For quite a few evenings in a row now, I have seized the opportunity to garden. Although I have enjoyed it, I could feel a certain momentum and frantic energy building. Tonight I paused and took a break. Meditation, snuggle the dog while gazing out at the garden, zentangling. A return to balance and center. A return to smooth, curving, flowing edges.
Noticing when we are pushing and being pulled off center seems like it should be a simple, obvious thing, but it is not. Typically we have had years and years practicing being driven by ‘what needs to be done.’ We have much less experience practicing noticing when this drive is pulling us off center and when we need to pause and let our system recover and rejuvinate. We are great at telling ourselves the story that we have no choice – ‘this deadline has to be met’, ‘my kids need me’, ‘I have to pay the bills’, etc. We are convinced that if we pause, the world will fall apart and we will never achieve what we need or want to do.
As time goes on, I am learning more and more that the exact opposite of this is more true. The more frequently and regularly I pause and just be, the more I am ultimately able to accomplish. I work more efficiently and am more likely to meet deadlines. I am more present and solid for my kids. I am more creative and more likely to generate new ideas for income -generating projects that will pay the bills.
Most of us are so indoctrinated in our workaholic culture that this feels completely counter intuitive. But I challenge you to open yourself to the possibility and give it a try. Start tiny. Pause right here, right now – just long enough to breath in and out three times slowly, doing nothing but watching your breath. After three breaths, shake out your hands, arms and shoulders, and notice how you feel. Energized? Relaxed? Open? Calm? Flowing? Wanting more?
Doing small things has been a theme in my life lately, especially when I feel stuck or overwhelmed or small. I am practicing continuing to break things down into smaller and smaller pieces until there is little enough resistance that I am willing to take action. Sometimes these things are truly tiny – like on the order of moving one piece of paper on my desk, looking up one web address, or adding one email address to a database.
It’s so easy to think, “Whatever, this won’t even make a dent in the bigger project.” But the more of these tiny steps I take, the more I achieve the big things I was so scared and overwhelmed to take on in the beginning.
What tiny thing can you do today to open up a tiny bit of flow in an area where you have felt stuck, scared and/or overwhelmed?
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