blogging, rest, self-judgement

Permission to be seen as boring

I’ve written recently about the permission that I’ve given myself to relax instead of being directed by what I think I ‘should’ do. This practice has been so helpful in my home life – it’s enabled me to let go and truly relax – but I have to say that this weekend has really challenged me. I’m on a weekend away with a group of friends and have at moments felt lacking as I’ve found myself unable to keep up with the antics and energy of the group.

I’ve asked myself where this feeling comes from – why do I feel so lacking? I think it’s due to the ‘shoulds’ that I’m feeling around being sociable.

should be able to keep up with everyone.

should be more at ease in a big group.

should be funner than I am.

But if I listened to my heart and did what I truly needed to do, I would just relax and find moments of quiet and peace during this time. And to do this, I think that I need to give myself permission to be seen as boring, which sits really uncomfortably with me.

I don’t know why being seen as boring is so hard to take…I’ve never been anything but accepted by the friends I’m with.

Perhaps it’s because I’m pregnant and out of my depth with this new dynamic of being the sober one or perhaps it’s because there are some new people here this weekend and I want them to think that I’m kind, friendly and outgoing. But I’m beginning to think that maybe that person isn’t me; at least the outgoing bit isn’t me. I’m more of an introvert. And that’s ok because being an introvert doesn’t make me boring. It’s not a judgement call.

I mean, some people may find me boring, but I don’t want my worthiness to be defined by the opinions of others – my worthiness is something I define and own.

So I’m going to give myself permission to be seen as boring. To finish this blog and then go read my book snuggled in bed. To go out for dinner with everyone else but be ok with coming back and having an early night if I want to.

It still feels uncomfortable to sit with being boring, but it also feels right. For the truth is that I don’t want to live my life looking for the approval of others so I’ll risk being seen as boring in order to embrace, love and accept who I truly am.

cropped-cropped-ctl-logo-01.jpg

blogging, rest, truth

This is normal

I’m back from my holidays – straight back into the rush and hustle of my life – and am reminded of a conversation I had with my midwife at an appointment a few weeks ago.

I shared with her how I might need to slow down for my own sanity as things have been so busy recently. And she surprised me with her response. Instead of agreeing and telling me to slow down, she said:

I used to think that I was just going through a busy time and waited for everything to slow down…until I realised that the ‘busy’ was normal. It was part of my life.

And I felt something click as I saw her experience mirrored in my life.

You see, I keep on having the expectation that something will change – that this ‘busyness’ will one day stop by itself – when really it’s just how things are.

And so where does this leave me?

Because I’m certainly not happy to just accept that this is my life and to continue on this ever speeding-up merry-go-round existence but nothing will change unless I do something differently.

And here are my thoughts about what I might do.

How I react

After the first day of my coaching course, I can see that part of me reacts to this level of busyness from a child ego state:

“It’s not fair! Why is my life so busy! Why won’t people just leave me alone and stop expecting so much from me!”

I know this isn’t right – I’m the one who accepts the engagements, makes the plans and puts the level of expectation on myself…and so I’m the one who can take the choice to react differently – consciously, appropriately – to the situation.

Choices

I know deep down that I need to make different choices – having this level of busyness in my life isn’t how I want to live. I’ve written about this so much before on this blog that you’re probably sick of hearing me and unless I make different choices, I will always experience life in the same way.

The choices aren’t necessarily huge ones that need to made. I’m talking about small incremental changes.

This may show up as not squishing things into every moment of my life – I’ve done this by asking my mum if we can speak on Monday instead of speaking tonight I am tired and unfocused. Or it may be taking some decisions about whether I’ll accept invitations and make plans (or not) based on what truly matters to me in life.

Motivation

I also feel it’s important to recognise what is behind the behaviour that leads me to feel so busy and overwhelmed:

  • Wanting to please others by doing what I think they want
  • Lack of foresight – accepting different invites without considering all the other things going on in my life
  • FOMO – a fear that something awesome is going to happen without me being there
  • Not communicating my needs or expressing my expectations

I’m not saying these things to be down on myself but because I know I need awareness to bring about change.

Where does this leave me? 

I know I’ve been like a cracked record, dear friend, writing so frequently about being overwhelmed and how I need things to change…and I feel something changing.

A resolve in myself to now move to action. A refusal to push things down and keep on going despite feeling overwhelmed. A determination to not put any of the expectations I carry onto my son.

A whisper coming from inside me that I can be free – that there is another way to live.

And with that, there is hope. There is a promise of what could be. A life with more space, more joy, more presence. A life with greater courage, truth and love.

cropped-cropped-ctl-logo-01.jpg

blogging, eating disorder, recovery, rest, Wellbeing

Pace

This is my first free weekend in quite some time, and the first day that I have not many plans besides meeting a good friend for coffee. I feel jittery inside, like I’ve been running at a speed for quite some time and am not sure how to slow down and find a slower pace in my life.

It’s like I have become accustomed to going at 100 miles an hour and although it’s not a comfortable speed to keep up, it’s the speed I had settled into.

Constantly on, busy in and out of work, lurching between being highly of alert or dead to the earth in sleep.

I know I wasn’t calm or content (and geez, you’re probably sick to death from hearing about it in the numerous posts I’ve written complaining about how full my life is!). I know that the speed wasn’t sustainable. But at the same time, I’m not sure how to go slower.

In the past, I would either write a long list for myself of things that I needed to do during the day, keeping up the busyness in solitude, or I would eat away the day to push down the jittery feeling of trying to find a new speed.

And I don’t want to do either of these things.

I have to say how deep my relief and gratitude is that food no longer holds the same sway in my life today as it has in the past. Yet still I’m unsure how to find a new pace.

I think over what I could do – things I’ve explored here on this blog before with you, dear friend. Spending time playing my ukulele, putting on a face pack, using my oracle cards, watching a film, reading a book…and there are some things that I need to do as well – shopping for suntan lotion and packing for my upcoming holidays to Hawaii!!!

But I still feel like I’m coming down from a high, and I suppose I am – coming down from the adrenaline that has been pumping through my body over the past months.

And there is something to be gained in recognising this experience for what it is – coming down from the high, sinking into the itchy, twitchy, discomfort of finding this new, slower pace.

And there’s also something in remembering what I wrote in my recent blog post about being in the moment. I don’t need to know that today will be a ‘success’ or that I’ll be able to ‘cope’ or have a ‘productive’ day – these are all judgements of what I think I should do. I just need to be here, now, writing this post to you…and when this is done, move onto what instinctually feels right for me. I don’t need to have a plan for the day, or accomplish anything, or feel like the day has achieved something.

I just want to settle into this new, slower pace. To be in the moment and replenish myself. To rest and recuperate. And that can be enough for today.

cropped-cropped-ctl-logo-01.jpg

blogging, rest, self-discovery, truth, Wellbeing

It’s that simple – part 2

Happy Saturday, dear friend! I was asking myself what I wanted to write to you about this morning and I suddenly thought that I often write about thoughts I’m having and changes I want to make, but I rarely report back on how my thoughts have led to shifts in my life.

So today I want to follow on from the post I wrote yesterday – it’s that simple – and tell you about what happened.

As a brief recap, I was feeling overwhelmed yesterday by how tired I was and didn’t feel that I was going to cope well with the day ahead. That was until I asked myself how I wanted to feel (rested) and identified what I needed to do in the day to feel that way.

So how did my day turn out? Pretty damn good!

I asked my husband to give me a lift to the station so I didn’t have a 30 minute walk and could get into work earlier (meaning my working day would be less rushed). He saw I was struggling and when we arrived at the station, he got out and gave me a huge bear hug. It immediately made me feel so much better.

When I got into work, I told my colleagues that I wanted to go for a lunchtime nap and asked them to keep me accountable for taking the break. Another colleague wanted someone to tell her to go home on time at 4:30, so it was nice to have someone to be accountable with. And the nap, it was sooooooo lovely! I didn’t sleep, but enjoyed the 30 minutes of calm, of quiet, of deep breathing. I felt less rushed and had greater focus for the afternoon ahead.

I had been worried about being the party pooper as we have friends staying this weekend and I knew I needed an early night to feel properly rested for the weekend and week ahead. Despite my fears, I knew I needed to put myself first and so I tentatively floated the idea that I needed to have an early night. And by stating what I needed, another person was also able to say that they might be up for an early night too. I feel that being true to myself and stating my needs allowed someone else to be themselves and state what they also needed.

From waking up grumpy, overwhelmed and upset, the day turned out pretty well!

And what did I learn?

  • Asking for help – whether it’s a lift somewhere or something bigger – is not a weakness, it’s part of life.
  • It’s easier to follow through with what you need if you’re accountable to someone else
  • Being authentic and true to myself can give space for others to be authentic and true to themselves too

I want to be more attuned to myself – life is so much easier this way! So let’s try to listen to what we need this weekend, follow the desires of our heart and marvel at how life is easier when we ask ourselves what we need.

cropped-cropped-ctl-logo-01.jpg