When I write this blog, I feel like I can truly be myself. In fact, I can be a better version of myself than I’m able to be in person, by virtue of the fact that I have a delete button, and the ability to go back and edit until I am happy with the way it reads. But the ideas, and the expression, are all mine, edited or not. And when I write, I become the person I aspire to be in day to day life. I talk about the things that matter to me, that I feel deeply and strongly at the very core of my soul. When I write, I go to these places freely. I wander around them, and look about, and get curious and interested, and explore, and I wonder at the thoughts as they flow between my head and my fingers. I become a version of me I really, really like. I entertain and understand myself. And if that entertains anyone else, or helps them to understand themselves, then it’s absolutely an added and welcome bonus.
But I’m all gremlin-y about writing right now. I feel reticent to type, and say what I’m thinking. The gremlins (aka the self-limiting voices in my head) are telling me that because I’ve taken some weeks off, I shouldn’t bother getting back in the saddle. They’re telling me to give up, to let go of this whole blogging malarkey. That I’ve been overtaken those who blog regularly, who’ve (unlike me) been rolling up their sleeves, digging in and getting down to it. The gremlins are saying I should wait until I have something really profound or witty to say, rather than simply sharing the self-limiting contents of my mind like I am right now. The writers I admire most, whose grasp on language is rich and eloquent in a way that mine isn’t, are niggling in the dark and gremlin-y corners of my brain, laughing at my sorry attempts.
But the fact that writing is an activity that makes me feel like the best version of myself, is not to be ignored or sniffed at. Because doing something that brings me face to face with the best version of myself is awesome and exciting, and makes a ton more sense than giving my time and my energy to those snarly, snarky gremlin-y voices that try to stand in my way. And this attitude, or approach, or insight, or whatever it is, is turning out to be a massive motivating factor in my life right now.
Take my kitchen island. A space I was so excited about when our extension was being built, and a space that has become an almighty dumping ground for the household clutter of which there is almost always a horrifying amount. It’s a graveyard for important paperwork that subsequently gets splashed by washing up water, and glued unceremoniously to the counter top (so clearly not the one pictured!). The clutter is oppressive and triggers all kinds of feelings of hopelessness and weariness in me. And on a bad day, I spend more time than I care to think of looking at the clutter, thinking about the clutter, and despairing of the clutter, while I spend exactly zero time actually tackling it.
That was, until I took the time to imagine, fully deeply and completely how I feel, and who I become, when the island-clutter is gone, and the area becomes the useable space I always wanted it to be. And, because writing is my thing, I wrote down my thoughts. And boy was that easy. The benefits, the possibilities, the wonder, indeed the magnificence of a previously cluttered area becoming clear and spacious came flooding out onto the page. And as I indulged in the wonder of this imaginary scenario, where I actually dealt with the crap and the muddle piling up on my worktop, it felt brilliant. I loved it. I felt lifted, and hopeful and full of the joys. I stood taller and breathed deeper just imagining it. And I hadn’t lifted a finger! And suddenly the task at hand became a no-brainer. Suddenly the weary, and hopeless internal voices were quiet, overpowered by my happy imaginings. And the only thing it made sense to do was to go and deal with the mess. Which of course took all of 10 minutes. Leaving me the rest of the day to luxuriate in the triumph of making this small, but significant step forward.
The hopelessness and the weariness can be so alluring. The snarky, and dispiriting voices so easy to tune into. And had I not made a conscious choice to turn away from them – and had I not chosen to take my mind on a little imaginary journey into the light and hopeful place that it turns out is also available to me in any give moment, I would still be beating myself up for not writing this post, while sitting slumped and dispirited amongst piles of wet household paperwork.
So, I invite you to pick a niggling task, however small. Imagine you’ve done it. Feel that fully and completely. Really spend time with all the good feelings, and the happy imaginings. Then see what happens. Watch as you go ahead and make what you’ve just imagined a reality. Enjoy it. Repeat it.