Morning conversation

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Feels: *Antsy* *Agitated*
Thoughts: I’m not doing enough stuff. Let’s do more stuff.
Logical brain: You are currently editing a novel, publishing that novel, taking the University of Iowa MOOC on writing, and attending mindful meditation class.
T: But, let’s do more.
LB: Why?
T: Uh…more is good.
LB: Why?
T: Because it’s MOAR.

LB: Is there something wrong with the current activities? Are they boring?
F: *Extra agitation*
T: No. They are interesting and challenging. And I’m enjoying them. But…
LB: But what?
T: I know what I need to do with them.
LB: Well, that’s good.
T: Yes…
LB: That’s not very convincing agreement.
T: I’ve settled into a rhythm.
LB: Okay.
T: I’m not worried about getting things done well or on time.
LB: That’s also good.
T: But…
LB: But what?

F: *Extreme guilt rises*
T: Does it count as true hard work if I’m not anxious and struggling and feeling terrible in the pit of my being while I’m doing it?
LB: Whoa…that’s a lot. Let’s pause for a second.
F: *Small calming breath* *Fidgets*
LB: Let me get this straight: you are worried that if you aren’t feeling overwhelmed and bad that you aren’t working hard enough?
T: Maybe.
LB: And the solution is to do more things, so that you can feel anxious and upset about getting all the things done, and then you are really working?
F: *Very exposed*
T: Um…yes.

LB: All right. I’m not saying that pain = real work is a good approach, but maybe the best plan would be to ease out of this instead of going full-on cold turkey.
F: *Lots of fragile emotions*
T: That might be okay.
LB: Would it be helpful to add a couple daily small activities and give them a time limit? That way there’s a little challenge and stimulation from learning new things, but no crazy bad overwhelmingness that invades the space of the other projects that are going well?
T: That could be good. I could try that.
LB: Okay. Let’s do that.
F: *Tiny shred of calmness*
T: Okay.

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