How many of us have niggles or things we want to change but struggle because we are stuck, lack confidence or bravery? Well, don't give up hope. I discovered sometimes we block ourselves or get in our own way of making things happen.
Take last week. I was off work and planned to use some of this time doing things around the house that I don't normally have time for. I made up my mind not to switch the computer on until later in the day. It is far too easy to think:
'Oh, I'll check emails' as I pass or,
'I'll just see if there are any updates on Facebook'.....
The next thing an hour or two has passed. Are you the same?
And so I started one thing, which led to another and another, and my energy and momentum just kept flowing. It was a huge achievement and at the end of the day I had so much to show for my time and effort. I felt great!
At the end of the day I switched on the computer and very timely I
saw a post about how Facebook and social media can be linked with avoidance. Brene' Brown suggests that when we are struggling it is easier to post on Facebook or twitter and to feel uplifted by immediate comment or encouragement. It can also help us to avoid the problem or thing we find difficult to face, as the gratification of feeling supported or in company reduces our unwanted feeling. I immediately saw a connection, about how easy it is for me to sit on the computer and to feel part of a wider network of like minded people and friends, and how much more preferable this is to facing difficult things such as de-cluttering, sorting out paperwork or other mundane tasks.
And yet by not switching on the computer I discovered I felt more satisfied by what I achieved and I had far more to show for my day. So I will embrace this and try to make it a regular habit. To do what I need to do and THEN switch on the computer!
Some of you will know that I am working through The Artists Way*. Interestingly I started Chapter 4 today and I am encouraged to deprive myself of books and other distractions for one week. It doesn't surprise me that this comes up now to remind me of a lesson learned. So I will include tv and the likes of Facebook since these also occupy lots of my time and take me away from other things I could be doing. And I don't just mean chores, I mean being creative and having fun too. Because on days when I come home from work and then make the most of my evening by going out or doing something interesting (rather than just watching tv or sitting on the computer) my time stretches and a day can feel like a weekend.
And so while I will find it difficult to restrict these things for a week I will embrace this idea with relish. Because I know I have lots of other things I can enjoy and look forward to, and that these are a distraction. I have lots of ideas for blog posts, photos (more than I care to think about) waiting to be organised into files, and lots of projects in progress. I am hoping to catch up with some of these and to continue other things I have started because I have learnt that facing things we sometimes avoid isn't always as bad once we get going!
*The Artists Way is a book written by Julia Cameron. More information here.