I have given myself a time frame of 3/4 hr to write a blog about not hustling…
What I do know will happen in this space of time, will be exactly what needs to happen.
Life cannot be rushed.
Insight cannot be hustled out of you.
Our recent collective storm
Fortunately I’ve been pondering this very topic for the past couple of weeks as it has shown up in my life and the lives of my counselling clients.
I’ve had my ear to the ground so to speak, listening quietly to beautiful stories of being more, rather than doing more whilst facing challenging circumstances.
These I’ve noticed with childlike curiosity to buffer me from the collective storm we’ve recently faced; fires, Christmas, school holidays, disruption, anxiety and new year/new decade pressures.
On the lead up to the Christmas holidays many of us imagined some quiet downtime where we could rest our weary bodies and minds. For the majority of us, that didn’t happen as planned and our senses still feel raw.
Are you feeling raw too?
No doubt you’ve been using your own coping skills.
Is one of them keeping busy to distract yourself?
I relate to that, I really do.
This is what comes up for me and my clients too:
If I stop being busy and stop being productive, a ‘void’ will appear and it will reveal what I’ve been pushing down and often that is simply fear.
I feel a fear of loss; loss of safety, loss of money, loss of time, loss of health, loss of intimacy, loss of acceptance, loss of belonging, loss of love, and loss of control.
This can then show up as procrastination, perfectionism, controlling behaviours, anger, unhelpful distracting behaviours, guilt, shame and sadness.
Curiosity is Key
Allowing yourself to be curious about what you may be pushing down, and checking in with yourself during still moments, may provide you with answers that you’re unconsciously seeking.
You already have all the knowledge within you – you already know what you NEED.
This knowledge is the sweetest balm for your heightened senses and comes in many forms, but ultimately you can tap into it by being present whilst being grateful.
What are you grateful for?
Regardless of what life brings, I still love…
- Damp crickets singing in the earth.
- Counting the number of spots on the cat’s tummy pouch.
- Scoping fairy seats in tree trunks in the yard.
- Native orchids sprouting luscious pink trees out of the hard ground.
- Gentle family domestic tasks – washing dishes and chatting together.
- The scent of hot tea in my favourite cup.
- Soapy children in the bath.
- Cool Summer’s Days – a rugged up reprieve from being hot.
- Lemon slices glistening with juice.
- New stationary – the feel of a well weighted pen on a fresh page; hopeful, creative flow.
- Reading glasses providing instant clarity.
- Arms wrapped around me in an unexpected embrace.
- Creating a meal side by side, each adding our own touches to create the final tasty dish.
- Random pattern discoveries – circled paper toweling, black mesh on the speaker, freckles in the kitchen benchtop, pointed leaf tips in my flower arrangement.
- The smell of rain on dry earth.
- Quiet roads in the early morning – imaging people snug in bed.
- Moving my body with intention and then blissing out in the post- exercise glow.
- Hearing the exact right song for that moment in time – losing myself in the lyrics and music.
- Hearing the footsteps of my beloved pet heading my way – extra points if I get a loving nudge from them.
- Children laughing on the beach, amongst the crashing of waves and gull calls.
- The sweet smack of salt and vinegar chips on my lips.
- Getting my hair washed and scalp massaged at the hairdresser.
- The perfect silence of a house full of sleeping people and animals that I love.
- Watching the wind gently moving trees and flowers from a still vantage point.
- Breathing in my favourite essential oil – Sandalwood.
- Looking for light reflections in objects close to me and finding hidden mini rainbows.
- Hearing my name loving called out by a beloved person in my life, and knowing the sound of their voice will be in my memory forever.
What did those moments, or ones that are equally special to you, stir within you?
What does your gratitude teach you?
How does it heal, how does it sometimes hurt too?
How can you honour those lessons?
Jumping and shuddering into 2020
If the idea of hustling your way of out of Summer Holiday mode into 2020 makes you shudder, or if you’ve hit the ground racing and you’re feeling exhausted already in January, then I invite you to practice being still.
Especially when you feel you ‘can’t, as these moments can be as brief as you need.
Stop a while and check in on all of your senses; listen, look, taste, smell, feel.
Note, journal, draw, or talk about what you’ve noticed, as with practice it will provide you great insight into yourself.
If you feel nervous about slowing down at the beginning of the year, then I offer you some very wise words from my supervisor who has been counselling for decades and is now in her 70’s.
She kindly repeats to me in every monthly session: ‘There is time for everything’.
No-one can pour from an empty cup
And so there was time….
I didn’t write this in 3/4 hour, rather I wrote it over 3 days and I did so with ease and enjoyment.
After all, I too need to gently look after myself because, as my 8 year old daughter says, ‘mummy, you’re a person who looks after people when they’re sad’, and no one can pour from an empty cup.
No doubt you too have the responsibility of many others on your shoulders, so please take care of you.
Rest when you can, relax with your loved ones, be gentle with yourself, and seek help if you need someone to walk alongside you as you figure out exactly what you need in your life.
Gentle wishes for twenty twenty and beyond,
Psychotherapist, recovering perfectionist, mum, and author.
CONNECT WITH AILSA:
Facebook: Ailsa Robson – Walk & Talk Therapist
WALK & TALK THERAPIST
There are times in our life when we need someone to bear witness to our experiences and listen to our stories, both positive and painful. Ailsa Robson is a warm, compassionate person who prides herself in her person centred therapeutic approach with her clients. Ailsa uses an integrative approach and tailors her counselling to her individual clients’ needs; this is strongly motivated by her conviction that the client is the expert in their own life.
Ailsa also provides Walk and Talk Therapy to her clients, and is the author of personal memoir Perfectly Imperfect: Raw reflections on body image, mothering, love and loneliness.
Her private practices are located in Stirling, in the Adelaide Hills and Glenelg Beach, South Australia.