If You Want an Extraordinary Life, You Might Need to Accept This…
Gulp. It’s Sunday morning as I write this — not my normal time to write. But I just finished my yoga practice and a little revelation came to me whilst lying in savasana. A revelation that feels a little uncomfortable to share, but one that I think may help you.
You see, last week I had a pretty dismal start to the week. If you follow me on FB, then you’ll know that last Monday I kinda hit a wall. A zero motivation, over-worked wall. Lucy, my mastermind buddy answered my call for help and we got it figured out. It was a pretty simple problem — zero boundaries when it comes to working hours. Which has resulted in me feeling like I’m always switched on, and therefore feeling kinda guilty for taking any time off whatsoever.
So we made a plan : Get some boundaries back in place. Set a start & finish time for work. Accept that sometimes you’ll work overtime but at least plan for some obligatory time out. Do fun stuff on weekends. Give yourself permission to relax (which always benefits your work time because you’re no longer feeling resentful for the 24/7 hustle).
And so this week, I’ve been doing my best to implement this structure. I had friends over to dinner, I cooked good healthy meals, I added a little more yoga to my training plan (yep, still going strong with 12 Minute Athlete). And when the weekend rolled around I leaned into it. Yesterday I got up early to surf, I watched a couple (ok, maybe 3) episodes of my favourite show on Netflix, I got some chores done and generally did all the stuff that normal people do on the weekend.
This morning, the wind was up, so I rinsed out my wettie, got it out on the line (I’m experimenting adding peppermint oil … let’s see if I smell fresh & minty next time I surf ha ha) and made breakfast. I painted my new wardrobe and then rolled out my yoga mat to stretch a little.
And then it arrived — the uncomfortableness of stillness. Ugh. Everyone talks about stillness like it’s this dreamy state of being. That it’s blissful. Except for me, quite often, it isn’t. It’s when my mind empties out enough to remind me of what’s missing. It’s when I’m quiet enough to reallllly feel the feelings. And this morning, whilst lying on the mat, I felt them.
These gremlins are probably the loudest in my gang. They constantly urge me to compare my life to others. They point out what everyone is doing on the weekend. They tell me that my life will look like this forever…. and that I’ll never get the things I really want. They ignore all the good shit, and fixate on the one or two bad things, and magnify them.
And suddenly I realised why I’d been filling my weekends up with work.
Because for some reason my gremlins get quiet when I work. Hustling is an easy way to avoid dealing with them. When you’re in hustle mode there’s no time for stillness or reflection. But it turns out this way of living can also be called ‘resistance’, and we all know that resistance is futile.
Hence the yoga practice today. The one thing I knew would probably open the door for the gremlins to come in. And of course, they did…..But at least I spotted them.
And just the process of noticing them is a move in the right direction. Hey, I see you there, jumping in to this quiet time — With your standard bullsh*t stories.
Here’s what I realised this morning : If you want an extraordinary life, then you should expect it to look extraordinary sometimes. I tried to explain this to a bestie the other day …. It’s like we chose to ride the crazy big, kick-ass rollercoaster. We opted for that one. We chose it above all the other rides. Because we wanted to go big. We wanted to go high. Go fast.
Except now we’re on it, we’re surprised by the dips. We don’t understand why we’re being side swiped and feeling scared witless sometimes. Maybe we ignored the warning signs before we got on. Maybe we had unrealistic expectations of what this particular rollercoaster would look like.
But the fact is. We made this call. And sure, we can step off at any time — and probably, if we did, we’d get to taste the normal that we sometimes crave. We’d experience all that stuff that most people take for granted. But you know as well as I do, that you’d be bored shitless after a while. That all that security and familiarity come with a price.
And so here’s where I’m at with it today. Taking some radical responsibility for choosing this path. Accepting that this particular rollercoaster is a bumpy one, and that it will, in all likelihoods never result in a ‘normal’ looking life (and actually, who’s to say what normal looks like anyway ?!).
Yep there’s been a ridiculous amount of hard work, a few years of full-on heartbreak, one catastrophic failure and a few vital things missing from my dream life picture right now. But holy shit, it’s been one hell of a ride so far. And the upsides have been mindblowing.
So… I’m sticking with it. I’ll take the good with the bad. I’ll stop fixating on what I don’t have and open my freaking eyes to what I do have. I’ll keep reminding myself that I chose this…. and that I could choose something else at any time…. but the fact that I’m not is a pretty good indicator that deep down, I know I’m on the right path. I’ve just got to trust life a little more.