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February 14, 2022

The Medicine Lies in Leaning into what we are Avoiding.

 

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Ever since beginning down the entrepreneurial path, I’ve struggled with stillness.

It stems from insecurity.

I guess I’ve felt inside that if I’m not actively working toward my goals, I am “never going to get there.” And that, on an even more basic, survival level, unless I’m pushing, I will be penniless.

And while there’s truth that you do have to put in time and energy to get to a place of comfort, especially as an entrepreneur, it is equally true that we all need rest and joy to have a healthy mind, body, and spirit—not only to “make it,” but to live well.

Of course, it is easier to say we should tend to our rest and joy than to carve out the time in our day-to-day lives to actually do so.

The past two years, I’ve had to make a conscious effort to remind myself that rest is not only active but my birthright—as it is for all of us. And even still, I find it uncomfortable a lot of the time.

There are so many reasons for this, most notably societal programming, which has us ingrained with the belief that we are better when we are doing, achieving, receiving notoriety for accomplishments, and so on.

At this point, I think most of us are aware of this. Yet many of us continue to burn ourselves out because, of course, there’s a difference between intellectually understanding an idea and deeply embodying a philosophy.

To go from understanding to embodiment necessitates personalization.

By that I mean going beyond the theories and looking under the hood of our own skin and into our minds, shining a flashlight into our past. We need to become aware of when we ingested these ideas into our own being to the point where they began to play a role in directing our lives.

The best time to do this self-excavation is, honestly, when we are triggered in any which way. For instance, if we feel uncomfortable resting in the middle of the day and yet feel exhausted come 2 p.m., we’d be served by encouraging ourselves to sit down, open up a journal, or sit with ourselves and nothing else, and begin to ask ourselves why we feel so uncomfortable giving our bodies and minds and souls the rest they so desperately need.

Every time I do this exercise, I’m shocked by how negative the voice in my head is when I begin to tune into it. It says things like, “Because that’s what lazy people do. You don’t want to be lazy do you?” And, “You’re worthless if you just sit here. Get up and make something of yourself.”

While this may seem like an unpleasant exercise, it is enlightening. And it doesn’t stop there. Once we’ve tuned into the negative voice in our minds, we can do our best to recall when we first received this messaging.

See, once we can go, “Oh I feel like I’m lazy and worthless when I lie down mid-afternoon because X once said that to me (or to themselves) when I was young,” we can truly begin to unravel and let go of this programming.

The next time we feel like we shouldn’t rest, we can remind ourselves of what we learned from this self-excavation: that this isn’t true, that this is just our first thought due to X scenario that played out in the past.

Of course, you can always go deeper when you get here, using tools like visualization to rewire the mind. But even if you don’t, even if you “just” come to this understanding within yourself by leaning into the discomfort versus running away, you’ve already opened yourself up and begun to receive the medicine that will bring about an internal shift.

And you’ve done this by cultivating self-awareness that has allowed you to spot the programming, separate yourself from its clutches, and choose instead what is best for you and your peace.

~

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