Woke up nice and early, appreciating the extra hour as it allowed me some time to meditate for first time in ages. Was looking forward to my Skype session with Damian Smyth, author of Do Nothing: Stop Looking, Start Living (amazon.co.uk). My expectations were that I'd finish the session with an action plan for my book, list of things 'to do' and feeling motivated to get started once and for all. However - and I ought to have guessed, considering his book title - what transpired was rather than focusing on things I need to do, Damian advised me to take the day off and enjoy myself, rather than focusing on goals. What?!?!? But I'd planned to be so productive this weekend! This was not what I wanted to hear. Having listened to me ramble on for five minutes about why I want to write and what I want to accomplish, he told me something I felt was counter intuitive to progress: take the day off!
Here's some of what he said, which you may find applicable to your life too if, like me, you keep striving to 'get somewhere'.
"Just go and have some fun and don't think about anything else. All the times you put yourself on the hook, that's you doing it to yourself and you can take yourself off the hook; you're OK where you are and as you are; everything is and has happened perfectly; as soon as you surrender to the idea of something you know is going to happen, it will happen. Stop fighting to find a way to make things occur. The way to do it is let go, find out who you are, and love yourself."
Interesting! and something I've heard and been told countless times from various mentors and self-help gurus during my time at Soul&Spirit magazine.
Lifting the oars...
"If you are rowing upstream and putting all your effort into it, and you suddenly realise the boat is going in the wrong direction, the best thing to do is not turn the boat around, but just lift the oars. Stop doing things you think are going to work; stop the doing and trying."
This 'Go with the flow' advice is as old as the hills but perhaps it's for a reason. Maybe I am trying to hard, even though to me it doesn't feel like I am as I'm not 'getting anywhere', but my mind is like a constant battlefield of thoughts about 'you should be doing this, that and the other' or, worse, 'you should have done that already and have wasted years'. Those thoughts make it almost impossible to be creative and move forward with anything at all. Feeling not good enough or satisfied either with what I have, what I have achieved, or who I am, isn't helpful. Oh, and I love the tag line on his Skype account, which is 'you will Find the answer by realising you already have it'. Nice.
Learning to love yourself
On this subject of approving of oneself, back in September at Hay House's I Can Do It! conference in London (hayhouse.com), I realised that actions coming from a place of acceptance and self-approval are bound to be more productive than ones that are born out of fear and self-loathing. After that weekend, I vowed to treat myself as a best friend would, and ditch the negative talk. It lasted about a day, but it was a start... there are years of criticism there to work on!
Wayne Dyer, a Hay House author and one of my most favourite spiritual speakers, says we must "abstain from thoughts of harm, whether directed towards ourselves or others". For me, it's a case of breaking the habit of a lifetime, or, as some have advised, letting it go, as 'breaking' implies force; what's gentler is to greet the inner critic with amusement, thank it for its concern, then let it pass by.
Lady of leisure!
So, Damain told me to enjoy my day, go to a spa, the gym, into the park, to a coffee shop to have a huge piece of cake - whatever it was, just to be kind to myself and completely take my mind of 'achievements'.
I've started with catching up on my fav programme of all time, Strictly Come Dancing, and that put a huge smile on my face. The rest of the day I may just lounge on the sofa reading books that make me feel good, starting with the final instalment of The Celestine Prophecy series: The Twelfth Insight. I wonder whether I can go the whole day without thinking and feeling that I ought to be 'doing' something more 'useful'...
What Katy Louise Did...
- Katy Louise
- Katy Louise writes about health, wealth, happiness and relationships, and the spiritual insights she gains along her path. She is currently editor of Top Sante magazine (www.topsante.co.uk). Prior to that she was editor of Bodyfit magazine (now Your Fitness www.yourfitnesstoday.com) and the launch editor of Soul&Spirit magazine (www.soulandspiritmagazine.com). Katy is also a certified Fitsteps and STOTT Pilates instructor. She is the go-to girl for all matters relating to health, wellbeing and spirituality.