One thing at a time

There gets a point where there’s nothing else to do than the very thing that we’re avoiding.

When we know what we need to do, and we squash it, over and over again, it will find a way of rising to the surface. Come what may.

Maybe not today, maybe not for a little while yet, but it will come. When we’ve exhausted all of the distractions that we possibly can, it will start to speak to us (usually from some place that we don’t really know, but call ‘deep inside’), and over time the chat will become more vocal, louder, and more frequent.

Whatever ‘it’ is – getting out and starting to do some exercise, leaving a relationship, changing your job – your career?, moving, clearing up the messy misunderstanding with ab or c, addressing your finances, starting to take care of health, learning a new skill, unlearning some old habits… Whatever it is, if our path requires that we need to do something, or make a change, we’ll start to hear ‘it’ more and more in the inside.

And it’s only getting louder

It’s as if the cd’s stuck on the same track, but only we can hear it.

And the volume is going up.

That thing that we really need to do will occupy a huge amount of our mental space. This is great when we’re engaged with it – this is called focus and application.

And yet, if we’re in denial of following through with the very same thing – avoidance of it will take up the exact same amount of mental space. Perhaps even more.

And it’s exhausting.

It’s exhausting to fight it, to continually try to suppress the voice, to make excuses for it, to find even more distractions from it. It’s exhausting to battle every battle with ourselves in our war only with ourselves.

It’s exhausting to deal with the overwhelm of there being ‘too much to do’ and not knowing where to start…so starting nowhere. Over and again.

And it’s painful too.

It’s the resistance of it that’s painful, and the knowledge that we’re the ones who are holding ourselves back. And that resistance and its partner in crime, fear, can stop us in our tracks. The fear can be paralysing.

The irony is of course, that it is in the overcoming of this (at times) debilitating fear and getting on and ‘doing the work’ – starting the task that’s talking to us – that will ultimately free us.

Overcoming the fear releases us from its grip. Hallelujah.

Once you’re free of the fear, you’re so much more mobile. More mobile in creative thought as well as being able to access the wellspring of physical energy to literally carry out the task.

The agony of the mental chat will ease; the track on the inner cd will change, naturally, and of its own accord. What’s more the volume will shift from screaming at us, to some normal, nice little background music.

Sometimes we have to get out of our own way

If I sound like I know what I’m talking about, it’s possibly because I have had my fair share of dealing with the resistance and the fear. Of course I have; we all meet it at some point.

Sometimes we have to get out of our own way, to swear at the fear and just damn well side-step it! (Regardless of how sick-in-the-stomach the idea makes us; how clueless we are about the options thereafter, or unsure of how to carry out the task.)

It has to be said that I’ve also been at the point where there are a whole lot of tears before I manage to get fired up against the fear. Is that just me?! I suspect not…

Self-pitying tears? Tears of the emotional pain? Or tears that allow the rest of the emotions to well up and start to shift? You decide. All of the above, for me, I seem to recall…

When we understand the process of getting out of our own way, the process of doing just that becomes more familiar. Not necessarily any easier whenever it rears itself, but more familiar. And we can more easily manage things that are familiar.

Getting out of our own way sounds so perfectly simple. ‘Oh, pardon me my friend, would you mind awfully just moving over, just ever-so-slightly, and I’ll just sidle past? So kind of you…’

Not likely.

Pushing-pulling-twisting-turning-wriggling-writhing-hiding-shouting-hair pulling-feet stomping…oh and then budging over – just a millimetre!

That’s more accurate.

And why do we keep the barrier up?

Because of fear of being judged.

Because of fear of not being certain about our choices.

Because of fear of making a mistake.

Because of fear of what lies on the other side.

Because of a fear of rejection, the hard work, of being alone, letting someone down, the discomfort beyond the fear…any I’ve missed?

About being judged

Let’s face it, whatever we do, someone in this current world of quick-and-easy-to-judge, will judge us. Maybe someone on the other side of the world that we’ve never met before…or maybe someone in our own family. Whatever we do, there will be someone who doesn’t like our decision. Or us. Or both.

Do it anyway. For you. For your growth, and your peace and so that you don’t have to listen to that scratched track any longer. Take a deep breath and do it anyway.

Be polite to those who feel at liberty to tell you what’s not right about you, in their eyes, and welcome those who stand in solidarity, with open arms.

About making a mistake and ending up on the wrong path

And let’s face a truism here – whatever decision we make is the decision we were supposed to make. Despite the consequences and because of them. Whichever decision we take will put us on the next phase of our journey. No wrong decisions…just different opportunities.

About what lies on the other side

What lies ‘on the other side’ is unknown to all of us; a whole world of new possibilities is the best answer though! When we’re willing to see them…and can become flexible enough to be open to them.

About rejection, the hard work, of being alone, letting someone down, the discomfort beyond the fear

But growing (which is the stepping over the fear, or through it, or in spite of it…), does require work, it is a lone-path, but doesn’t have to be lonely, we will lose people (and gain others), the discomfort will become a new comfort, and do you know what? The only person that we let down when we don’t listen to the rising voice inside is us; ourselves.

And how the blazers do we get there?!

We take a deep breath.

Oh, stop stop stop! You have to get any crying out of the way first…!

And then breathe again normally (like a vaguely composed person ; ) …and then take that deep breath.

A full, conscious, grounding, deep breath will bring you back to the now. All of our fears lie associated on the other side of the ‘right now’. They all lie either tied up to the future, or linked to the past.

Go back and check the list – all of our fears relate to something that we have no control over happening in the future. (And they’re invariably seated in something that we have experienced in the past.)

Right now, nothing and no one can affect you. Except you.

So take another deep breath. And put on those trainers (they’re in the cupboard anyway), pack your bag (if you’re that close, you’ve had it planned out for a while in any case), write the letter, make the appointment, open your bank statement…do the thing that you know you need to do.

But just commit to doing one thing. One thing at a time. One thing but with full commitment. One thing is enough.

And then talk it through with someone who can be your witness (preferably one of the non-judging ones). Verbalising the situation in itself changes the situation. It takes the voice inside our head (or body, or wherever it really comes from deep inside), and it allows us to hear it come back to us. It changes its power – almost always in a good way. A shift will occur, and we will almost always feel lighter as a result.

Then sleep. Rest is essential to allow us to recover from the heavy energy expenditure that making a change takes…and it allows the shift to be assimilated by the body (or the head, or wherever we decide our spirit resides…).

And rinse, and repeat. One step at a time.

With infinite pearls of present-wisdom, my mother used to say, “just do one thing at a time.” How perfectly applicable to everything, always.