Hello there, and welcome back to the Mountain Practice Journeys podcast!
I’m your host, Cindy.
Here in Episode 83 I talk about email, how it can be overwhelming to the introverted, highly sensitive soul, and what you can do to ease the overwhelm.
Here we go…
Episode 83 Show Notes Links
$200 off The Introvert’s Guide to a Simplified Private Practice course with code EMAIL200 (until 11:59pm ET on February 28th, 2023).
🌲 Work with Cindy by joining Forestmind, a comfy, cozy, private, small-group mastermind.
🏔 Connect on Instagram for more practical magick for your life and business.
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Episode 83 Transcript
This is the Mountain Practice Journeys podcast and I’m your host, Cindy. I gladly welcome you to this comfy, cozy space for introverts, highly sensitive people, and solopreneurs who help and heal. This is the place for practical, nature-based, magickal support for your business and life. Gather around the hearth, get comfortable, and settle in. I’m glad you’re here.
Hello there, and welcome back to the Mountain Practice Journeys podcast! I’m your host, Cindy. Here in Episode 83 I’m going to talk about email, how it can be overwhelming to the introverted, highly sensitive soul, and what you can do to ease the overwhelm.
I’ll start by just saying, I’m tired of email. I’m sure that many of you can relate.
I want email to have a much smaller part in my life and my business. It takes up more of my time than I want it to. So, instead of complaining about it, I’m going to do something about it.
But first, let me share why I’m tired of email…
I want to reclaim my precious time, and I don’t want to be spending any more time in my inbox than absolutely necessary.
I don’t know about you, but I feel like email can easily interrupt us. It can be like an annoying tap on the shoulder when you are right in the middle of a brilliant train of thought or when you’re engrossed in an important project. I understand that you can silence notifications and only check your email at certain times, but if you’re anything like me you know the unread messages are there, just sitting and waiting.
Email can also easily dictate our schedule and add to our to-do list. We either immediately take care of the unread emails to get them out of our inbox, which means that email is dictating our schedule. Or we leave them unread for a little while, yet they are constantly living in back of our minds until they are taken care of.
As I mentioned earlier, I’m tired of email, so this is what I’m doing about it…
The first thing I’m doing is taking advantage of my email auto responder. My email autoresponder stays on all the time, and I make sure to set the expectation that I’m not responding to emails anytime soon. This allows me to be able to go days (and even weeks if I wanted to) without checking my email and being tied to my inbox.
I’m always getting raving compliments on my email autoresponder, so I’m going to share it here if you’re curious as to what it says (and that way you don’t have to send me an email to see it, haha!).
So, here’s my email autoresponder text:
Before you read this automated message, claim a mere 30 seconds for yourself and take three deep breaths.
Because I fiercely guard against burnout, truly value self-care, and prioritize my availability for my current clients, please allow up to *two weeks* for a response.
In the meantime…
🍵 Schedule a Chat
🌲 Join Me in Forestmind
🏡 Retreat into the Forest
🎧 Listen to the Mountain Practice Journeys Podcast
💫 *I take regular time off to care for my mind, body, and spirit. Near the time of the New Moon, I take a week for Deep Work & Rest and aim to keep my calendar free of scheduled appointments. I also take a Summer Solstice Sabbatical (June 21 – July 31) for play, and a Winter Solstice Sabbatical (December 21 – January 31) for rest. During these times I will likely be taking a break from email as well, so you may not receive a response during these times. Thank you so much for your patience.
🎙If you are inquiring about being a guest on the Mountain Practice Journeys podcast, please fill out the podcast guest application here. Due to the number of requests, I don’t respond to email inquiries for podcast guests.
📄 If you are requesting that your “guide” or “resource” be added to my website, I politely decline. Due to the number of requests, I don’t respond to these inquiries. Automated followups to these emails will be reported as spam and the email address will be blocked.
✨ I value genuine and authentic connection with real, well-intentioned human beings, so if you are sending me, along with hundreds of others, the same template message to sell your services, I’m not interested and will not respond to these emails. Automated followups to these emails will be reported as spam and the email address will be blocked.]
Ok, so that’s the text of my email auto responder. I update it occasionally so it definitely could change.
So I mentioned earlier that I have it set up so that I can ignore my email for a bit if I need to, but I know that it may not be feasible for some of you to not check your email for several days (and especially not weeks), but hear me out. There are ways that you can adapt this to fit your needs.
How I’m able to do this is that I prioritize my current clients. By having really strict boundaries in general, I’m able to have flexible and generous boundaries with the 6 or so clients that I work with at any given time.
The members of Forestmind, my small-group mastermind, have my full attention and care. We have our own private online community where we share and communicate with one another. So, in this space, I am responsive and present.
But if you’re unable to have a separate community space to prioritize your current clients, there may be other ways that you can get creative. It may be that you have a certain way that current clients can communicate with you that is separate from the general public. You may have a client portal that you can use. Or maybe you can get fancy with your email filters and have messages from your current clients be filtered into a priority folder.
And if you’re worried about potential clients reaching out, and you want to be responsive but feel overwhelmed with the inquiries, I created an online course that can help. It allows you to book new, ideal clients without answering your phone or responding to emails. And to be honest, I created this process because I have phone aversion, as many introverts and Highly Sensitive People do, and I just never, ever wanted to answer my phone again. And the process worked!
If you’re interested, you can visit the show notes for a link to my course, The Introvert’s Guide to a Simplified Private Practice. There’s also a bonus lesson in the course from HSP expert April Snow of the Sensitive Therapist. She talks about the importance of systems for the Highly Sensitive Person. The course is regularly $297, but I’ll give you $200 off with the code EMAIL200 as a thank you for being a listener of the Mountain Practice Journeys podcast. This code will be good from now throughout the month of February, so be sure to enroll before February 28th. I’ll share a link to the course in the show notes.
The second thing I’m doing to help me to break even more of the ties to my email inbox is this. I’m unsubscribing from every email list that I’m on. I’ve considered this many times before, but I actually haven’t done it. Why you may ask? It’s probably because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. But, you know what? You shouldn’t be on someone’s email list just because you are their friend.
If you have an email list, you only want your raving fans on there that actively want your services. Listen to Episode 214 of Simone Seol’s Joyful Marketing podcast to hear more about this and why you should be celebrating unsubscribes. So, when I unsubscribe from your list, you can thank me and go celebrate!
Just because I’m unsubscribing doesn’t mean that I’m not keeping up with my friends and colleagues. It just means that I’m keeping up with them on my own time. I’ll still be able to see their posts on social media and see what they’re up to – but this will be on my own time and when I’m making the decision to be on social media.
I do want to address the fact that a lot of guilt can come about when setting boundaries around your time.
But I want to remind you of something. Technology has changed our world, mostly for the better. Think back 100 years. Maybe not even that far back. Just think back to times before the internet. We were mostly just connected to our local community. There was no email or social media. We might get a phone call here and there. But we we did not have the ability to be instantly connected to people across the globe through so many different mediums, such as social media platforms and messaging apps, and, let’s not forget, email.
Maybe I’m old fashioned, or maybe too easily overwhelmed, but I honestly don’t think that we were designed to be “on” and connected as much as we are today. It’s like we’re always plugged in, and we never get a chance to fully unplug. (Side Note: speaking of unplugged, I’ll be creating an Unplugged Tiny Retreat this year where we can do just that.) And now back to the topic at hand. There’s always an unread email, or, let’s be honest, sometimes hundreds of unread emails. There’s always a little red notification bubble attached to several of our phone apps. We have missed calls and voicemails. And they are always there, until you take the time to address them in some way. It’s like we have a constant backlog of to-do’s that we can never, ever catch up on.
Sometimes this makes me just want to run off into the forest where no emails or notifications can find me. I know this is not realistic, especially for someone who has a business that is primarily based online. But I can take small actions that help me to bring more calm and ease into my business.
I hope that this episode was helpful for you as you are thinking about your business and how to better curate your space to be sustainable for you and your unique needs.
Before I end, I’m going to share the text from an instagram post I made recently that inspired this podcast episode.
I’m tired of email. So I’m unsubscribing from everything and everyone.
I want email to have a much smaller part in my life and my business. It takes up more of my time than I want it to, so I’m making some changes.
-My unsubscribe has no meaning attached to it. I’ll still be keeping up with my friends and colleagues here on social media.
-This is not me telling you not to send me emails. Far from it. I’m always happy to read emails from genuine souls, so send them on! It’s more about me changing my boundaries and my relationship to email.
-This is not me saying that I’m ditching email all together. Far from it. Email will still be an integral part of my business. But I’m being more intentional about how I’m using email (instead of allowing email to use me).
ACORN (Tarot Card Pull)
Welcome to the acorn segment. With each solo episode I’ll be drawing a tarot card to help provide some magickal inspiration and insight.
The card for this episode is the Eight of Swords.
I’ll describe the card for those of you who may not be familiar. This card features a woman who is standing on the ground with small, shallow pools of water. She is blindfolded and loosely bound. There are 8 swords suck in the ground around her.
Words associated with this card are self-imposed imprisonment and victim mindset.
You may have been feeling as though you are trapped or limited in some way. Or you may have had negative thoughts cross through your mind that you are worthless. Or maybe you are feeling really scared and afraid to move forward.
This card is showing that you can overcome all of this if you get out of your head and stop being so hard on yourself. You can also take some initiative and stand up for yourself. And most importantly, you need to see your own worth.
The woman in this card is not as trapped as she initially appears to be. She can free herself of the bindings by using a nearby sword. She can remove her blindfold. And she can walk away. There’s no need for her to stay imprisoned.
Remember that you are not powerless, and you can create your own good fortune.
I’ll post a picture of the card along with the message today on my instagram @mountainpracticejourneys so head on over and let me know if this message resonates with you at this time.
Thank you so much for joining me today. For episode 84 I’ll be chatting with Arianna Smith of The Copy Cove on how to develop a cozy, introvert-friendly writing routine for your business.
If you haven’t yet listened to Episode 82, I urge you to do that. In that episode I talked with Maegan Megginson about the topic of lifestyle creep. And while you’re at it start with Episode 81, as that’s when Maegan and I began our conversation about rest as revenue.
I’m truly grateful that you choose to join me here for practical, nature-based, magickal support for your business and life. For more inspiration and to see what I’m up to, join me over on instagram @mountainpracticejourneys If you’re enjoying yourself here, please head over to Apple Podcasts and hit those 5 stars and I’ll be over the moon. If you’d like to work with me, join me in Forestmind, my cozy, supportive, small-group mastermind for introverted, highly sensitive solopreneurs who help and heal. And I’d love to see you at a Tiny Retreat sometime. May the forest be with you.
I Want You To Be Successful In Business & In Life!
Starting, growing, and maintaining a business is a big deal. It's super-exciting and super-scary all at the same time. I created Mountain Practice Journeys to support you through the difficult and muddy terrain, and to celebrate with you when you have reached each summit of the many mountains you will conquer on your journey.
Happy Climbing, Cindy