With Thanksgiving this month, it is the easiest time of year to focus on gratitude. So to make it a daily practice and something I would like to continue throughout the year, I plan to write a blog post every day this month about something I am grateful for.
So in this exercise, the me of the future writes a letter to me in the present.
She is exactly where I want to be in my business. (Do I even know where that is?)
What advice would she give me?
What would she tell me to stop doing?
What would she tell me to start doing?
What else would she tell me?
The reality of being a human and living with other humans, is that there are parts of life that are painful. There’s no way to avoid it, but what is avoidable is the additional suffering that we add on. Knowing the difference can cause a shift out of unnecessary worry and rumination; shame and blame. Understanding these two types of emotional pain can help you live a more peaceful life.
Although these bricks still weigh me down I can notice them, and begin to question if I need to keep carrying them over time.
I am sure there are bricks that I am not even aware of yet. And that’s okay. I can regularly do this exercise and discover the bricks that are there, finding new ones, releasing more and more over time.
As long as I continue to stay aware, I can simply trust that when those bricks are ready to be released they will become heavy enough to get my attention. I will become aware of those bricks as I am meant to.
So why am I telling you all of this?
Because on that day in 2001 I didn’t think I would survive. I couldn’t see how that was possible given the events that had transpired. The emotions were overwhelming.
But I did survive. I survived the first 21 minutes. Then 21 hours. Then 21 days. Then 21 weeks. Then 21 months. Then 21 seasons. Then 21 years. I am still surviving. But I can do more than just survive.
And even though I don’t do it perfectly, that’s okay. It continues to be a work in progress. I have learned how to allow feelings. All the feelings.
Love, joy, frustration, anger, madness, happiness, wonder, guilt, sorrow, sympathy, compassion, regret, agony, grief, fascination, awe, sadness, disappointment, tenderness, kindness, worry, confusion, gratitude, empathy, anxiety, depression, relief, contentment, resentment, bitterness, hopelessness, peace, comfort, safety, powerlessness, despair, blessed, protected, alone, silently supported, heartbroken, renewed, hopeful…… and on and on and on.
Mental weight is an accumulation of those things that “weigh” on your mind. This could include things such as what you are worried about, procrastinating on, and feeling anxious towards.
As I was thinking of The Declaration of Independence this weekend, I started to formulate my own Declaration of Independence.
What independence am I asserting for myself right now? What are my “grievances” that need to be formally adopted? Who do I need to tell?
The exciting part for me is that I don’t really need to tell anyone, and yet here I am telling you. 🙂
So in very rough-draft form, here is the beginning of my own personal Declaration of Independence. Really it is just the formative thoughts that will lead to my declaration. These are the areas of independence I am creating for myself:
When we see the world in some unspoken standard of excellence that we or those around us are not meeting in some way, we tend to focus on the lack and think that there is something wrong with us.
….. more than likely you have something in your life that you are not making progress towards. And more than likely it has to do with the stories your brain is telling you about your progress or lack thereof.
tray myself as any type of expert that can solve your problems if I readily admit that I have my own problems?
I have decided that it is better to risk looking like “not an expert” than not showing up as my authentic self. I open myself up for possible criticism and judgment, but the other side of that is I can show up for myself in ways that I didn’t in the past.
Often our laziness is a result of the thoughts we have about the work that we think we need to do or want to do. In the process we come up with invalid reasons for not doing it. We call it “rest” ahead of time because we predetermine the difficulty that awaits us while we are really creating a greater amount of stress from our procrastination. This in turn makes us work harder to complete projects on a designated timeline.
But what if we didn’t have to create that sense of stress to accomplish things? What if we just determined that we could finish the task and then rest?