How are you feeling right now?
Pause for a moment and reflect. How do you feel when you think of unfinished work? Chores? Your to-do list? Does your body or mouth tighten? Do feel the twinge? Does your mind always push you faster and remind you loudly of all the things you are not doing? Do your thoughts lead you to believe there isn’t enough time? Go faster. Hurry. It’s taking too long!
If this feels like you, you may want to take a breath and notice:
- Is it hard for you to see all the productive things you have done as of this moment or do you mull over all the unfinished tasks?
- Do you put everything and everyone else first at the cost of you? And do you rationalize that you don’t take care of yourself because you don’t have enough time?
- Do you break dates and plans with others because it makes you too anxious to go out and maybe it feels better to be with yourself and your stress? Is it that comfortable-uncomfortable feeling that you’re accustomed to? Everyday?
If this is you, perhaps it’s time to stop pushing. If you say you can’t, then look behind you? Is anyone behind you that’s causing this sensation? Hulk-like? I would guess no. Pushing yourself is like the other things in your life. It’s a pattern just like putting up the fork in the fork drawer. Getting gas when your car is empty, brushing your teeth, or changing your underwear.
In other words, it’s up to you to stop the exertion. Now, I’m not encouraging you to stop putting all your focus and energy in your goals or dreams. I am urging you to stop and dip into the present moment to notice if the sensation of stress is coming from you, and if it’s taking away from the zest and happiness of your day or your life moment by precious moment.
Once you realize you are the creator of this “pushing” sensation, ask yourself, “What is the one thing I need at this moment to bring me peace?” Asking sarcastically will not serve you, so watch that your tone (even in your head). Make sure you and your tone are aligned to your intentions! Listen to what voice or feeling comes up in your body or mind.
Next, ask what you do need to be peacefully productive toward your goals. Listen again. You may get the sense that you need to slow down or notice the details of your work or your conversations with others. If you don’t feel or sense anything, try again a little later. Your mind will seek to help you out in any way it can.
Lastly, remind yourself that what you get done today is enough and make peace with that. Beating yourself up for what you haven’t done in the past will only beget more worry. And to frantically worry about the future all the time isn’t optimal either. By being kind to yourself, knowing that you are doing the best you can at this moment, you lift up the heavy residue of stress. This frees you up to experience the opportunities that may come in the form of coincidences or perfect timing. You just have to be ready for them in the present moment.
Staying present is also like working a muscle. You have to do it on a daily basis and be kind to yourself when you notice you’re freaking out again about the past or future. When you notice yourself being swept away with fear and emotions, take a breath and be thrilled. The fact that you are seeing that this sensation is also happening shows how much awareness you have. This awareness will help you stop the pushing and shoving away of your potential, productive and peaceful life right now. Now, go rest those arms. Peace.