Do you ever find it hard to DO things? Ever play games or stare at a screen instead of getting up and doing what you need to do? And do you feel bad about it later?
That’s what happened with my student Lola. Doing anything was a struggle for her. Washing dishes felt like a big effort. Weeding the garden got put off again and again. And doing her taxes — oh my gosh — a truly monumental task.
She’d make a plan to do something… let’s say the taxes… and tell herself she really HAD to do it. Time was running out. The consequences of not doing it are dire.
“What’s wrong with you?” she’d say to herself. “It’s no big deal. Just do it.” But it didn’t happen. Dishes piled up… the weeds threatened to overgrow the garden… and the taxes just sat there. Not being done.
Now most people try to shame and blame themselves like Lola did when they get stuck with an action block like this.
But I have a radical approach. I believe in making friends with the part of you that doesn’t do the thing.
That’s right. When you don’t do something… and you need to do it… you can say that there’s a PART of you that doesn’t do it. That’s a wild idea! Maybe it’s a little hard to get your head around at first.
When I said to Lola, “Maybe we can say it’s A PART OF YOU that isn’t doing your taxes,” she looked at me like I’d grown a second head!
But then she paused… and she got a sort of inward look in her eyes… and she said, “Yeah… it’s resisting.”
Wow, this is a big step! A huge step! To go from, “I’m not doing my taxes” to “Yeah… it’s resisting.”
Because … look what’s just become possible. Lola can say “Hello” to the part of her that is resisting. Then she can get curious about what’s going on for this part of her, what makes it feel like it has to resist doing the dishes, the gardening, the taxes….
Do you know what she found out? This part of her felt like it was always doing things it HAD to do… and it could never just be free!
OK, now the next step is really important. I remember at that point Lola looked at me like, “What do I say to it now?”
I said, “Now, just let it know you hear it.”
Lola asked, “Don’t I need to tell it that it has to do the taxes whether it wants to or not?”
Actually, no. When the resistant part feels heard and lets go, YOU will do the taxes… not a part of you. Trust me!
And that’s what happened for Lola. Oh, not instantly. Not overnight. It took some time, weeks, a month or two… building a compassionate relationship with the part of her that wasn’t doing anything because it wanted to be free.
“A month or two? Really?” That’s right.
What I’m showing you today is not a quick fix. It’s a lifelong shift in how joyfully and effectively you live your life. Considering that Lola had been stuck for years and years not being able to do things, I think a month or two is pretty good.
Recently I got an email from Lola saying: “This week I’ve washed dishes several times without special thought or effort, cleaned bathrooms, weeded part of the garden… My life right now is much less stressful than it has been for years.” Nice, huh? Oh… and by the way… the taxes got done too!
So if you aren’t doing something you need to do, here are the steps:
ONE. Use this language: “Something in me doesn’t want to do it… and I am saying hello to that.”
TWO. See if you can feel it in your body. Is it resisting? Sad? Hiding? Sense how it feels from its point of view.
THREE. Respectfully listen to what IT feels… without trying to change it. And then… rather than fighting with yourself… just BE CURIOUS about whether you will do the action… and how it will feel when you do.
When you can be a respectful listener to every part of you inside, you’re growing your ability to be bigger than all of your feelings and parts… and that gives you a calmer… more effective… and more peaceful life!
Do you want even more support in trying steps like these?
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Here’s to you… having a more peaceful life!So here’s to you… having a more peaceful life.