In this issue ~~
In the course of our busy lives, even though we may enjoy what we're doing, there come times when some part of us wants to put on the brakes. We suddenly feel sulky and resistant and don't want to do what we feel needs to be done. We may keep trying to force ourselves, but it becomes an inner tug-of-war. Even though we may complete our tasks, we resent that we had to make ourselves do them, much the way our parents and teachers forced us to do things when we were children.
This inner resistance most commonly occurs when you're physically, mentally and/or emotionally tired because 1) you don't like what you're doing and continually force yourself, or 2) you like what you're doing, but tend to overschedule yourself. You cruise along for awhile, pushing yourself through, perhaps thriving on the adrenaline rush and feeling a sense of accomplishment, until you feel like you've hit a wall and just can't go another step. You feel trapped by your own life.
I've come to call the parts of myself that emerge at such times my Inner Brat and Inner Rebel. The Inner Brat is whiny and sullen and wants to kick and scream. The Outer Me may even take on her characteristics and become cranky and complaining, perhaps procrastinating and dawdling with unimportant tasks. The Inner Rebel, on the other hand, digs her heels in and refuses to go another step. I may feel angry and resentful, finding ways to avoid what I've set out to do or doing them grudgingly.
One way to deal with the Inner Brat or Rebel, initially, is to give in to them. Throw yourself a "pity party." Allow yourself to kick and scream and complain – for a brief time; you don't want this to become a habit. Give yourself time to do the thing you've been dying to do, but putting off because of all the "more responsible" things you have to do. Take a day, or a week, and totally indulge yourself. If you fall into category 2 above, you'll then be able to go back to your work and do it with renewed passion.
If the Inner Brat or Rebel tends to show up fairly regularly, though, it's a signal that you'll need to take stronger action, reworking habits and patterns that aren't serving you.
Like the tides, our energies and emotions ebb and flow. There
are times when we're enthused and involved and times when we
need to back off a bit and renew. Allow for these, and find ways
to bring more balance into your daily life, so it doesn't swing
from one extreme to the other. It may be a challenge to let go
of old patterns, but it's worth the effort. You'll still accomplish
a lot and experience more pleasure in what you do.
When you're feeling overwhelmed and resistant, stop. Put everything you don't absolutely have to do in the next few hours (or better yet, the next day or two) on hold. Screen your calls; let your e-mail sit in the in-box. Do something that calms and nurtures your spirit: take a walk or a drive, exercise, read, see an uplifting movie, listen to soft music. Once you're calmed and centered, you'll be able to determine your priorities more clearly than when you're in the midst of mental and emotional clutter.
"Sometimes we feel so worn down by our spirit-breaking, daily grind . . . that we lack the energy and hope needed to reach our goals. The creative process makes demands on us. In and of itself, it can trigger anxiety, conflict, chronic fatigue, and even intense resistance (what I've called the Big R) – the recoil, or withdrawal of energy from obligations. When apathy or restlessness undercut our plans, the Big R is usually lurking close by."
"Abused patience turns to fury."
"Priorities are not written in granite. They need to be flexible and change as we do . . . It takes peace of mind and clarity to recognize and reorder meaningful, personal priorities. Maybe that is why so many of us procrastinate."
"To do nothing is sometimes a good remedy."
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