I have a brain that LOVES to be in action. Ironically, in the absence of structured days in which to be in a flow of momentum, my brain also easily lapses into inertia. In the prolonged presence of inertia (not to be confused with a normal cycle of rest) my brain tends to get confused and overwhelmed, causing me to sink lower into stagnation and depression. In this state it is easy to LITERALLY forget what I am even FOR. It is easy to forget what things cause fulfillment and happiness for me. Even projects that are really important to me can quite literally be forgotten. It feels like I would imagine it would feel to be suddenly blind and frantically flinging your arms around to grasp onto something familiar and solid to extrapolate where you are in the room. So, what to do when a creative mind such as mine forgets itself and gets lost in a sea of endless possibilities? Here is how I manage:
- Stop doing whatever it is I am attempting to distract myself with. Close the computer, put down the phone or turn off the tv.
- Acknowledge that I have lost my bearings a bit, but that its ok and I can find the ground again.
- Take ONE action in ANY direction that feels even slightly better than the distraction whirlwind of inertia I was in before. This could be simple as cleaning my surroundings or updating something on my website (with all social media browsers closed down). This could also be writing a list of the projects that need attention and adding them to my calendar with alerts and realistic time frames. Or it could even be hooping, yoga, meditation or taking myself out for a walk. It could be any number of the things that normally create the kind of structure around me that I thrive in. A structure based on health, productivity and upward/forward motion.
- After all this, I go to bed early and get up early the next day… even better jumping back into a routine I know that works, like 10 minutes of meditation followed with 15 minutes of yoga or hooping.
They key here for me is that often what has me stuck in inertia is thinking too much about the big future timeline vision and imagining that the action has to be perfectly timed out and HUGE to make a difference. This causes me to feel anxious. When I get anxious I often reach for distraction for a momentary soothing.. while, I am still waaaaay stuck fixating on the future or the past. When one is lost in their head, any outward action in (almost) any direction is a good one.
And so the ride rolls on. Sometimes I go weeks or months in consistent action, sometimes I go for a week or a day lost in an anxiety fog. Over time, I am learning to freak out about it less. Knowing that I can take direct action to change my inner state, and thus my life, is really helpful. Knowing that this action doesn’t have to any more life altering than doing the freakin dishes is soothing to my soul in the simplest fashion. Life doesn’t have to be so extreme. You don’t have to be making millions of dollars to assure yourself that you are doing well. You don’t have to be making some groundbreaking discovery to be having a positive effect on the world. Let it be simple. Just take one step in any direction that feels better than the last one, even if its just picking your underwear up off the floor and putting them in the hamper ;)
As always, we are all in this together~