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”*
I know a ‘mind’ can’t really exhibit Newton’s laws of motion but it really, really feels like it.
I needed to think differently.
I almost always resort to books and reading when I have something to work on or think through. I let myself be drawn to the answers. And I read.
I read ‘Daring Greatly’* and appreciated the honestly and love and understanding and started being gentler with myself – in my head, you understand, I had not yet reached physical self-flagellation, but the negative thoughts were really detrimental.
I read ‘The Spark’* and was inspired by the humanity and massive productivity within it.
I started to read ‘The Happiness Project’* and was reminded yet again of the importance and effectiveness of doing small things and doing things a bit at a time.
I was beginning to feel like I could start to contemplate the ‘countryside’ aka ‘my new life vista’.
Then I got a sinus infection. Wham! Out of it for a week. This was when I started to groggily read ‘Mind Over Medicine’* and put my attention on thinking myself better.
I read blogs too*, and found a colleague’s particularly helpful to stop the broken record in my mind with the negative vibe. Alex Bollag wrote a blog post about stopping procrastination. It helped me to know that someone else, someone I knew, was able to experience this and they could overcome it and I felt ‘hurray! I’m not alone!’.
So I gathered what I had learned and paused in my reading to apply it.
First I tidied up. I usually find this relaxing and somehow preparatory. Also, in The Happiness Project, Rubin writes about being uplifted and restored by clearing clutter. I needed to start with a simple task needing little energy and an immediate result. It did the job.
Then I rested and had lunch (this was really quite a lot more than I had done in a week and I still had a painful head and felt overly hot for the amount of exertion).
After lunch I decided to another task inspired by The Happiness Project ‘tackle a nagging task’. I had a few. I picked one.
Then I did another two!
I was getting moving so I thought I would capitalise on it.
One of the nagging tasks I’d been procrastinating about was launching a blog. OK, I see that the first item of month three in ‘The Happiness project’ is “launch a blog”.
I thought, what better way to start off this blog with a post about getting started?
I had found it difficult to begin this blog because I could not think of a satisfactory first post.
One of the important things that The Happiness Project reminded me of is that action precedes motivation. I had been in a procrastinating slump for a bit and had just forgotten about this (it’s also talked about in Feeling Good* which I read a few years ago).
So here I am beginning to talk about my life of continuous change and continuous learning by applying the principles of the ITM Alexander Technique – and now I’m excited 🙂
*Man’s Supreme Inheritance, FM Alexander
*Daring Greatly, Brenee Brown
*The Spark, Kristine Abbott
*The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin
* Mind Over Medicine, Lissa Rankin
* Feeling Good, the new mood therapy, David D. Burns