Today I’m taking a break; a break from everything that has been taking up my time. Although it probably seems like we’ve all been “taking a break” since around March, in many ways our lives have been engulfed. We hear we need to mask up but that masks really don’t work. We are told to social distance but are learning just how much damage isolation and loneliness are causing in society. We’re told that American elections and free and fair, but this year’s was anything but. What to do, what to do?
Stop. Just stop.
Thank you Courtney Carver. The “Be More with Less” guru is spot on and I’m taking her word for it today. I changed my mind on an outdoor activity, I’m tuning out, and I’m letting go. I’m stopping.
Stop overextending yourself
Stop saying yes when you want to say no
Stop proving yourself
Stop making excuses
Stop doubting yourself
All wise words from Carver, to which I’m adding:
It’s hard though, right? It’s officially the holiday season and pressure is building. Pressure to create the perfect holidays in the midst of a pandemic and in the absence of many family members, and pressure to accept and adapt. It ain’t happening people. Not much will be the same this year and things are sure to only get worse before they get better.
My yoga instructor posted that pic recently and I loved it. Her caption was “Become aware of the stories you are telling yourself. Would you speak that way to a dear friend?” Brilliant.
It’s time to tend to your own personal garden and plant seeds of hope not doubt; flowers not weeds…in your minds and in your hearts. It’s time to think about what’s important to you, not what others think should be important. Carver is big on boundaries and reminds us that we still get to decide where our attention goes despite the world yelling at us to “watch this,” “think this,” scroll through all of this,” and “feel this.” Stop. Stop caving and start caring less about what other people think of you. Take care of self.
Today, in the middle of the week and on a day I’d normally have scheduled, I’m taking care of self. It’s what I need as an introvert. In fact, just this past week I learned that introverts are actually energized by solitude and are recharged from the inside out, from ideas, and from feelings. Author Adam McHugh takes it a bit further by saying introverts, much like geysers, find power from underneath and often hidden places. Today my friends, I’m Old Faithful!
Maybe the universe is screaming at you too to slow down, stop, and say no. Remind yourself that “enough” is a decision, not an amount. Have you had enough? Then instead of striving to more done, strive to have less to do. Take the time and ask yourself why you’re so focused on staying busy. What are you trying to prove and who are you trying to prove it to? As Carver writes, when proving becomes the point of doing, it’s often not worth doing at all. So, instead of proving you’re amazing, just be amazing. Instead of proving you’re right, live right. Instead of proving your life, just live.
Another thing I’m trying to let go of is anger. I’ve been feeling a lot of that lately and come to find out that as we grow older, anger often shows up. Truth be told, today’s headlines are enough to make even the most optimistic a bit angry, but even in the tamest of times, it’s common as we age. Psychology tells us that we get our wounds early in life but when we’re young, our energy and dreams are still growing and within reach. Anger and bitterness emerge later when the full brunt of wounds, hurts, and life’s perceived unfairness hit us hard. We may be more mature, but we may also be more full of disappointment and resentment at “what could have and should have been.” Say no and let it go. Become more mellow and gracious in spirit. We are coming upon what we call THANKSgiving after all. What are you thankful for?
During the current election, Joe Biden warned us that we were about to go into a “dark winter,” but before winter approaches, I’m saying “no” to his darkness and reveling in fall; my favorite season. And just like trees shed their leaves, I too am shedding. I may not be shedding leaves and branches, but rather despair and control, busyness and compromising. As the trees let go of their leaves, I will try to let go of the past and hope for relief, renewal, and rejuvenation to grow and blossom. And maybe a miracle or two.