Transformational Talk ... a column by Penelope Young Andrade
Are You Pushing Yourself Too Hard?
August 01, 2016 -Penelope Y. Andrade
In our 24/7 world of pressure to excel in career, community, relationships, parenting, athletics, and healthy living…it’s hard not to! Like many, you probably end up vacillating between charging ahead (most of the time) and collapsing (once in a while) in pj’s for binge watching TV. Days go by in a habitual stew of motion with an occasional dab of couch potato… meanwhile you’re not fully inhabiting your life. The challenge is to find pleasure and presence in action and rest.
Here’s the tip. Look inside to see how safe you feel within yourself and your life. Safety is the foundation for slowing down and easing up. Take an inventory of the kinds of people, places, animals and activities that help you feel safe. Next, envision yourself surrounded by these protectors. Notice what happens as you do this. Watch shoulders drop, breathing slow as you drop into a moment of well-being. You may hear your stomach gurgle and/or feel eyes tear as your body digests tension and excretes stress.
Allow yourself a moment of being…no place to go, nothing to do. If you discover you can’t relax and/or that your nervous system is chronically agitated, you may need professional help to settle down. No blame!
Finally, it may help to make ‘no pushing’ a mindfulness practice. Choosing to make space for even the briefest pause now and now and now as you move through every pressured day opens the door to ease. Enjoy your life, it’s the only one you’ve got!