When there is a list of things you could or should do, yet nothing floats your boat, and there are many things you’d rather do, but you just don’t seem motivated enough or circumstances just don’t seem to be lined up enough to make it happen, what do you do?
My partner told me recently he was in the doldrums. It only lasted about 2 days, but I could see he was there. It’s a tricky place to be, you’re not feeling inspired to take any action yet you don’t want to wallow in any thoughts about your circumstances not lining up in case they take seed and sprout more negatives.
Tonight he talked about this vacillation of feelings he is having about having not enough work and then having too much work (he made the leap to self employment last year). I smiled, asking him which was more helpful, to worry about future work or to be grateful for the work he has and has planned, and in fact to be grateful that not once in his career has he ever been without work.
He smiled, I watched as his energy shifted, then the phone rang, and it was an inquiry about another bathroom renovation, a referral from his last client. “Wow that was quick” I thought.
He’s been shifting gears, his desire is to continue with the renovation work he loves, but to change the smaller jobs into between from tiling to glazing, and he’s a master with frameless glass. So, he stopped chasing small tiling jobs and was still.
Now I don’t mean he stopped working, he’s in the middle of a meaty renovation right now, but he did decide to stop working 7 days a week and take the weekend off. He got himself in the doldrums because, instead of getting out into nature where he would have felt soothed and content, he sat and watched TV instead.
Have you ever noticed how TV saps your energy and dulls your motivation?
Being still is hard to do when your body is used to being on the go all the time. If you can get out in nature, you can keep moving and yet let your mind come to rest at the same time.
I have a friend who recently told me that pounding the streets and walkways around her neighbourhood each day was literally a life saver. She really was quite depressed, having made the decision to switch over from her corporate career to something more fulfilling. Despite a range of work that she had picked up, and much investigation into things that were of interest, that ‘something’ hadn’t yet appeared and she was struggling to make ends meet.
After she started walking, it helped her to come to a place of stillness within herself, peace you might call it, or perhaps surrender. Now she has a part time job doing something worthy that she finds fulfilling. Whether that is her long term ‘thing’ is yet to play out, but it’s better than where she has been lately.
Another friend and I were talking about some issues in our lives, the angst she was feeling over her child’s sleepless nights, my angst over the comforts and escape my kids seek out in too many treats and TV programmes. As we were talking I realised, here we were giving more energy to the problems by focusing on them. Instead, I become conscious we needed to focus on our kids’ wellbeing.
Actually, more accurately, I needed to focus on my own wellbeing. I continue to wonder at the wisdom that pours out when I write and the regularity with which I need to take my own advice. Put your own lifebelt on first, then you are in a position to help others.
I can’t say I was aware of feeling bad as such, except about those issues with the kids, knowing that the long school days are at the heart of it and feeling powerless to change the system in this moment, but the fact I was dwelling on the issue at all is a big indicator I needed to look at my own wellbeing.
My friend commented she’d never heard me angst about anything this much, which I thought must be quite refreshing (as I say, it’s one thing to write wise words but I am in need of my own advice often).
Sure enough, the next day I had the beginnings of a cold, a sure fire sign from my body that it’s feeling overwhelmed. Enough of this I thought, I’m stuck in the weeds and can’t seem to lift myself away from the issues to get some proper perspective. So I booked in time to talk to my mentor, who I knew would amplify back to me the key points of importance within my ramblings.
That act allowed me to be still, to let go of the issues I was mulling and just focus elsewhere for a while. When the time came to talk to my mentor, it was great to rediscover what I already knew, I needed to focus elsewhere, help the kids find their soothing in nature too.
So when you feel so wrapped up in something that they way just isn’t clear, you have to do something else to break the momentum, to come to a place that is still. Just follow your inspiration, do more of the things you love.
Being still is not about doing nothing, it’s a state of mind, a shift in gears, achieved only by creating momentum somewhere else. Take your easiest option, seize whatever opportunity is around you to just get out and breathe in some life, let your body unravel itself and you will find that being still is a place you like to be.
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