Procrastination Part 2 and Resistance to Happiness

Coming here and writing was a big help yesterday. It is often helpful for clarifying and clearing the mind, and I benefit from thinking out loud. It helps to know that a few people are reading it too, so thank you very much.

After writing here I emailed the clients waiting with an update and I did the piece of work that I had been dreading. Whizzed through it without any problem. That’s good, though I noticed no massive sense of relief or anything, it’s just one bit of the last stage of a process.

It was pricing a project, detailed work with figures which doesn’t come naturally. It also carries a big risk that I underprice it or miss something out by mistake. And there is the very real possibility the client will reject the price. I know it is not personal at all yet It is still a ‘no’ and I prefer ‘yes’s’! And I have nobody to check it for me either, it’s all up to meeeee 😂 the responsibility of it. I’m fine with that, taking full responsibility is part of the training of being alive. So yes, there’s some anxiety around it.

And that explains a lot about procrastination for me, and just requires being fully honest about the feelings of anxiety that comes up. Once I was honest about that, I automatically found myself just doing it without much thought.

So yesterday’s suggestion that there was a reluctance to feel happy from completing the work is a small element of the whole story.

That’s not to say that there isn’t resistance to happiness. I have noticed that comes up a lot as I have become happier, and I think any fear around happiness seems to be a combination of things.

1. It is unknown territory. While happy is the most natural state in the world early on in life, for me anyway, there was considerable unhappiness around me as a child and later a whole world of adult concerns somehow took over. Struggle states became more normal and happiness states became quite short and fleeting.

2. Habituated to Struggle. That became the norm. And included in that was all the spiritual seeking. An addiction to finding a next better moment, solving it all, finding a more wise insight, or a great book. Happiness was not particularly savoured or even looked for daily. Except in nature where it felt safe to be happy.

3. Filtering life through thought. Struggle activates concern which stimulates thought and soon all is experienced through the running commentary of the mind. Intimacy with the experiences in the present becomes more rare. Then more scary as we start to feel a little or a lot unprotected experiencing life directly in the raw without the intermediary of the mind interpreting for us.

4. Letting go is required. Bridling the untamed mind is next and a must do. Notice and let go of thoughts as they arise and realise most are not true. Just a self protective reflex. A still space inside becomes apparent and entered into more often.

5. Continuous letting go is practised with everything. Reactions, preferences, aversions, feelings, thoughts, memories and plans. Letting go becomes a way of being, of living.

6. Dealing with the arisings. Letting go opens us up to what is being held onto, these arise and are given space to be there and be seen. Some can be painful neglected parts inside, beliefs, unhealed hurts, feelings, false narratives, conditioning. Profound new perspectives of understanding can arise as our narrative and life story aligns more accurately with cause and effect. Compassion for self and others increases. The arisings, fears and blocks are loved and let go of as they appear. This leaves space which can feel like a kind of tension or intensity. There’s a temptation to break the intensity but if it can be held, then it expands us out and out.

7. Happiness and a playful spontaneity arise naturally more as fears are let go of and dissipate naturally. As if they we waiting for an opportunity to come out and be expressed.

8. Fears can return. The ego doesn’t like losing its territory. It made itself to protect us, to try and fashion a separate individual out of nothing. For the ego, the separate self, finding out that it isn’t really there is disturbing to it and to any part of the psyche invested in the idea that the core identity is this garment that was weaved around the awareness, rather than the consciousness itself. So there’s kickback and attempts to recover that lost ground. Which it never had of course because it doesn’t really exist!

My friend P in the glorious display of Rhododendrons

So yesterday was a walk with an old friend P which was lovely, and then another friend, M. Mixed feelings about that. He is losing his mind to these conspiracy theories. I feel more and more distanced and decided not to go to see his new friends who are all of that thinking today with him. I don’t want to be in the car on a long journey with no escape. Sigh.

But it was also nice to have a long walk in the trees, and lunch in the rain under the big umbrellas. I seem to find it hard to let go of people. Once I connect deeply, there’s a loyalty, that carries on way past it’s sell by date. Him in particular. Lot of nonsense on the surface but the inner connection is there. So it’s perhaps timely that he is leaving, the outer nonsense is going to start causing harmony problems.

Then after a spell here at the flat, to the garden allotment and a little working with the plants and chatting to the neighbours kids.

Today I’m off to see a potential new client and have a meeting with my 2 therapist friends on zoom. The mood is pretty stable. A maintenance diet period now, and using the tools I know, the breathing, posture, exercise, good food, gratitude, savouring the moment, and kindness towards myself and others.

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