You’ve just gotten out of bed. Stretching and moving onto the day’s work is ahead of you. Even before that groggy early morning feeling has been shook from your shoulders the coffee is on and things are heating up. We produce our finest morning ritual of brushing our teeth and enjoying a quick bite to eat with that welcoming cup of brew before we find ourselves sticking our key into the lock behind us and hopping off to work.
We’re met with complex choices that require our attention quite quickly and so regularly that we’ve come accustomed to dealing with them all almost automatically with a high grade of efficiency. Sometimes we slip up but we’re only human right? If you can’t forgive yourself for those moments, I forgive you. We really do a heck of a job but it can really all seem quite draining sometimes. The stereotyped nine to five worker returning home only to drag his feet to the couch certainly becomes of even the best of us some days.
What about more than that? Well what do you mean what about more than that? I am talking about the woodcarving dreams that Jeff has and the football that isn’t going to pass itself to that little guy that shared his big grade on the paper with you the other day and the dog out in the yard sniffing the same four corners of a fenced in pasture catching only fleeting whiffs of the world beyond that. Did any of that ring a bell of anxiety in you even just a little bit? Maybe they even got you thinking about those things in your life that are similar. We all have those things in our lives whether we want to see them as they are or not. If it got you to think, to feel, or even to ponder where your extras exist. That, that thing right there is what I am pin pointing.
The little sinking feeling of dread or distaste when you realize that after you’ve come home from work there’s more. What we haven’t realized is that this little bid of emotion we feel can be a fence or a free 1-up with a little practice. Every emotion we encounter is filled up with some energy. You can feel it when you get angry and your body tenses up even the slightest, or when you are lifted to your feet as your team scores a winning goal. Erecting a fence takes energy and we can build up these feelings into emotional fences that keep us from doing the things we truly want to do with the last few scoops out of our already low reserves. Quite often we do this out of habit.
If we instead decide to face these challenges head on we will find that these negative emotions assigned to whatever it may be tend to dissipate as we focus on the experience at hand. It may not be immediately gratifying or satisfying but you and I both know that at the end of the day when our heads hit the pillow we settle in to bed in a different way. In this case we’re in for a good night’s sleep, and well deserved at that. Notice how the energy of what once was a distasteful feeling transforms into something quite pleasant that night or even sooner. If on the other hand we had scooped our energies toward building up our emotional fence we may find ourselves writhing at days end with self dread and negative feelings jamming up against the fence we’ve spent energy to construct. Anxiety and feeling like we are not able certainly costs energy and a lot of it.
In one way we can create a real jam that begins to compound on itself leaving us feeling even more exhausted and unable to do and participate. By doing what seems to be the easiest thing, to leave experiences on our plate, we actually dig a hole for ourselves. Practice identifying these moments in your day where you could possibly take on more experience but you find yourself walled off by a bid of anxiety or distaste because you feel you would rather sit around. This doesn’t mean taking on more hours at work, this is concerned with your individual and unique desires in life. If we can begin to take note of these opportunities we can then begin to take advantage of them.
You may find that you are surprised by the ripples made through the smallest changes. Being aware of this is key to improving our lives and we deserve to do none the less because we are on what can be such an amazing journey here. Take care friends!