Lately I’ve been scrolling through Instagram as I walk to the bathroom.
Instead of being present with my environment and thoughts for the 10 second journey, I’ve been loading my brain up with more content and stealing a moment of distraction between activities — in this case, work and the bathroom. This is some real talk right now.
Also, I’m noticing that often at night I’ll feel absolutely too exhausted to do anything that feels on purpose. Instead, I’ll pick up my phone and start cruising Facebook and all of a sudden 53 minutes have passed and I’m not actually creating or learning or in communion or turned on or contributing or resting.
I start to feel like a sad, disconnected, crybaby without friends or meaning or purpose.
How about that!?
These social media binges are happening a little bit more frequently since I’ve been making declarations that I’m ready for my next batch of learning in the form of teachers, relationship assignments, creativity, wellness, and living on purpose to manifest. It seems as though my ego is panicking a bit about what this new chapter will bring in terms of its further annihilation, and in order to keep me small and safe from the unknown, social media black outs have become more frequent.
The other day I heard Pico Ayer say that it takes the human brain 23 minutes to recover from a phone call. I never give myself 23 minutes to recover from anything. I rarely give myself 2 or 3 minutes. The time is ripe for this to change.
My soul is screaming for rest and time to integrate.
If it takes 23 minutes to recover from a phone call, I can only imagine the catch up my brain must be attempting after a lifetime of metaphorical phone calls — she must be utterly exhausted!
And no wonder I’m searching for white noise in whatever form I can find it — Netflix, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest — I haven’t offered my brain alternatives for rest and recuperation consistently, and I’m straight up overwhelmed with the richness and pace of my life.
The truth is though, sometimes the idea of doing the next right thing for my wellbeing feels absolutely excruciating and impossible.
Like taking a nap when I’m tired. Or reading a book I know I’ll enjoy, going outside on a sunny day, getting up to get water when I’m parched, giving myself Reiki, sitting for meditation, answering the phone when it rings (even when people I like are calling!), watering my two house plants (bless them they are resilient). Dancing. Making Art. Sharing here.
The resistance enters into the realm of activities that I think I don’t like but when I’m actually doing them it’s kind of meditative and the relief of it actually happening is enormous. Like doing the dishes, vacuuming, paying my taxes, and cleaning the stove. It’s so curious!
I’m sharing this, why?
1. The monster in my mind is mostly just a tiny mad idea.
I’ve gotta shed light on whatever isn’t working, whatever is torturing me, in order for it to shift. If I keep crap habits a secret, they fester.
If I bring behavior I don’t enjoy out into a circle of witnesses I a) don’t have to navigate the experience on my own anymore, and b) maybe you relate to whatever icky thing I’m experiencing and this can remind you that you can share and shift too.
“Focus Creates EXPANSION” #truthbomb by Danielle LaPorte.
Get your own deck here.
2. I am ready to stop judging the ego with the ego.
I am in a chapter of enormous, surprising, sexy, loving, and true compassion for myself. Instead of judging the behaviors I don’t like and telling myself what a good for nothing, ugly, unlovable, loser I am — ouch! No thanks! — I’m observing things that I’m not that excited about in my daily patterns and saying, “great, thanks for the information!”
3. I’m exactly where I’m meant to be on this path.
I am 2,000% uninterested in presenting a picture of my life and self that is falsely flawless.
(This statement is of course outside of the realm where we all are objectively snowflake unicorns of grace and cosmic perfection, who make divine “mistakes” that are part of our learning as souls incarnated on earth.)
My life does feel better — more holy, connected, meaningful, grounded, and creative — than ever before. I also recognize that there remain many, many opportunities for me to experience healing and grace, learning and compassion, humility and contribution, in my life.
So, to wrap this up: Rest and integration.
I can’t wish my way into self-care, I need to actually behave differently.
I have an invitation to make as much space as I need in between every encounter in my life—each face to face interaction, artistic creation, online session, errand, and phone call.
I pledge to myself that I won’t give in to the overwhelm that comes when I think I need 23 minutes to recover between phone calls (or anything else). I’ll remember that All or Nothing thinking does not serve me in any realm of life.
I’m gonna start with a 2-minute timer after each interaction to meditate, journal, or dance wildly for a burst of endorphins. Then, if after this (2-minute) recalibration time I want to jump online, it will be an intentional decision instead of a default, knee-jerk reaction to open space.
I can increase this buffer time in the future if it feels good. After all, this same building of one small practice on the next is how I’ve gotten to this moment of clarity now.
I give myself permission to pause, breathe, and integrate the experience I just had.
And so can you.