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!
There is a recognisable physical parallel here. I know if it hurts to make a movement in a certain way (sit and work at the computer a certain way, climb stairs a certain way… run, walk or dance a certain way…) it makes sense not to do it that way. But it’s easier not to listen to the discomfort.
And in my teaching practice I see students do this as well. Perhaps we’re worried that there is something bigger going on so we push the discomfort ‘under the carpet’ in our minds. Or we think it’s just a niggle and it doesn’t matter. Then over time the niggle develops into something we can’t ignore so easily.
We can change that experience by changing how we respond – both mentally and physically. Mentally, when we experience the first niggle, we can listen to it.
And how about the physical message about my chosen course of action which was not quite right for me? It’s the same process.
I can experience the niggling discomfort and listen to it. I can ask myself ‘What is your body – your self trying to tell you?’ and listen to the response.
The response might not be in the shape that I am expecting it to be in. It might not come on the channel I am expecting and monitoring. It might also be mixed in with other things.
But the more I practice listening and the more I tune in, the clearer the communication will become.
If I also apply my conscious, reasoning mind to the matter the message may well become clearer sooner, rather than later.