My brain is working in the most curious way at the moment. Lots of unusual little thoughts are coming to mind, and I’m getting inspiration for writing from the most unexpected places. This post for example, has been rolling around the back of my mind since yesterday morning. I went out early for my walk/sit (still marvelling at the wonder of the difference this makes to my frame of mind), and again, the tree gave me something to think on. An acorn fell and landed in front of me. It was tiny and beautiful and perfect, and has the capacity to one day be as impressive as the tree it dropped from. Sitting there under that tree, it struck me how little any of us are aware of our potential, and how easily overwhelmed we are if we try to do too much at once.
Imagine showing that tiny acorn a 200 year old oak and saying ‘do that’. How impossible would that seem? Where would it even start? That kind of impossible goal setting is something I’ve been guilty of for years, made even worse by a relentless urgency and need to make it happen NOW. An acorn cannot become a 200 year old oak overnight. Funnily enough, it takes 200 years. Along the way it will likely encounter many challenges, and it will need to bend and adapt to those. It will also need to bend and adapt slowly, because sudden movement would snap it.
Are we really so different? I get that this is a bit abstract and left of centre, but I hope you can see the analogy that I’m trying to draw.
I doubt there are many of us who are genuinely aware of our true potential, of what we might be capable of. We’re filled with doubt, with fear, with misgivings. We look at the end game, get overwhelmed by the sheer difficulty of it, by the number of obstacles, often seemingly insurmountable ones, and we back off. Or maybe we try, but the first fall stops us from trying again. The acorn has no clue of its endgame. It’s not in a hurry, it doesn’t want to be the best at growing, ever. It takes its time.
Since waking up to my lifelong habit of always rushing to the next thing, and experiencing the difference that slowing down has made to my emotional well being, I’m able to think so much more clearly. There are things that I want to change, things that I want to achieve, that seem so far out of my reach as to be utterly impossible. I can’t see a clear path to making any of these things happen, and historically, that would make me believe those changes to be unattainable. I’m not convinced by that any more, not even close.
I got some news recently that will have a significant negative impact on me financially. Old habits kicked in immediately.
‘This ruins everything’.
‘I might as well just give up now’.
‘I’ll never be able to fix this’
This isn’t me anymore. Yes, it’s a massive, enormous pain in my face that I could so do without. Yes, it will undoubtedly make things more challenging. But it doesn’t have to mean my plans go by the wayside. These thoughts stuck around for about 5 minutes or so, but then they shifted, and others came to mind.
‘I can find a way around this’
‘I can use this as an opportunity to find something new’
‘I’m not going to let this bring me down’.
And then I realised something. I’ve been knocked down more times than I care to remember over the years, but I always get back up. For a long time, getting back up could take months and often led to depression. Then it became weeks. Then days. And now?
I’m not sure this is me doing the work at all. I’m making the space for my mind to actually think and process what’s going on around me, and because I’m doing that, everything else is falling into place. That doesn’t mean I won’t get knocked again, far from it. But what I think it does mean is that getting back up will get easier and easier, because I finally have faith in my own ability to look after myself.