You are capable of a level of hustle that isn’t sustainable without sacrificing other things that are important.
I’m excited about my work every single day. But the last while I’ve found myself resisting the return to the cold basement floor after I put my kids to bed. Instead, I’ve been parking on the couch and soaking up the Netflix with my computer on my lap, relatively ignored. And it’s been so good. My work has still expanded and grown anyway, or maybe as a result.
I listened to a teacher talking about self-sabotage today (I listened to it 3 times to really marinate on the ideas). One thing I was mulling over was her recommendation, when you just don’t “feel like” doing what you need to do in order to be or have or accomplish something, is to ask yourself, “How can I help you feel like it?”.. I really like that.
So, I was asking myself, “How can I help you feel like working at night again?”. And you know, I was surprised by the answer. At first I thought okay, if I make tea, sit on a cozy pillow, have something streaming on my laptop- that sounds nice! I could feel like that!”. But what I realized after that is that a long term lifestyle of work at night might not actually be what’s best for the longevity and joy of my practice long term. It is doable and sustainable- for a time. In seasons. But I think for me, I will allow those seasons to come and go, and not expect it to happen all the time.
To be honest, I feel like my work has been getting better since I’ve relaxed into it a bit. To be honest, some stuff I’ve made out of pressure to perform and achieve has been shitty.
In 2011/2012 I hit a wall and fell hard- ER visits, colonoscopy to try to determine why I was spontaneously vomiting, insomnia, panic attacks, headaches….I have no interest in returning to that state. Since then, I’ve been working on building a life that is sustainable. I want to build a lifestyle that leaves me whole, better every year, growing.
In an emergency, you are capable of incredible feats. Hunger, staying awake, physical and mental challenge. But that emergency state is not meant to be sustained. In order for anything to create, to reproduce, it has to be out of that emergency state, and in place of calm, safety, rest and nourishment. I really think one of the ultimate experiences in life is a regular rhythm of work and play. I’m still taking it day by day to find out what that looks like for me. What does that look like for you? What does the position of ultimate creation look like for you? If one were to design a greenhouse just for you to grow and fruit, what would need to be in it?