Category: General

You have my complete, divided attention

Have you ever noticed what’s going through your mind during conversations? Are you listening or are you wondering what the person speaking meant? Are you wondering whether those listening might be judging you? Are you just waiting to jump in and tell a story of your own?

A more modern possibility – are you (surreptitiously) looking at your smart phone?

How many times during a day do you do just one thing at a time?

Learning to listen

My recent procrastination slump got me thinking.

I was wondering what was beneath the surface. I expected to experience fear caused by resistance to change because I was making a big step into a new way of living but I felt that there was something else going on.

A recent event clarified things for me and I realised that something else was mixed in – feelings brought about by choosing an approach which was not quite right for me.

The result of this mixture of feelings was procrastination. I know a lot of that was down to resistance to change, resistance to moving away from the way I am now to a different and as yet unknown way. Changing from the person I was in the past and to an unknown future me.

We all fear the unknown so the source of that kind of fear was clear.

But what about that other bit? The ‘this is not quite the right option for me’ part. How did I miss that? How do I notice that in the future?

Well, there were signs that I could have noticed – if I had been listening.

My body, my self was trying to express something which I did not have an expression for in words or in tangible thought. But I had a feeling. Something felt wrong.

I had been listening on many channels but the one channel that the information was available through was the channel I was trying very hard to silence because this channel felt darned uncomfortable. And that was the point!

Getting Started

So here I am on the edge of the spreading expanse of gorgeous, beautiful countryside which is my new career and way of life. And what do I feel most like doing?

Finding a cottage with a real fireplace to go and sit in, closing the curtains so I don’t have to see the large, open, scary space in front of me. Which is absolutely, insanely wonderful but currently scaring the sh*t out of me.

Years ago, when I was doing jobs which left me feeling engaged but unfulfilled I dreamt of this place I am in now. Looking at it from that end I just didn’t expect it to feel like this.

I pictured joy, lightness, freedom, enthusiasm, relief. At this moment I noticed that I could not see those things for negative self-talk, distractions, procrastination and inertia.

Inertia was the word which helped me. FM Alexander writes:

“…in all such efforts to apprehend and control mental habits, the first and only real difficulty is to overcome the preliminary inertia of mind”*

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