I spent the last week in hustle mode.
I'm not sure if it was because we had the holiday week or my brain just went there, but I spent last week working and not stopping. I got to Friday, on the cusp of leading a teacher training weekend, and realized I needed to slow my roll. I get in these modes sometimes, where it's almost like I can feel the anxiety juice running through my veins, and I'm just in GO mode. It can be wonderful at times and I get so much done, however, what I get done is not necessarily what NEEDS to get done or what is priority. When I'm running on anxiety and "to do's" I'm accomplishing little tasks. Often these little tasks take me away from the bigger things that I'm working on in my life. So, as I got to the end of the week and I took some time to reflect, I thought to myself,
"What work that I am doing right now is really important to me? What work matters and fills my soul? And what other work am I doing that gets in the way of that?"
As a recovering perfectionist, I often struggle to let go of things. The need for the house to be neat and clean at all times. To get everything checked off my list in one day. To send something off without every i dotted or t crossed. It can be my downfall. I often won't finish something or send something out, or sometimes even START something because of fear that it won't be perfect. It's easier to do all the tasks that make me feel good instead, but again, do not move me forward. I've gotten really clear lately that I don't want to hustle just to hustle. I love to work AND- it's got be meaningful for me or I'll start to burn myself out. That was becoming clear this week. So, I took pause. I gave myself pockets of time when I could weekend to drop the need to do all the time. I read books. took a bath. Sat on the porch and did nothing. From that space... something started to get created within me. It's like when our devices feel overloaded: often we just need to restart them or turn the off for a while. We are the same. Sometimes we need to turn off for a bit. In my moments of "turning off," I sat with those uncomfortable feelings and thoughts of, "what if this fails, I can't, It''ll never work," and I let them just come and go. I got to know myself and what was holding me back on a whole new level. Knowing that, I was then able to take a step forward. We spent some time this weekend with the teacher traininees talking about Svadhyaya, or Self-Study, one of the Niyamas in Yoga. How, to really know and understand yourself, you have to be willing to look places you don't necessarily want to. It's challenging work, and it's the best work. It's the work I've been in this last week. I believe self- study is some of the most important work we can do. It opens up possibilities and wonders available in our lives, if only we are willing to look. What about you? Where in your life are you hustling to hustle? To fill a void? To feel good about yourself? What is standing in the way of you doing the actual, important work you are meant to be doing in the world? Practice self-study this week- and see what you uncover, and what becomes possible and available to you. Below is a little list I put together of ways to be in self study and to know yourself. I hope it is helpful as you begin or continue this journey.
Ways to know yourself:
Trace it back: Know your history and what has affected you in your life to know why you might be reacting the way you are now.
Don’t be afraid to look/hear: Listen and actually hear what your critical voice is telling you. The more you try to ignore, the more it will persist.
Feel to heal: And also- be gentle with yourself
Be the Witness: Watch from the outside looking in. No judgement, just observation.