THE HABIT - MIND THE GAP
What Happens In Between Your Thoughts?
Here's the thing; I'm a serial seeker.
Always have been. Continuously looking for information. Education. Seeking the very best quality/price of this that or the other thing I need to purchase. Looking to create checklists, then check off checklists. Finding happiness. Looking to be entertained, intrigued, engaged. I get bored watching tv.
I need to have something to do.
And you know what? I always prided myself in that. "What a go-getter I am" I'd say. "I'm always so motivated! So Efficient!"
...... but actually not so much.
Here's a truth I've recently been digesting. And it's been a doozy to accept.
CONSTANTLY DOING DOES NOT EQUAL BEING EFFICIENT.
... or effective. Or even motivated! Sometimes it's actually quite the opposite.
See the trouble with serial seeking, is that it's placed me in this perpetual "future-tense" conversation with myself. "What's next on the list?", "What do I need to learn now?", "What should I be doing to prepare myself for ......?", "Where do I go to find happiness?" All of these questions that I play on repeat are constant suggestions that in this moment - Here and Now - I haven't done the things I need to do, haven't learned what i need to know, am not prepared, and that I cannot be happy right now, because there's too much to do.
To say this feeling is yucky would be an understatement.
So, I'm going through a process of meeting myself where I'm at. And this includes a lot of
1. gratitude work, and
2. a lot of taking time to celebrate my small wins and accomplishments.
These things are easier, because there are tangible practices around them (picking up a pen and writing down what I'm grateful for every day has had a huge effect on my outlook).
The third part of the process is proving to be a little harder... probably because it doesn't involve doing anything at all (not my strong suit). I refer to this third part as
Minding the Gaps.
I (and probably you sometimes too) have a tendency to fill every crack and crevice of head space with thought. There's rarely a moment where I'm not taking in stimulation, or creating something (plans, content, false conversations) in my head. And you know what y'all? This has tossed me into the realm over overwhelm more times than I care to admit.
Parenting, Running a business, Wife-ing, there's a lot of organizing. A lot of moving parts. And so it's easy to let those parts form themselves into a freight train that runs right over you. IF YOU LET IT. And I let it. Because the only way to let go of all the thoughts constantly running through your head is to LET GO OF ALL THE THOUGHTS CONSTANTLY RUNNING THROUGH YOUR HEAD!
hmm.... how bout that.
Here's something interesting. I do have a meditation practice. YES! (Also it took me a long time to create a solid routine of this with many steps and here's my story about that). And this helps for sure. But I also label it as "doing something" in my head lol.
So in minding the gaps, instead of carving out time in the day or scheduling silence in, I'm trying to actively notice all the moments when silence is presenting itself to me.
My mission (and I choose to accept it!) is this:
To allow my body to "go back to zero" / reset, as many times per day as possible. When I'm in constant thought mode, I'm not present, and my nervous system is constantly being triggered. But when I let go of thought, and just be, my nervous system has a chance to relax. I go back to neutral - which I'm discovering is an awesome place to be because from there I'm observing the world around me, and responding instead of reacting.
You wanna try it with me? All that's involved is noticing when you have a moment to let go.
in line at the grocery store
on the toilet
walking to get your kids from school
in the shower
doing the dishes
In every possible gap between #allthethings, let yourself be silent. IT'S INCREDIBLE what you'll notice is trying to come up - thoughts are so freaking weird sometimes. And negative. And non-serving. There's a lot of tools to help with that part (which I'd love to share with you).
Do you know someone who might benefit from this kind of practice? Sharing is caring, and new habits are easier to adopt when you're not going it alone <3