Greetings Beloved SWERVER,
My inner critic has been kicking my ass of late, telling me stuff like, "It's already 9:30 and you've done nothing today!" Later I think, "Not true--I've already carefully saved two spiders from being swept up by the broom while cleaning my kitchen." I captured them in a cup, slipping a postcard underneath the edge and gingerly carried the vulnerable arachnids outside.
Two of my four parents corner me at a family dinner and harshly admonish me for being single and not scouring Match.com, like my handsome, successful, funny, millionaire brother. Then my Mom, forces a $20 bill into my hand and tells me she's paying for the first month of my membership. Later that night, I dream I'm watching an undulating earthquake roll and topple the high rises on The Wilshire Corridor, while I search for my brother, trying to warn him. I wake up the next morning like, "You're okay, Sweetie. Take a snapshot of yourself today for your Match profile. Just take a step or two and you're on your way."
Today, I get home from work and I lie on the couch with Diablo on my chest purring like a lawnmower, for a Kitty Lovefest. After a 20-minute snoring catnap, the untrue mind wakes me with, "Why are you so tired? Get moving! You've got things to accomplish." I get up and eat leftover steak and asparagus and after the food gets in, after I've got my senses back, the real me is like, "Baby, you were really hungry. Nourish those working muscles with all that iron, lean protein and fresh green veggies. You listen to that body craving and nourish yourself for the work you can still get done today. Do a little something in the direction you're going and you're on track."
It's been rough--these nudges to grow, expressed with overblown urgency and unrealistic black or white expectation. Thankfully they are coupled with a sound mind and a confident sense of Self. The rude self-talk is foiled by the softness of taking small steps toward the desired results on a daily basis. See, I don't have to do it all at once. The soft hand nudges me forward to make a few focused steps toward my goal, a little bit at a time, a little bit every single day.
I think we all get the feeling sometimes that we're just not keeping up--that the earth is quaking, that buildings are falling and that we should be accomplishing more in order to keep things together. And we should accomplish stuff. We should take steps to make our dreams come true and to make this world and our society better. We have to, really. We're creative beings and we must create or we feel sick. It's the over-doing and the cruel self-talk, I'm addressing here. That sort of thing can be skillfully recognized and turned around into kind motivation. Everything's not lost if it's not all accomplished by day's end. We don't have to throw out all our pencils when they become dull. We have to sharpen them, step by step, one by one, little bit by little bit.
I'm practicing small steps every day and I'm logging my steps in a document. When I go to look at the steps taken since last April, I'm surprised to see how much I've accomplished! This is the same philosophy we have about working out at SWERVE. Show up. Take steps toward your goals. Every day. A little bit. Sustainably. Every day.
Gillian Alexandria Clark