17 /// Dear Future Self – What Do You Do, When You Don’t Do What you Wanted to Do?

by | Aug 5, 2022 | future self, More About the Mind

Photo by me from my archive.

Dear future self,

Yesterday I sat down to write this post, but no inspiration hit, so I decided to do something else, scheduling this to be published today.

Then this morning called for other things as well, so this post published itself without any content.

I know that in the past I would have been incredibly embarrassed about this. Now, I just think it’s funny and that it fits quite well with a topic I was thinking about earlier anyway.

And I have an hour until it’s dinner time. So, here we go:

The book Constructive Living by David K. Reynolds is based on the notion that, while we can’t control our feelings, we can control our behaviours and that our behaviours in return can change our feelings.

I strongly agree. You can test this by just changing your posture. If you’re tired and just hovering over your desk, take a deep breath, sit up, shoulders back and you will immediately feel differently.

Now in my Optimize training this idea is used to say that however we feel, we need to follow our protocol because it will then change how we feel.

While I think this may be valid when you are trying to implement new strategies into your life, or when you know that you never feel like  doing something, but want to do it anyway because it’s what you believe is the right thing or best thing for you to do.

But sometimes there are other reasons to consider that might actually call for breaking your routine.

One of the things I’ve only recently learned about myself by spending a lot of time by myself, is how much it drains me to be around other people.

As I always had other people around me before, I never knew and just thought that my exhaustions was part of life.

But it really comes from my inability to not let other people’s energy affect mine.

Now I’m learning to find ways to deal with this, to protect my energy, by setting boundaries and taking time to myself, centring and coming back to myself, but I’m learning, I’ve not mastered it yet.

The first sign for me to notice, that I’m not at best form, is when I don’t feel like exercising.

So while I was well able to exercise the first two weeks I shared my space with other people, it became harder and harder in the third week and I noticed how I barely had energy for anything any more by the end of week three.

It’s like I enter into sharing space with other people in a full bodysuit that covers me perfectly and the more I feel the stress, the chaos, the noise, indecisiveness, unsaid words, confusion, underlying anger, the more small holes come in, the more small holes there are, they get bigger and bigger and I just feel completely unprotected and exhausted.

In the past, I simply evacuated these situations by drinking and waiting for them to pass. But apart from the fact that that doesn’t solve anything it also masked what was really going on for me.

Now I notice and I can watch and learn.

Nevertheless, for the last days I couldn’t get myself to do my daily workout, I could have forced myself to do it anyway, but I decided not to.

And I also decided to wait how long it would take to start again naturally. It’s fun to just live life as an experiment to learn from.

It took 5 days of being by myself again for my body to say it is time to exercise again, today. And I feel fantastic.

Everything hurts a little after a break of a bit over a week, but I wasn’t ready before. My body needed to come back to normal.

And there can be many other reasons why we shouldn’t stick to our routine no matter what.

We could be injured (I honestly hear people talk about how they push through the pain and even though their whole body swells up and rebels, they still get their workout done – I doubt that this can be good for anyone), or there could be other things going on in our lives that we need to recognize.

If something is hard for you right now, don’t push through, listen to what it is that you need so that you will want to do what’s good for you again.

Of course, we need some awareness for this and it depends on where we are on our journey and how well we can communicate with our body yet, but the body knows what’s best. And so do we.

So, I’m pleased about this experiment and that my want for exercise came back without me pushing, and it is another step in learning to trust my gut feelings.

Dear future self, how well can you manage your energy?

How do you keep yourself energized amongst other people?

Dear reader, how about you? What are your experiences with your energy and your routines?

My takeaway is:

Never ever blindly follow a plan, whether you made it yourself or someone else did. Listen to your body and adjust your plans to that.

Have a lovely weekend,
lots of love,
Verena

PS: I’m really curious if I will ever have to change my views on this one. Maybe my energy levels would have stayed higher if I had pushed myself to work out in those times anyway?
I’m sure we will find out.

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