I’ve barely written here all year.
I was writing in my notebook yesterday, talking to myself and my various personalities, as I do. I was mad at myself for having spent all weekend in my house, in bed, doing nothing. I wasn’t particularly sick, a moderate head cold, but nothing that would normally stop me. But I stayed in bed all weekend. It was exactly what I wanted to do.
So I was mad at myself, mad that we’re halfway through February and I feel like I have nothing to show for the month, mad that I have this long list of things I want to be doing but that never seem to get my attention. Just mad at myself in general, when this voice said,
Why are you so hard on yourself?
I don’t think I’m hard enough on myself, I wrote back. I haven’t done anything!
How can you do anything with this mean voice over your shoulder? I’d be terrified to do anything. If she’s this mean over nothing, imagine how awful she’d be if you did something!
I hadn’t been thinking of it that way. I hadn’t considered how unsafe I’d made it to think and solve interesting problems. I never really have answers, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t wrestle with the questions.
This week in Beyond Emotional Eating we were talking about what happens when you slip back into the old patterns you’ve been trying to release. We’ve been working a solid 6 weeks, unraveling what happens when you eat under stress, trying to get at the longing underneath the habit that called you here, and making space for all those deeper desires. It’s inevitable that you’ll go back to your old habits. It’s just a matter of when.
How can you keep the space for yourself when you have these setbacks?
Even though it doesn’t happen super often to me with food anymore, I can see how it’s the same when it comes to creativity and writing. It’s all a practice, and we all have different things that bring us to the table.
To create one must be able to respond. Creativity is the ability to respond to all that goes on around us, to choose from the hundreds of possibilities of thought, feeling, action, and reaction that arise within us, and to put these together in a unique response, expression, or message that carries moment, passion, and meaning. In this sense, loss of our creative milieu means finding ourselves limited to only one choice, divested of, suppressing, or censoring feelings and thoughts, not acting, not saying, doing or being. …
If you’re scared, scared to fail, I say begin already, fail if you must, pick yourself up, start again. If you fail again, you fail. So what? Begin again. It is not the failure that holds us back but the reluctance to being over again that causes us to stagnate. If you’re scared, so what? If you’re afraid something’s going to leap out and bit you, then for heaven’s sake, get it over with already. Let your fear leap out and bit you so you can get it over with and go on. You will get over it. The fear will pass.
– Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run With the Wolves
Good old CPE. She always knows what to say.
I’m taking this advice to heart this week, remembering that it’s reluctance that causes me to stagnate, and that Bitch Boss is the one limiting me to perfection. It’s not necessary, and it blocks the river. The sooner I can do something, the easier it is to notice and respond to the next thing (even if the next thing is a colossal failure).
I hope you had a great Galentine’s and Valentine’s Day Weekend. I love you.
It’s hard to believe we’re only six weeks away from the start of the next Beyond Emotional Eating! If you’ve been struggling under the weight of your unwanted eating habits, this is a program that goes underneath what you’re eating and makes room for how you’re eating, and how you’re showing up for your life. Join us!