success and forgiveness
Right off the bat, I have been struggling with motivation and productivity for a little while now. Maybe the last two weeks. We all know "procrastination": you say you'll do something and you know what you have to do and have all the tools to do it but for some reason, you screw yourself over! Maybe you're hard on yourself and choose to do better tomorrow, or maybe you forgive yourself and let it slide, or you continue not caring.
Here is what I have personally discovered about my inner dialogue with procrastination...
Procrastination is a trickster. It has a way of appealing to your feeling brain, the part of you that is dependent on what you feel like doing compared to your thinking brain, the part of you that knows exactly what you have to do. The feeling brain is the stronger part of all of us! To the point that when we are out of line, the feeling brain will make up reasons to why the thinking brain should reason with our decisions. The feeling brain will act out and tell the thinking brain "we had no choice", "we always have tomorrow", "oh well" etc. And thinking brain eats this up; those are called our excuses.
To understand the dynamic of our thoughts and who is doing the thinking, helps put you back in the driver's seat. What part of you is thinking "I feel empowered to create the life I want" and what part is thinking "Pfft as if"?
This is where we can use our handy meditation skills! It's about inviting in your deepest thoughts without judgement or resistance. "Why do I do this?", "What do I gain and what do I lose?", "Why am I resistant to the things I want?" etc. Ask questions and openly wait for any answers that arise. Uprooting negative and deeply rooted beliefs about yourself and your procrastination helps you turn around and walk away the same way you came to these conclusions.
Procrastination and I became pretty good friends around 1st year of university. I didn't realize what was happening until 3rd year when I kinda got my groove back. But basically, after a series of anxiety attacks in grade 12, I subconsciously made the decision not to do anything that merely stresses me out. And I did exactly that; school was breezy and fun because I prioritized making friends over putting a 100% in university. And it felt really really good at the time to not have my well being revolve around school, but the downside was I was halfassing it! I was wasted my own time. There's a difference between having a good balance and then there's running away from your responsibilities in an effort to never feel terrible (about yourself or your situation).
So here I am running away from panic attacks (because if you've had a couple you know they're terrible) but I'm also running towards my passions, my dharma and things, events and people that make me incredibly happy. But how is this possible? Well it's not impossible but it is more difficult and time consuming to plan to go for big things, but instead of going in a straight line, we're now staying clear of shame, guilt, our past, the abuse, triggers, a person, a setting etc. It isn't easy to remove these obstacles that are very much real. A lot of motivational speakers and well meaning people will tell you that fear is an illusion; fear is very real. Trauma is very real. And they influence the way we live, relate and our ability to succeed (whatever that means to you).
My one and only strategy to let go of procrastination is not much of a strategy at all; it's forgiveness. It's letting go of your past, your shame, your guilt, your self-loathing. They are not yours or they don't have to be yours anymore. Forgiveness to me is letting the situation, person or trauma move through me like water. It's cheesy and weird but I have borrowed this little trick from Taoism. Water doesn't wait for anyone, you can't cup it in your hand for very long, you can't save it for later. You simply let it keep flowing through you. You sit crossed legged on the floor with your palms up and you visualize the situations and people that keep you stagnant in procrastination as water in your hand, dripping away. You can't hold them. You can't punish them. You can't keep punishing yourself. Let it flow like water through you. Not because they deserve it or you yourself don't believe you are worthy (yet), but because you have sh*t that you promised yourself you were going to do at some point in this lifetime. We don't keep going because we are worthy, we keep going because we are flawed people, but so is everyone else in this race. Our suffering doesn't make us special, suffering is universal.
Namaste. The light in me honours the light in you. The misery in me honours the misery in you. The procrastination, unforgiveness, unworthiness, lack of motivation and comparison recognizes those same experiences within you. Forgive yourself for not showing up for yourself and never let it drag you down. Forgive yourself so you can succeed in all the ways that matter.
Prayer for forgiveness
I choose right now in this moment to let go of my situation, my limiting beliefs and the limitations I have placed on myself
I am trusting of my own path. I do not look to the right and to the left. I look straight ahead and trust that I am going places!
I look on the bright side and rejoice in my accomplishments and growth
I am not resistant to negative thoughts and feelings. I invite them in and listen intuitively
My flaws make me stronger
I trust that my knowledge and my presence is of worth and I forgive myself for every time I talked badly about myself
Let me be reminded of how far I've come and let that be my encouragement to continue
I forgive myself. I let go of resentment towards myself, others and unwanted emotions, thoughts and situations
I choose to be free today!