Fear is strange. Fear shows up in strange places. It seems to amplify based on how much you really truly want something. Like when you’re smooth sailing for a while there and you wonder, is this it? Is there more to this?
I’ve been stretching in all sorts of directions lately. I’ve been noticing my levels of comfort and discomfort in multiple areas of my life. How much I’m ok with being at home alone without company for an extended period of time. How much I’m ok with just getting that thing done versus being distracted by email, Instagram, Facebook, Slack, Viber, texts, anything other than that thing. The discomfort in coming back to my mantra of – one step at a time – and then focusing in on my intentions I’ve set for the day. The yoyo from being in pleasant productive intense flow, through to up down up down.
There are so many studies into the number of times we are distracted throughout our days and taken away from the one thing we’re working on. And the amount of time it then takes the brain to in my terms get ‘back in the zone’.
Yesterday and today I’ve felt more distracted. And yet two very different feelings of distraction. Yesterday was a pulling towards something else that in that particular moment felt more important, more urgent and also passed the ‘will this truly be a valuable use of my time’ test.
Today is different. Today the thing I put off yesterday loomed closer and more permanently in my diary – now scrawled across two pages instead of just one. The lag-effect I think I’ll call it. So what I’ve been asking myself is whether this is fear or whether this is feeling
In the world of synchronicity I turned on Marie Forleo’s latest episode as I sat to eat my lunch today – a response to a question about just this. How do we know when we’re feeling afraid or if that icky feeling means don’t go there!
Marie’s first step was to really tune into your body and in fact was a great reminder for me as I’ve turned to this list previous when stuck on decisions, or reviewing what I want to keep in or out of my diary – to then tune into your body’s reaction, does this make me feel contracted or expansive.
And I just love this simple fine-tuning. This pausing to listen. To ourselves. Our inner knowing. Contraction – don’t do it. Expansion – do it.
Take on that other contract that is going to zap or your ‘me time’ – do it, or don’t do it?
Say yes to the dinner party with friends when it’s raining, cold and you’ve had a big day at work – do, or don’t do it?
Call up about that job interview, change careers, move house, move city, break up with your current partner, buy that car, go to yoga, get take-out, skip the gym… All of these decisions lend themselves to checking in with our internal guides, our intuition, our feeling.
After all, life is made of moments of experience. Once all the new clothes, cars, houses and holidays are out the way, what are you left with? Life isn’t about getting things, it’s about living, experiencing the fullness. And in these moments of experiences we’re also constantly decision-making. When we get STUCK is when we’re focusing too much on the pain, the suffering, the fear of moving forward. What I love most about this mini reframe of expansion versus contraction is that it immediately brings it back to US. And it’s about feeling. And sometimes expansion, while it feels, well, expansive, it also feels tough. Like really tough. Like just because you feel expansive thinking about a brand new career, doesn’t mean it’s not going to fill you with a little dread to get on the phone to a bunch of companies. Or it doesn’t mean that the uncertainty of ‘what next?!’ won’t catch you out.
It does give you CLARITY though. Clarity that the very next step is the right step, for you, for now.
And clarity comes with movement, with action. (Just think of a murky lake, you need to movement to see through it). The more we show up with action, the more courage multiplies. The second, third, fourth phone call you make will feel different to the first. Fear will start moving to the backseat and you’ll be behind the wheel. Courage means you’re in the driver’s seat pushing the peddles – choosing when to accelerate or to brake.
I don’t know about you, but that all just sounds way more uplifting than letting fear overwhelm, distract, contort. Which is why I’m 1) taking each day at a time and 2) checking in with every distraction that I’m faced with and asking is this about expansion or contraction?
Our Creating a Life You Love series is all about giving yourself permission to pause and reconnect with what’s really important to you in life. We find it’s a great way to decompress and walk away with more clarity on how you can live a life you truly love. Want to give yourself some well needed me time? We’re running an intro session on Thursday 16th February to get you back in the driver’s seat of YOUR life and help you prioritise yourself more, book now to save your seat: creatinglifeyoulove.eventbrite.co.uk.
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