Dear Procrastination, it's time for you to stop wasting my time

Photo by Dayne Tomkin

Photo by Dayne Tomkin

Dear Procrastination

You have managed to fill most of my day with various insignificant tasks that didn’t really need to be done today.

You have also showered me with your version of inspiring thoughts and ideas that you insisted I investigate and explore immediately of which I obliged and these have also kept me very busy.

Some of these tasks brought me short-term joy, such as the instagram post I created using Canva and finding a new recipe to cook for dinner tonight that my husband will love.

But here I am at 4 o’clock in the afternoon feeling deeply unsatisfied, as well as a little bit anxious and guilty that I have managed to let most of the day pass without doing what I really want to do.

Lately, inspiration has been raining down upon me and I have a growing list of books that want me to write them.  Yes, that’s right, book ideas have found their way to me with titles and phrases and ideas, some vague and some more concrete but without a lot of detail or structure because they need me to delve deeply into a relationship with them to discover what wants to be written.  

I know that if I don’t honour these book ideas with my presence, time and willingness to write that they will find their way to someone else who will. 

The other thing I really want to do that I’m not doing is to start marketing and promoting my book, The Path We Make.  The manuscript is finalised and it’s time for me to help it make its way out into the world and into the hands of those people it is destined to support, inspire and heal. But I’m not a natural marketer or salesperson and I feel daunted and uncomfortable by this whole task.

Procrastination, I know you are trying to protect and distract me from my discomfort and fear of failure and inadequacy, but I gotta tell you something…

Letting you run the show actually causes a lot more suffering and you don’t really protect me from anything.  

With you running the show, I have ended up feeling much worse than I have in facing my fear and discomfort, which I am doing right now, sitting here writing to you. I faced the blank page and discovered what wanted to emerge word-by-word, thought-by-thought.  And once I have posted this letter to you on my blog, I will return to my book marketing plan and look at just the next step because as one of my fitness apps tells me, “Progress is progress no matter how small.”

 And as I discovered on my Via Francigena Pilgrimage on those long and steep climbs: “Sometimes you have to stop looking at the big picture and just look down at your feet in order to take the next step.”

Sometimes you have to stop looking at the big picture and just look down at your feet in order to take the next step. copy.png

Procrastination, I cannot make you go away. Like a puppy, you may still nip at my heels and beg for me to play with you, but right now, I am placing you in a basket at my feet where I can rub your belly with my foot while I sit here and do the work that I really want to do, that fulfils my heart and soul, and that feels meaningful.

 I choose to face the fear and discomfort because I know when I do only one thing happens: I grow.

 And it is this practice of facing fear and discomfort again and again that makes me free and that’s all I really want to be.

With love and courage,

Kym
xx

How to effortlessly find the motivation to take action especially when it is hard, uncomfortable or unpleasant

Photo by @helloimnik via unsplash

Photo by @helloimnik via unsplash

A few weeks ago, to my surprise, my spirit urged me to start a running training program.

I’ve never been much of a fan of running. It can be pretty punishing on the body, boring and create a lot of discomfort mostly of the mental kind, where you want to quit because it feels hard but you keep pushing yourself to keep going, unless of course you do quit because you don’t win the mental battle and either walk, go home and/or never go for a run again.

Why running?

Well I’m not a fan of the gym, and while I love boxing (I trained in boxing for many years and was even going to try some amateur bouts until I sprained my ankle then suffered hip and back problems for a couple of years) I’m not feeling the call to go back to boxing right now.

My main goal is to move my body, get fit and feel good. My secondary goal is to work up to running 5 kilometres, just because it feels good to have to something to aim towards that will extend myself.

So I googled and found a simple training program that combines walking and running that builds up to only running over a number of weeks so that I can ease into it, build up strength and stamina and reduce the risk of injury by going too hard too soon.

It’s not been the best time of year to start training here in Melbourne. It’s winter. They days are short and cold, sometimes windy, and we’ve had a lot of rain. So you know what’s coming next….

Common excuses not to take action

Being winter gives me at least 4 reasons not to go outside and run:

  • It’s too dark.

  • It’s too cold.

  • It’s too wet.

  • It might rain.

 The other excuses I can come up with include:

  • I’m still sore from the last run.

  • I’m too tired.

  • It’s too hard.

  • I’ll go tomorrow.

My favourite and most consistent excuse is:

I don’t feel like it.

As humans, we’re pretty wired for comfort and safety. I think it’s a rare person who wakes up and says to them self…

“Gee I feel like getting out of my comfort zone today!”

Well at least I don’t wake up thinking that or saying to myself that I really feel like going for a run, although maybe one day I will. 

So far, three weeks into my training I haven’t missed a training session and I’ve managed pretty easily not to give into my excuses and allow them to stop me and this is why…

My secret motivation booster…

Last year, my teacher/coach introduced me to Kundalini meditation and yoga by prescribing some short meditative practices to help with anger and negativity, heart protection and self-love.  I’ve tried different styles of yoga over the years but never clicked with them the way I clicked with Kundalini yoga. I felt completely different after the first short 3-minute practice I was given.  Since then, I’ve been practicing almost every day.

One of the things that I love about the kundalini practice is that often there is time allowed to sit, breathe, notice the body and it’s energy and integrate the medicine of the practice. The energy in and around my body may feel different depending on the practice but there are usually very delicious feelings to feel.

I’ve transferred this practice of awareness and integration into my running training.

When I arrive home from a run, I sit for a few minutes and feel the energy that is around my body. Yes, my legs or feet or knees might feel a bit sore or achy, but the energy in and around my body feels light, vibrant, alive, vital, joyful and sometimes blissful.

It is by paying attention to how I feel after I’ve done the hard work i.e. the fruits of my labour that motivates me to go back and run again, to put myself through discomfort.

The running might be hard at times but the more I do it, the more I start to experience pockets of joy as I run. The more I pay attention to how I feel after running, the more I want to go back and do it again.

Bask in the goodness. Soak in all the delicious sensations.

Photo by Melissa Askew

Photo by Melissa Askew

It’s that simple. And it’s something we can apply to almost any difficult task we have to accomplish whether it be a university assignment, cleaning up a very messy house, making a difficult phone call we’ve been putting off.

Try it…

So I offer you this short practice to try:

  1. Drift back in time and remember something you accomplished that felt good to accomplish.

  2. Remember how you felt.

  3. Notice where the feeling is located in your body and what the sensations are like. It might not be in your body but just around your body in your energy field or aura.

  4. Name the feelings or sensations.

  5. Bask in the feeling and sensations.

Doing this will effortlessly build your motivation to take action because…

  1. You will more deeply map the feeling to your body and energy system.

  2. The next time you have to do something hard or uncomfortable, your body will remember the good feelings .

  3. Those good feelings will help you move through the uncomfortable part.

  4. It will become easier to take action and consistent action towards your goals because those good feelings are going to pull you towards them.

Try it and let me know how you go.

Oh and if you’re one of those people who does wake up in the morning looking forward to getting out of their comfort zone, I’d love to hear from you too. Let me in on your secret.

 With love and courage,

Kym xx

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PS This is me on my way back home from a run, rugged up for the cold and rain jacket on because it was possibly going to rain but it didn’t…


Why you should slow down and take your time

Sometimes it seems this world is in such a rush to get somewhere and especially to cram as much as possible into the short time we have to live this human incarnation.

But doesn’t rushing feel like skating on the surface?

And doesn’t cramming it all in feel confining and stifling and like there’s no space for joy to wrap around the experience?

In our efforts to realise our dreams, we skip over uncertainty, and we don’t mine the gifts of our procrastination, fears, avoidant tendencies and other blocks.

I’m a proponent of slowing down and taking your time.

In my work place, I see time and time again how too much focus on getting the job done often in a rush and not enough focus on the unfolding journey called process causes errors, sub-standard work and re-works making the journey take twice as long and a whole heap of frustration and lost goodwill. A lot of business studies have shown that slowing down is the way to speed up.

As a scuba diver, swimming too fast has two implications:
The first is that you will suck your tank dry of air quickly and your dive time will be greatly reduced;
The second is that you won’t see all the camouflaged, hidden and tiny creatures as you swim right past them. You might see more of a big site but really you will see less.

As a pilgrim (or hiker or every day walker), walking through the world brings you into direct contact with the world around you, the ground, the sky, the weather, the sounds, the smells, the textures, the small and hidden details, in a way you can’t experience it in a bus or train or car.

As a meditator, your experience of life slows right down to this moment, this breath, this inhale then exhale, the thoughts floating through like passing clouds and all the sensations that are here to be noticed and felt fully.

There’s a time to leap and jump and swing through life, and there’s a time to bust through your procrastination and other blocks that hold you back, but mostly I think we need to slow down.

The fullness of life is not in how much we do or how far we go or how much we achieve but in how deeply we experience and treasure each moment that it presents, even the ones we want to bypass or reject.

With love and courage,

Kym xx

When your calling is scary and 3 tips to help you over come your resistance so you can just start

Photo by Ian Schneider.

Photo by Ian Schneider.

Today I have everything and nothing to say. So much has unfolded in my life in the last week.  There are so many things I could write about: the secret tricks of resistance, the gifts of cleaning up my act, the intelligence of the body, the unexpected joy of following a green mono-diet for the last week that was not hard at all contrary to what my mind had to say before I started.

My mind has been flipping between all the options I could write about, not sure which one to choose. So I decided to just start writing and see what emerges.

Sometimes you just have to start and see where you end up.

 The path isn’t linear or set in stone.

All roads lead to Rome. Although in years gone by, pilgrims may have walked the same route to Rome for safety and to access amenities, which is why it became the preferred pilgrimage route in the first place. There are in fact innumerable routes to Rome depending on which way you personally choose to walk. Your path is yours and yours alone. Don’t walk someone else’s (unless you feel called by your soul to do so.)

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I didn’t know I was going to write all that. It just came out as I was typing. See. This is this joy of turning up to a blank page to see what wants to emerge and be expressed.

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Sometimes we think we have to know where we’re going or how to do something or how it’s going to turn out before we start but the truth is we don’t really know until we start.  

So just start with a small step or if a small step is too much just a small movement or gesture.
Find your way.

On the weekend I bought and almost completely devoured Stephen Pressfield’s latest book, The Artist's Journey: The Wake of the Hero's Journey and the Lifelong Pursuit of Meaning upon the recommendation of my women’s circle leader, Grace Funk of Priestess Your Life, who described it asa game-changer.”

 Similar to Grace, I have spent most of my life exploring why am I here? What are my gifts? And in recent years, what is my subject? What is the underlying theme of my writing? Who am I here to serve?

 I realise as I was reading that my writing has dwindled away (again). The poetry has stopped. My instagram posts have a sentence or two at most. Sometimes I journal. I write my weekly blog post…so that’s something.  But overall, I have been writing very little.

I don’t feel inspired.
I have nothing to say.
I have to focus on finalising and marketing my book.
I’m too tired.
I don’t know what I want to write about yet.
I’m not clear on the subject yet.

These are some of my most common reasons…I mean excuses…I tell myself that stop me from writing.

Yes…they stop me from writing which because I tell myself means I stop myself from writing.

 Guess what’s really at play here?

 Resistance. I’d write it in invisible ink if I could because that’s how it often shows up in my life.

Stephen explains that writing or creating requires that we go from Level #1 - our everyday reality into what he calls Level #2 -“that is the Unconscious, the Soul, the Self, the Super-conscious.” You might also think of it as the Universe or unlimited creative field.

 “Resistance is a min-Refusal of the Call” (to adventure, to create, to take a risk or specifically in my case to sit down to the blank page to write.)

 But why?

 It’s simple.

 “The Call is scary,” writes Stephen.

Resistance is “the terror the psyche experiences at the prospect of encountering the Self, i.e. the soul, the unconscious, the superconscious.” 

I’d also offer that the psyche experiences this terror when venturing into the unknown whether it be to go and walk a pilgrimage route on the other side of the world, quit your job without another one to go to, take on any challenge you’ve never done before where you risk failing or change your life in some way that the psyche fears may be irreversible.

Stephen says that the first skill the artist must learn is how to start.  However, he does not tell you how to start. This is something the artist must discover for herself.

 At the end of the day you must discover what works for you but I will share a few things that have worked for me:

1.    When I don’t know what to write about, I ask for inspiration

I discovered this early in my Via Francigena journey. I noticed that I had been receiving writing inspiration constantly as I was walking then one day there was nothing.  I heard nothing.

I asked the universe why I wasn’t receiving inspiration and a small quiet voice said I didn’t ask. So I asked and it soon came flooding in.

To ask is to open to receive.

2.    Grow your creative energy anyway you can

Dance, walk, cook, paint, draw, colour, write, sing, play, walk, take photos, make love, go to an art exhibition or a performance.

Do something that gets you out of your head, that is fun and makes you feel excited.

This weekend I got my easel and paint out for the first time in months and intuitively painted.  When I paint, sometimes I have an idea of what I’m going to paint but it usually changes as I paint, often completely such is the way the creative process works through me. I also “make mistakes” e.g. put paint on in a way that doesn’t match my expectations, but somehow I always find a way to cover it, change it, blend it, correct it, morph it into something new or accept it.

I loved my painting so much, I have called her Mary the Angel and framed her and hung her on the wall behind my desk to reflect back at me my own creativity as I work. I am now super excited to paint more. I even ordered a book on intuitive painting for inspiration and learning. This excitement is flowing over into my writing and other areas of my life.

Here’s Mary the Angel….

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Can you see the luminous lizard creature hanging around her head aura? Well that was unintentional (which you could call a mistake) but as one of the many things lizard symbolises is teaching us that there are untapped powers in us, I think it was divinely intended and created.

3.    Be curious

 High expectations are a killer. Take the pressure off yourself. You don’t have to create something perfect. You don’t have to get it right.

Just start with curiosity and see what emerges and where you end up. Maybe it will be a mess.  Maybe you will fail.

Or maybe it will inspire something else or another part of your life.

Maybe it will be truly amazing.

Maybe that’s the real fear here that your amazingness exceeds what you have previously known/thought about yourself.

You may still feel resistance. Fear may come up.

Just feel it and send it some love.

See if you can find the excitement in your body for creating, make it bigger and bigger in your body so that your excitement is greater than your fear. Your excitement will help you step over the edge again and again.

“The artist is not expressing himself. He is discovering himself.” - Stephen Pressfield

And isn’t that just it? We get focused on outcomes: achievements and progress and getting somewhere and making it some place. But the journey is about discovery and there’s so much to discover in this world, and especially within yourself in the short time we have here on this planet in this life.

I just started writing this blog unsure of my starting point or where I was going and it showed up as I wrote. This also happens to be the longest blog I have written in a long time, which could be good or bad depending on your attention span and/or personal preference [insert cheeky face emoji that doesn’t exist on my laptop keyboard so you’ll have to imagine it.]

In writing this, I have discovered more about myself, primarily that I’m actually quite clear on how to get myself out of resistance. I just needed to write it down to remind myself.

I’m also feeling the creative fire inside my heart burning even more brightly, a combination of writing this blog, creative cooking, and painting on the weekend that has triggered a whole heap of ideas for books and insights and clarity around what I’m here to teach in this lifetime.

 So what do you say? Want a make a commitment to yourself to just start? To have a go? To give it your best shot?

Your adventure, your art, your book, your poetry, your song, your dance, your [fill in the blank] is waiting to come through you.

I hope you’ll say yes.

With love and courage,

Kym

xx

PS If you need some help to overcome resistance, checkout how we can work together on my service page and/or send me an email to kym@kymwilson.com.au or through my contact page.