to rest when I feel like it, to go to the park for a walk when I want to, to work only when I really want to, to get up when I want to? I have been experimenting with this for the last few years, and I can report nothing but positive results so far. I have been throwing out the idea of what I think I ‘should’ be doing, and doing what feels right in each moment.
A lot of fear came up initially. What if I never felt like working? What if I get behind in my work? I listen to them and they still scream at me sometimes, but I have been determined to follow ‘The Force’ instead, and do what feels right to me. So there are times when I lie on the sofa for 5 hours during normal working hours, and times when I stay up late designing. I hardly ever do what I don’t want to do any more.
And guess what, my productivity has gone through the roof. Quite the opposite of what my fears suggested would happen. They said it would be a disaster.
This experiment has come with the realisation that its perfectly okay to care for myself, to look after my needs and to feel compassion and love and respect for myself. Now I hardly ever decide what I am going to do next. It just happens, there is barely any planning, and yet it all gets done and very little if anything is forgotten. I am relatively free from worry, which occupied a lot of space before. And I forgot much more when I was a worrier.
It is not that the worries go away exactly, they still have a voice and I do listen to them, softly, gently. ‘It’s okay’ I say to them, ‘everything is alright’. I soothe them.
Freedom takes a little getting used to. It’s a bit scary at times, and hard to feel grounded when inner shoulds and shouldn’ts have been running the show for so long. But I stuck with it, and now I am much more organised without trying to be, it just happens.
Today the worry voiced concern at the lack of work progress, as I entertained my friend and my mum in the afternoon. I told the worry that it is okay, I can work later and catch up if I want to. The worry wants to find things to worry about even when there isn’t anything to worry about. Its its function to scan for threats in my life and I thank it for its help. I don’t chastise it.
And sometimes it overwhelms me and I am in a state of anxiety, and that is okay too. I feel the suffering as the cortisol enters my bloodstream. I can acknowledge it is present, and rest with it. It is a state of fear, that’s all. Nothing to be upset about. It is the primitive part of the brain that has been stimulated and it will calm down again. No antidotes required, I can just be with it. It is a symptom of following this new way of freedom, it can be edgy at times. Fear finds itself more and more out of a job, and its as if it needs to shout really loudly to try and get me to listen.
Most of the time I stay as present as possible and the fearful thoughts don’t get a chance to root though and give birth to more fear. It is not that I am actively trying to get rid of fear, its just that another way of being is gradually taking its place. Trusting.