Half way through the 20km restrictions of lockdown, I decided to book some downtime in the west Coast of Ireland. I have been doing a mix of relaxing and working from here and the change of scenery is great. The space has really done me the power of good. Inspiration has started to flow. I feel more in form and more in tune with myself. Ideas for classes and retreats, collaborations and other dormant seeds have been awakening and moving in the direction of action. I had been feeling kind of devoid of inspiration in the last few weeks. A bit burned out. Now, I am finally sitting down to write a blog musing thingy.
Disclosure ! – Did you know in order to keep your website relevant and high in the google searches it needs fresh content and blogs are one of the ways to do that! I am learning all the time. Also, I think I could get into this blog writing – it gives me an outlet for all the ideas and ponderings in my head. A type of journaling maybe.
A priest once said to me – ‘there are plenty of indispensable people in the graveyard ‘
I was in court the other day in Ennis for work. When I mentioned after court to a colleague that I was heading back to the coast for a few nights he says ‘ isn’t that amazing that you can go off by yourself and do that?’… I mean I know I am blessed in ways but this kind of got me thinking. Maybe it was because I would do it by myself he was amazed at which is one thing but I also got the sense it was because I would allow myself to go.
Sometimes, I wonder do we allow ourselves enough rest and play and alone time. In order to thrive and be well we need a balance between the work and play.
If you didn’t have to work or any responsibilities – how would you spend your time?
I have observed sometimes a momentum to stress and lots of responsibility – that is hard for people to slow that down or come down in a healthy way from it without a drink or acting out in anger irritability – not really knowing why we are cranky or ill at ease. Attachment to the rat race, to the importance of the job, the responsibilities, believing you are indispensable ( a priest once said to me – ‘there are plenty of indispensable people in the graveyard!‘ he was right!) , punishing ourselves or blind ambition can be at the root of it. Blind it is because life is moving on all the time and your life is a gift to be enjoyed not suffered.
Maybe we feel we don’t deserve a break, some down time, time away from your partner, your kids, your work – time for a laugh, some play some space and uncoiling. Where would that belief come from? Adulting is not for the faint hearted. We accumulate stresses and it is important to release them and let them go or they accumulate further. Not being in tune with yourself and create a whole lot of problems.
Do we keep busy because we can’t be alone with ourselves? Afraid to be on our own in case uncomfortable feelings arise? Do we keep ourselves distracted and busy – keep grinding and nothing uncomfortable will surface. Maybe. Can we let uncomfortable feelings come up and out and release them or face them. Take time for yourself to notice how you are feeling and what is going on in your inner landscape.
Or maybe our partner and family won’t let us get away – guilting us, making us feel selfish if we seek time alone. And we allow that. Or we have no partner or friend available to go with us and are to uncomfortable to go alone. It all comes back to you – and what is going on inside. It is important to stop and notice what is going on with you. Take a break if you need. Take a day off. Don’t wait until you get sick enough to justify time off – people do that, a lot.
Do we keep busy because we can’t be alone with ourselves?
I have definitely not minded myself when I should have. Pushed too far. Why we are so hard on ourselves? It seems to me a lot of people are waiting to retire or something to happen in the future before they will allow themselves to enjoy their life. Meanwhile, life is moving on. Maybe it is time to sit with our pain and discomfort. Face our demons and then banish them. Get on with living. Do the work on ourselves we are avoiding.
The summer solstice approaches and this is when the energies of the earth are at their most expansive. The sun is at it’s highest. The longest day of the year 2021. Already. We have emerged from the introspective winter, the lockdowns, the germinating spring, the joyful fertility of Bealtaine in May and here we are. It is mid- summer. I just love this time of year and the long days and milder weather ( not necessarily sunny!)
Ok I could focus on that also meaning that each day from the solstice means that the daylight begins to decrease (eek!) BUT isn’t that the nature of life – we meet the sun at it’s highest and then at it’s lowest. Nature knows best. When we work hard then we need to rest and play and restore. To embrace the polarities of life. For that elusive balance.
With the solstice we are on the cusp again heading towards the autumn again – eek!
Can you sit with yourself, be alone and meet what might surface for you? Accepting whatever is there light or dark. We are all the same at the end of the day. We have the same worries, doubts, fears and vulnerabilities. Maybe you go to talk to a professional do or some movement therapy – whatever feels right – you deserve to thrive. Not dealing or avoiding keeps us stuck.
If you didn’t have to work or any responsibilities – how would you spend your time? If you can start to think it you can turn 1 degree in the direction of it and you are already on your way (Martha Beck ‘The Way of Integrity’ is a marvelous book and she talks about this 1 degree shift – I highly recommend this book if you are in crisis) I really know this to be true. Take a step. Just 1 degree.
Allow yourself off the hook. Can you go on a date with yourself? If you have a partner, leave them behind! Whether that be a day at the beach or a walk around the block or a cosy afternoon with a book or a weekend away for some introspection ( I am not thinking busy nail salon or hair salon or the pub!) Everyday we lose loved ones who were waiting to live, to retire, to buy the house, meet the guy, save the money –
No more waiting – you deserve a break, some fun some play a break, some ‘me time’. After a long 14 months of lockdown- let’s have some fun and live!
Advance with courage,