dirty dishes in the sink, a house that needs cleaning, and other people and things that seem to want more of me than I can really give. All of these things seem to hook their power lines into me. Instead of charging me, they are sucking away my energy.

Animated icon of a trash canWhat are you hanging onto in your life? What seems to be constantly tugging at your sleeve? At our first meeting, Lucy Laketer shared her Cosmic Pick quote that read, "What you resist, persists!" She had been agonizing over a project at work that she really didn’t want to do. For weeks it sat on her desk until it seemed to create its own persona, staring over her shoulder while she worked, taking up space on her desk with its presence, and making her feel guilty and tense every time she came near her desk. We all have these things around us that seem to take on their own personality that would go away if we only dealt with them.

Cheryl explains that when you "finally let go of the past or handle the items that cause you anxiety, that action alone can have a dramatic positive impact on your life." When I started this process, I realized that I didn’t have to be superwoman. I hired someone to come in every two weeks to clean my house thoroughly. Hand-washing our clothing for months, I finally figured out how to have it picked up and washed, delivered to my door all clean and folded. The discovery of grocery delivery here…well, I will probably miss that the most when I leave! My husband often works 12 hour days, so instead of trying to fix a dinner at nine at night, we agreed to have our main meal for lunch and only warm some veggies up in the late evenings, which eased the stress level of fixing food and eating so late. Obsessed with email for YEARS, I used to check it every few hours. I finally decided to only check it once a day, then finally every other day unless I had a project in the works. I hadn’t realized it took so much of my time and energy!

These small things suddenly freed up more time that I could dedicate to more constructive things like my own work. I felt better, stronger, and actually healthier when I made time for myself by taking a few time saving steps.


Your action challenge is to pick 5 energy drains and to schedule time to handle them. It also challenges you to ask for help and get support if you need it. This maybe the hardest part of this challenge. Your small group and the people you’ve met at the monthly meetings are all part of your new support group. Ask for help. You never know what may come of it. All you have to do is ask. All they can say is yes or no, or they might have a better solution for you. I will often have a "pre-party" before I have a social party or event in my home where I invite friends over to help me clean and prepare, making the process much more fun and giving us all some special social time before the big event. Asking for help can be a lot of fun, once we get over our fears of not appearing self sufficient. Give it a try and just ask…

The Life Makeovers year long project has completed in Tel Aviv with Lorelle VanFossen and Ruth Alfi, but you can get involved or start your own group through the author of the book, Life Makeovers, Cheryl Richardson.

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