Remember the Star Trek species, The Borg? They were unstoppable at taking over other planets and people. They would robotically repeat to their victims, “Resistance is futile. Resistance is futile”. Luckily, so far, there are no ET invasions to combat. And, there is another view to invite when any resistance shows up. What if Resistance is ‘fertile’? What if pauses like procrastination contain a healing force?
As you take risks to follow plans and dreams, you are on a growth path. You’re stepping beyond what got you here. You will reach the limits of your skills, your knowledge, your emotional intelligence. What got you here will not get you there, as they say. You’ll begin to encounter new parts of the map of your unknown future. When you’re stepping into new territory like this, any old beliefs and themes that kept you small will show up. It’s kind of like the, “Oh Wait, Are You Sure?” chorus, standing in the wings.
MY EXAMPLE OF FERTILE PROCRASTINATION
There I was, just having returned from a lovely backpacking trip. Blissed out! Grateful! Feeling happier than ever! And jumping back in to my best laid business plans, quite contentedly.
Then comes a perfect storm to incite some clouds of doubt. A newsletter that made me question if I’d missed a step. A bad night of sleep, coupled with more questioning. A really freakin’ early work shift.
The sun goes behind the clouds, the weather changes.
Emotions arise, and it takes time to interpret that. Sadness is it? Where’d that come from? Yes, something feels familiar here. A subtle edge of panic, a sense that something is really wrong. Oh, it’s me! I’m really wrong, is that it? The old story and childhood theme that I’ll Never Get It Right, I’m Not Good Enough. Anxiety about an upcoming important meeting that is no sweat, except when I’m in the “I’m No Good” zone.
Looking back I see a lack of planned recovery and social time… My goodness, look at this perfect list of stormy conditions. And I didn’t even mention Mercury going retrograde and being in the middle of three eclipses – lol.
You can see there are times in this heh heh, fertile phase, when it’s hard to see. Hard to know. Emotions and intuitions that get activated are from the nonverbal side of the brain. They beg to be included and need to be. Often the pauses here can contain critical instructions. For me, it was to honor the sacredness of some next steps. They’re big. Better not to rush through them, or be careless.
Funny that I happened to be completing a series on procrastination. Har de har har. Perhaps I needed a nice whack of experience to remember some humility. That would be coming from the non-blissed out place. That might keep me connected to the heart of my clients and tribe. Yes, thank you fertile resistance, pregnant pause…
NOTES FOR HIGHLY SENSITIVE PEOPLE
You may be familiar with the 20% of the population called Highly Sensitive people. It’s relevant to note that this group can feel things more deeply. And those feelings linger longer. An emotional perfect storm for them may be a brief blip on the screen for someone else.
This knowledge can help to diffuse some of the drama or dread. It can help inject patience and self-compassion. It can create more choices: for example, you can choose to complete things even when warning bells are going off. Or, to keep seeking support and perspective to make sure that emotions and doubt are not blowing things out of proportion.
STORM RECOVERY IDEAS
1) Just as my prior articles in this procrastination series suggest (article #1, article #2) you can see resistance and procrastination as a sign of fertility, of positive movement towards plans that matter. Towards risky yet potentially awesome expansion. Remember that growth clears old dross and welcome this invite to clear it.
2) Have you been pushing yourself too hard? Not planning enough breaks, fun, recovery time, social time? Yeah, I do that a lot, and most of us do. I love Charlie Gilkey’s recent book, Start Finishing. His system of time management, has both the left brain wisdom creatives need, alongside emotional intelligence. Now, I plan my time, then look back to see how those best laid plans went. I’m hoping to continue learning realistic planning for a good long time.
3) Grow your Tools for the Fertile Road of Creation. I love how psychologist Emiliya Zhivotovskaya points out that if your stress level, on a scale of 1-10, is 6 or above, you won’t be able to talk yourself through it. This is where body-based tools help more than the mental ones (see her 20 tools here). As a decades-long stress mgmt. counselor, I know life will keep challenging you to add more tools, to update your tools, to let go of what’s not working. So, make a list of your go to tools right now, and keep it handy. Put them in a basket to pick from when you’re in the 6+ zone. Play with new ones.
4) Support and perspective. When you are in a growth cycle or expansion phase, being able to ask for help and support is a signpost of growth, of reaching new territory. Those old stories and ceilings, those prior designs of where not to pass go – well it can get a bit gnarly. The old stories tends to make you want to isolate. Those themes can be coupled with trauma or be on the PTSD continuum. Muscling through on your own is less effective here. Good news: these days, with new brain research, it is more possible than ever to clear these old stories at the root. It’s gets easier to reach more of that final frontier you’ve been dreaming about.
DREAM CREATION REMINDERS TO KEEP IN MIND
Plans you make – well they’re often overly ambitious until you master that project management realm. That can be lifelong learning. Start to build in more time and space for pausing, for integration, for staying connected to any heart intel and any healing work that asks for your attention.
Have tools handy and continue to expand your tool treasure chest. Try new things – a great thing to do when you need recovery time, versus surfing Facebook. List options to pick randomly when emotional undertow derails you too long. Get familiar with your symptoms of procrastination, and use tools earlier to see what might be needing attention.
When growing, taking risks, and following your dream, it’s normal that doubts and vulnerable feelings will visit. Know that sometimes they can provide timely warnings, and good reasons to pause. If you are sensitive, watch for when you might need to push a bit to complete some work (rather than struggle with perfectionism). Plan the recovery time that helps you reset and stay resilient.
Develop support systems that will flexibly accommodate the bigger you that is being formed by your courageous stretching into meaningful dream creation. This may contradict, and outgrow, your wish to go it alone or be independent at all costs.
THIS MAY BE BIGGER THAN YOU, DREAM BUILDER
FYI, dream builder: Right now, the meaningful work you wish to contribute is crucial. The growth it brings to you and others is part of the new world lattice that is so desperately needed. This mission and inspiration of yours is bigger than the fears and doubts. Glory be!
And even when the perfect storm hits, try to remember – there is support in the world and beyond it, for your growth and expansion. Onward!
SOLSTICE CLARITY CONSULTS THROUGH JUNE 30TH
Are you feeling called to grow your creative/healing work/business, but unclear about next steps? Would it be helpful to have an objective, practical and intuitive hit on what gets in the way, and what actions makes the most sense?
Schedule a time with Denise – up to 30 minutes – to get clarity, and practical ideas. Leave with new momentum and confidence. Yes! Let’s do this. If none of the times work for you, email mdenisebarnes at gmail and we’ll figure another one out.