The problem with this, aside from a persistent sense that I'm playing some sort of warped game of Russian roulette with my own free will and energy, is that it leaves messes and unfinished jobs which often require additional time and work later on not only to clean up the messes but to figure out where I was in the process. And sometimes, mess begets more mess. Sometimes, stuff gets ruined or lost. In practical terms, it looks like this: I go outside feeling motivated and decide to trim the hedges. I'm very focused, committed, motivated and I cut LOTS of bushes and branches. I put them in piles, with good and pure intentions of picking up the piles and putting them in yard bags when I'm done trimming. (You see where this is going, right?) After the switch has been flipped, it’s entirely possible for the piles, bags and possibly even the clippers, rake and garden gloves to end up exactly where I left them for days, weeks or longer. Either I never regain enough motivation to complete the task or I don't even remember - out of sight, out of mind. Evidence of this uncompleted project might not come into my sight of vision or mind until the following spring, after the snow has melted. (Yeah, neighbors love this.)
If you’ve never used this strategy before and decide to give it a try, let me know if it helps!
Sometimes, delusion and denial can serve us for a time; often, we need it to keep us safe and functioning. At some point, though, it just keeps us stuck. And when we feel paralyzed or stuck and know we've been hiding (either from others or from ourselves) it's likely time to look within to see if there is something(s) we are resisting or at least failing to acknowledge. Since what we resist persists, and also robs us of precious energy, the first and most important action is to truly acknowledge that we have, in fact, been resisting, denying, ignoring or otherwise not dealing with what we know is so. There is simply no real movement before we take this step. Even if doing this feels really icky, painful, uncomfortable and heavy, it will weigh much less than denying its existence and carrying it around, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. What is that it? Whatever IT is for you. We will all have more than one it throughout our lives. It will change and/or recur. And I submit that we cannot actually hit bottom until we wake up and own whatever it is we've been squashing down because IT has been squashing us down too.
Your own hitting bottom need not necessarily involve drugs or alcohol, near-death, serious injury, hospitalization, incarceration, or homelessness, but sometimes it is that stark. It doesn't have to be. Bottom for you may just be the day you look up and say, "How the hell did I get here and who is this person who looks like me but isn't?" If you do find yourself in that place, after you go through whatever personal process is needed, then it's time to celebrate, because if you've determined that you've "hit rock bottom", there is only one way to go from there! Perhaps you could put on some music and rock YOUR bottom!
I don’t know about you, but I’m very grateful for any reminder to just breathe, be present and to simply notice and appreciate the little things in life. When you think about it, what else is there? And, being present to what is as much as we can is not mutually exclusive with having hope and vision for the future or planning as necessary. The problem is that when we spend much more time in the past and the future than in the present, we aren't truly experiencing our lives. On the flip side, having a dependence on staying in the moment to avoid dealing with the icky stuff in our lives also creates problems. Like everything else, it's about finding the right balance.
If you need a bit of evidence about the benefits and power of staying present, try this little exercise:
Recall a few specific times in your life when you felt pure joy. Just think of moments in time. They can be recently, long ago or anywhere in-between. I predict that you'll find they were often, if not always, when you were completely present and aware right in that moment.
- CLEAN UP AS YOU GO
- ON CONQUERING PROCRASTINATION
- Rock Your Bottom?
- MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR SUMMER
- From SCARED to SACRED
- NO MORE RESOLUTIONS!
- BACK TO WORK
- GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION
- OCTOBER IS ADHD AWARENESS MONTH!
- DID YOU KNOW...