Sometimes building strength requires no effort at all. It is about relaxation into the situation: allowance.
I’ve been shown this in a number of ways recently. In the yoga class I attend, I’ve noticed that the work is done in setting up the pose: ensuring the correct alignment of the body and establishing the posture. Once you are there, you relax and keep breathing. You surrender every part of you that wants to hold on. You notice where the resistance in the body is then you put your awareness onto that area and relax into the pain. After a while the body has no choice but to let go. It is then that the muscles give up their fight and a new level of flexibility is revealed to you. Growth in your yoga practice has just happened.
I’m writing my first book at the moment. At first it wouldn’t flow. I was forcing the process without meaning to: telling myself to be prepared for the fight, the drama and the angst. I made up elaborate scenarios in my mind where I would have to write for days non-stop in a darkened room. I’d not be there for my family, I wouldn’t take a shower or even bother to dress myself in the morning. I’d be writing through the night, eating junk food whilst I staggered down the route of the tormented writer wrestling their creativity into submission.
I was resisting the flow as well. Telling myself I needed to do a bit more research in one area or another, trying to decide if I should sign up for a writing course so I know what I am doing, wrestling to define the exact characteristic of my target audience, fussing about whether to self publish or find a publisher and being a drama queen about how my words may be misunderstood by my reader.
When we try to force things they can stubbornly refuse to happen. We are also great at resisting the good that is trying to come to us. We are conditioned by the idea that we have to work hard to produce something worthwhile (and later reap the rewards by a process of delayed gratification). Sometimes we don’t realize we’ve already done the work and now it’s time to relax into the allowance of the reward phase.
Where are you not seeing that your work is already done? There is no merit is self-deprecation here, by the way; I’ve tried that one too!
Are you so far up the ladder of the tree that you have forgotten to harvest the low hanging fruit?
I tried to protest when my coach gave me an insultingly short deadline for submitting the first draft of my book. After all said my ego, this book will capture the very essence of your consultancy practice and that should not be rushed!
‘I think I need to do a little more research in a few more areas’ I told her politely and earnestly. ‘Wendy’, she said ‘you have been researching for this book for the past 10 years’. Every time I wheeled out a new resistance she calmly said, ‘Wendy, just write’ I’d try another… ‘Wendy, just write’.
I saw the futility of my protests. She can’t open my head and lift the book out for me. Only I can write it. ‘Just write the dam book Wendy’ I said to myself and laughed at the relief of its hard won simplicity.
She was completely and totally right. In fact the book is the story of the last 10 years of my life and the clients I have helped along the way. I don’t need to research that; I’ve just lived it. Yes I need to decide how to organize the content, how I’d like to present it, but I’m not aiming to tell anyone something clever that I don’t yet know about. The intent of the book is to share my journey with others for whom my experience might be of assistance and inspiration on their journey. Simple. Not difficult. The mantra that’s working wonders for me is ‘it’s already done’.
Maybe as women we are so used to putting others first and denying our own needs that we forget that there is a cycle of giving and receiving. It is not possible to continue to give if we do not replenish ourselves by the receipt phase of the cycle. By resisting the writing of my book it is as though I am not excepting that there is a receiving part of my journey in life. It’s rather a beautiful process because, if I can capture in the pages of the book the insights I have learned along the way, I get to receive the joy of being an author whilst also being in service in an area of expertise that I get the most personal fulfillment from.
Writing my book is the only thing on my agenda right now. There is no other aspect of my business that I wish to focus on or develop. I have known for around five years that I would write at least one book. I have the perfect opportunity to take this time and focus on consolidating my knowledge and experience into the pages of said book. I told all of this to my coach when I signed up to work with her. Why then was my ego so surprised and offended when she simply stated ‘Wendy if you are not writing you are in resistance’.
Ouch, harsh yes, but strangely comforting (and wildly amusing to me) in it’s truth. It made me laugh that when somebody so gently and persistently held up the mirror in front of me, I was surprised by my own reflection.
I’m intrigued to know what it is in your own life that you keep telling everyone about and promising yourself, that at the same time you stubbornly refuse to allow into being.
I can’t wait to hear.