Forget co-workers, family, friends and neighbors. How do you keep out of your own way when you are with yourself 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and going for at least another 4 weeks? Being able to get out of your own way is an art in any time and place. Understanding your patterns, your destructive or non-healthy tendencies. Being in social isolation in a pandemic makes it even harder. Now is the time to practice how to get out of your own way.
My friend Kathy, a school social worker works with acting out kids. Lliterally when a student is in the middle of an episode, she holds up a picture of a stop sign. And it works. She suggests I keep a mental picture at the ready for when I am digging deep into my rabbit hole about what I could or should have done or playing a conversation over and over in my head, hoping it will turn out differently. Stop. Count to three, accelerate slowly. I never get a ticket when I follow that advice. It gets me out of my own way, everytime.
Remove What Doesn’t Work
So many of my patterns, are just that, old patterns. Long honed reactions to situations that no longer really address the situation or give me the outcome I desire. Why do I keep repeating those old behaviors? Laziness, comfort, convivence, all keep me stuck. We all know a good definition for insanity is repeating the same behavior over and over again and expecting a different result. The universe has given pretty clear signage that it is time to turn inward and stay still. I don’t spend lots of time on the phone. I enjoy the activities I engage in, be it work, volunteering, chores or self-care. And I write. I like writing. That takes away all of the annoying interactions that previously ruled my day and made me annoying. Click here to read this blog post about quitting behaviors that don’t work.
Channel Yoda – Don’t think. Do.
When there is something I need to get done, I get it done. Keeping the big picture in focus, letting go of all the details, choices and noises that can get in my way. I keep it simple. I get up, move a muscle, change my thoughts and get done what needs getting done. No more hemming and hawing. What a relief. The noise in my head mch more manageable. No worrying about what I have to do. No lists, just taking care of business.
Let Go. Repeat. Let Go More.
When did stuff become so important? Stopping to annoy myself means keeping things simple. Just what I need, when I need it. Using all the can I have stocked-up over the years, the make-up samples, the gifts I’ve never used, the clothes I was waiting to wear for a special occassion. Well today is a special occasion. I am showing up for my own life. I am healthy, able and in the game. What else do I need?
So much advice during this time about care, gratitude, thankfulness. Best advice says, schedule this time. Make time at the end of the day to review what worked, what didn’t. If something is still going round and round in your head, that’s a sign to nip it in the bud, to stop annoying yourself and others. Be honest and true to yourself.
Stop sabotaging and annoying yourself with behaviors and patterns that don’t work. Simplify your days and get done what needs to get done. Say what needs saying. Kick back and relax. The universe is demanding it