Going where the energy is

I’m really struggling to do things at the moment.

Last weekend, on a sudden and strange impulse, I joined some friends as they took a Bank Holiday weekend road trip to an event in South West Wales, not far from where my mum was born.

Eschewing the event itself, I saw it as my the first true holiday in over a decade (ie, going somewhere for the sake of going somewhere, rather than to stay with friends or family, or attend a development event), booked a lovely Airbnb, and packed a good book.

Sadly I found no time for the latter and, rather than coming back refreshed, I’ve spent most of my time since returning in a crumpled bed-bound heap, wracked with exhaustion and the sadness that comes from reigniting a sense of isolation and not-belonging born from having high sensitivity, a long-term disabling illness, and mobility issues which leave me trailing behind.

Frankly, it’s pretty sucky.

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Purpose, peace, and pleasure

Hey there. Happy New Year 🙂

After my last post, which spoke about exhaustion and the need to rest, I took my own advice and have taken the last two weeks off from, well .. everything. No work, no studying, no meetings. It’s been wonderful as I’ve given myself the space to decompress from, well .. everything. We’re almost two years into a pandemic, and I remember thinking (and hearing from Brene Brown) that this will be a marathon, not a sprint. I don’t know about you, but it’s felt a lot like sprinting too much of the time.

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Take time to rest

I had a pretty lousy thought on Monday morning. I mentally flicked through all of the commitments, plans, and deadlines I had coming up until the end of the year and noticed the following thought come up: “If I can just make it through the next three weeks…”

Not great, huh? And, while the time-frame is specific to my circumstances, I’m pretty sure I’m not alone.

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Keep CALM and carry on

One of the great skills in life – perhaps even more important than learning new ways to respond to difficult thoughts, feelings, and sensations – is being able to apply such learnings in the heat of having those difficult thoughts, feelings, and sensations.

I think it’s why I love mnemonics, such as Tara Brach’s RAIN;

Recognize what is happening;
Allow the experience to be there, just as it is;
Investigate with interest and care;
Nurture with self-compassion.

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Sowing seeds

The weather forecast predicts the return of cold weather but, as I write, spring is in the air – together with a desire to be out in nature.

It probably won’t surprise you to hear that I’m not an outdoorsy person. I tend to feel the cold so like to be dry and warm, with bathroom facilities and food in near-constant and reassuring proximity.

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Love and hurt

As I’ve said before, given that ‘love’ is in the title of my website, I’m kinda contractually obliged to write about the subject when the month of February rolls around. And it’s one I’ve written about a lot.

But I confess that it’s been a subject that’s been playing on my mind recently. One I’ve actively wrestled with over the last month.

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Which one are you feeding?

It’s the 1st of January today so I think I’ll be in some good company when I make the following confession: I picked up a pretty bad habit last year.

Nothing big, dark or scary, by the way. I haven’t developed a penchant for loitering in opium dens, or for putting everything I have on red (not being able to leave the house due to a rampaging pandemic has some unexpected benefits, huh).

But I felt pretty lonely during 2020 (not being able to spend time with other people, physically, in person, tends to do that to a gal), and I’ve found myself doom-scrolling on Twitter as a result. And for something I do to make myself feel better, I sure do feel worse afterwards.

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The power of “I Don’t Know”

I have a bit of a reputation amongst my circle for being someone who knows. Friends reach out to me for advice. Strangers ask me questions. Colleagues trust.

And, for the most part, I have an answer. While my mind feels more bric-a-brac-come-room of hidden things, it’s astonishing the amount of half-helpful stuff my intellect has acquired.

(I’m not being modest about ‘half-helpful’; I generally only remember enough to trigger a lengthy Google-Fu session.)

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Cultivating open hands

I spoke to a friend this week about a meditation practise I’ve just committed to, and came up with a turn of phrase which really caught her imagination (“Thank you, I’m stealing that one!”, she exclaimed). It’s a phrase, an idea, I’ve been sitting with ever since.

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