Furlough 30 (A Month In)

I didn’t do much today with my novel. Literally two minutes. But this is good because I’m accepting that ANY time spent on writing is time well spent. I struggle with black-and-white thinking with my writing (“If I can’t do four hours, forget it”). So this is a good practice. Plus I always spend about a half an hour writing these posts, so technically I am writing ha!

I slept in today. But it’s the first time I wasn’t beating myself up from it, wrestling with the negative self-hate. I just laid there and asked myself what I was feeling. I did this for the reason of busyness.

Busyness has been a topic on my mind lately. And I wanted to see if I was going towards my writing as a creative interest or was I simply running away from this idea of doing nothing.

And so I took part in what Tara Brach calls the sacred pause. Before I do something knee-jerk, like reaching for a snack, reaching for the remote, or even something I love like working on my novel, I will take a moment, pause, find my breath, and ask myself how I’m feeling. I investigate what it is that I want and why, what the feelings are and whether they serve me.

This is tough. Especially the things that are part of our habits. They’re unconscious. We lose ourselves in the big ones, the old, old ones. Especially ESPECIALLY in times of stress. “Damnit I need a ______!” Boom, there’s an important part of who you are that you’re not even asking yourself why you’re doing it. And there’s nothing wrong with jay, but it isn’t serving you.

What are we doing? What are these reactions to what we do every single day, to keep us distracted, to keep us busy, to keep us motivated?

Because we all have goals and aspirations and tendencies, habits. We all have stories we tell ourselves, over and over, whispered by our conditioning, our unconscious programs. So why not, like the editors and creators we are, sit and ask ourselves “Why does she do that?” like we’re asking ourselves of a scene we’d written?

Especially right now that we’re in quarantine and lockdown.

So I did that this morning. I laid in bed and asked myself every now and then how I was feeling, and the longer I stayed in bed, the worse I felt. At first. I felt I was a bum, that I was being lazy, that I was stupid for wasting this time. Then I felt angry with myself for even sitting here, and that I didn’t want to do this. What the hell!

Then I turned to my body. Where was I feeling this anxiousness? I felt it, not in my chest as fear, but a little bit on my head and body. It was a nervousness just to DO it. I laid back and kept on asking how I was feeling now. Angry, weak, nervous.

Then I asked myself why I wanted to jump in that writing chair and put on that jacket and that hat and become a writer. Was it because of you folks or was it because of me?

The good news is I wanted to; and not only that but putting on my hat and jacket to clock in so to speak for my writing job was a newfound source of pride for me that I didn’t possess even a few months ago. I love this. This is a new adventure for me.

I realized this morning that I will be walking towards my desk instead of running away from not-writing—which is to say the rest of my life. And so the practice of learning and accepting myself and everything about me fuels my love for writing and creativity. It’s amazing.

I felt really good about this morning’s pause. In fact, it was the first time I’d gotten up from sleeping in without snapping out of bed with a cold, burning fear in my chest that I was ‘losing the race’. It was also good because I was reminded constantly by the mentor of my spirit (call it Muse, call it Anti-Ego, call it God. I call him Compass) that I would be okay no matter what I am or am not, do or do not do. In other words, I don’t have to DO or BE anything to be amazing. Just me.

We all have things that we are simply using as distractions to help us cope. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

We all deal with things. We are going through shit. Especially now. But it’s never a bad idea to sit and listen just to see how your mind works, how your body reacts. Especially right before you want to do something you think you need to do.

If you’re interested in checking out Tara Brach, check out her podcasts whatever your platform is. The Sacred Pause comes from her book, ‘Radical Acceptance’. It’s amazing. Check it out here.

Have a great day and remember to pause and breathe. You got this!

Create and Complete!

2 thoughts on “Furlough 30 (A Month In)

  1. So, so true and what I keep needing to tell myself, especially these days. There is no solid list of “shoulds” we need to follow, and if we have one, it would be best to examine each item on that list and figure out why we feel we “should” be doing it. Whether you’re doing something for someone else or someone else’s perception of you, or just for the sake of your own joy, is a question that can be applied to everything. Thanks for the reminder!

    Liked by 1 person

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