(When I let myself be).
I was stressing myself out about what this blog would be. I started writing a piece called, “When Gypsy Winds Blow in Again,” because that's what's going on, and I find myself ready, willing and eager to catch that breeze. But for some reason I got stuck midway through my writing and was beating myself up for not being able to push through.
Then the question occurred to me, why am I putting this pressure on myself? Obviously, if the words aren’t flowing, I must be going in the wrong direction. Why am I trying to push myself in the wrong direction? The fact is, no one says I have to write anything but me, so I can’t put the blame on anyone else for causing my worries.
Why do we do this?
Why do we tend to put unnecessary pressure on ourselves? I know I’m not the only one.
Do you think it’s a good thing to do? A healthy way to live?
True, it could serve the purpose of creating an outward projection of success, but if I’m losing sleep, or experiencing other symptoms of mental strain (ulcers, irritability, less laughter, more worry), what’s the deal? Why would I do that to myself? Why do we do this to ourselves? I’m not sure I have the answer. Maybe it’s ego response? Maybe it’s a false sense of responsibility? Maybe it’s a lesson that needs learning, such as, “if you’re pushing too hard, you’re doing it wrong.” Kind of like that puzzle piece that looks right, but just doesn't fit. Maybe it’s what we’ve been brought up to believe? Maybe it’s all of the above and then some.
I recently took the 5 Elements Personality Assessment offered by Confidence Coach, Michelle Kuei. “The system of the 5 elements first appeared in the Inner Canon, a 2000-year-old medical text that theorized the Universe is composed of forces represented by Water, Wood, Fire, Earth, and Metal- the 5 elements. Human behavior, emotions, and health are influenced by these elements and people’s personalities can be distinguished by them.” I found the in-depth analysis to ring quite true for me and it gave me even more insight into myself and how I'm creating my life. (I highly recommend you check out the inventory and meet Michelle. She’s AMAZING! And she's now a regular advice column contributor to Omni Vision magazine! Check out The Confidence Lounge).
Why do I bring this up? Because I discovered that water is my primary element (40%), much like my Sun sign, Cancer. It’s the water of me that takes me deep and keeps me moving and going with the flow, although sometimes I can get a bit stubborn, stuck, and/or stagnant.
I learned through this assessment, that the other elemental influencers support us and can bring balance to our lives, if we will work with them. For example, water can help wood to slow down and go with the flow. Wood can help the water to be productive and meet deadlines (the inventory says I’m about 16% wood).
But back to the idea of pushing ourselves where we don’t feel like going. The Tao Te Ching put it this way, “That which offers no resistance, overcomes the hardest substances. That which offers no resistance can enter where there is no space.” (Chapter 43); Jesus put it this way, “Consider the lilies of the field, how they toil not, nor do they spin. Yet even Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed as one of these.” (Luke 12:27). Different metaphors, same concept: the idea of “effortless action” or the paradoxical “Action of non-action;” a state of flow.
I recently wrote a song about this attitudinal concept, which is both ancient and yet new every day. It's called "Go With the Flow." It goes like this:
That being said, that’s what I’ve done with this blog. I realized I was stressing myself out and so I changed the direction of my thoughts back into the flow. I could have been rigid with myself and stuck with the half-written Gypsy Wind episode. I could have tried to force Inspiration's hand to get her to flow in another direction, but that would have been paddling upstream, pushing and shoving, which, as I’ve reminded myself, is not the way of Love (at least not self-Love, which is of utmost importance). I could have said, “forget it!” and chosen not to write anything at all, which I did do, for a few minutes, and then these words began to flow.
And I feel better already. How about you?
Are you stressing yourself out?
Are you pushing yourself against the natural flow of life? Are you beating yourself up for not performing as you think you “should?” How’s that working for you at a deep (non-monetary) level?
Let me know.
I know, it sounds vain. But, I figure, mine is the only story I truly know how to tell. Plus, it has a nice ring to it, don’t you think? This blog (and much, much more) is included in our free quarterly magazine, Ömni Vision . Why free? Because I'm free to be who God created me to be.