I feel like I’ve come to the other side of something more than just Winter.

I spent February resting as per my list of monthly focus topics. It was beautiful to release all pressure on myself. No pressure to go out. No pressure to have the neatest home. No pressure to be the most organized. No pressure to be hurried in any way about anything.

When I say “pressure” I mean that I constantly and maliciously used the lines “what will other people think?” and “is this really the best you can do right now?” and “your attitude is garbage, no wonder everything feels so hard. Your mindset is pathetic” and “you should really not be so hard on yourself- you’re doing the best you can… aren’t you? Then what’s your problem?”

I got to challenge these thoughts with compassion. I got to sit with them and feel them and discover where they were coming from. I got to trust myself to hear all of those thoughts and to act in a way that felt true to me… not what felt forced by those thoughts.

This release allowed me to really see how much pressure I put on myself… it also allowed me to see how much pressure I put on myself to NOT put pressure on myself. I cried when I finally acknowledged that putting pressure on myself was the only tactic I consciously knew and used to achieve anything. Applying pressure in these ways put the shame of failure, not measuring up, and not finding joy in my life squarely on my shoulders. It made me feel ungrateful for everything. Even the good things felt like a burden for me to grin and bear. I had to perform every moment of every day- especially when I was alone- because if I didn’t practice performing, how could I ever make the people around me believe I was grateful, calm, and happy?

When I released that imperative to perform, to achieve, and to measure up to imaginary external standards, I found myself approaching the same tasks with a sense of joy. I didn’t feel like I had to do anything, it felt like I got to. The dishes used to be a chore to get done, but when I took the pressure off, I found that I could enjoy the feeling of being finished the job- or at least making a bit of progress on it. I found that I could find beauty and joy in folding sheets and putting them away neatly, instead of the task being another to-do on my long list (and never mind the idea of it being neat).

But I’ll tell you, it was hard to let it all go. It was hard to allow myself to do nothing.

It was hard to watch things get piled up, disorganized, and messy and not feel resentful or ashamed.

Here’s the thing. When I released completely, it didn’t take long before I was able to discover joy and the feeling of accomplishment in even just starting tasks.

I had to go through it.

I had to allow the release to happen so that I could find creative ways to delegate some of my tasks to family members instead of taking it all on myself all the time. I had to allow it to suck not having what I needed ready to go so that I could re-appreciate having the ability to have my materials set up to quickly perform tasks later. I had to really let things get ugly before I could find the beauty in a job done well.

I resisted letting go so much because it’s hard to imagine how things are going to work out and get done each day. It’s hard when you know that you are the one who gets work done quickly and efficiently and you are “dropping the ball” on purpose. It’s really difficult to imagine how things are going to go when you don’t have your set routines to help you move through your stressful day. I don’t vacation a lot, but when I think back on when I have gone away with a small child I remember feeling the same disorientation while away from my routines and surroundings, and then the subsequent reevaluation and renewed appreciation for everything after my return home.

This whole experience was an intuitive trust-fall… It felt right even though my ego was telling me it didn’t feel right.

So now I have emerged feeling more grateful and less burdened. Whether or not it was the most efficient way to go achieve this experience, I don’t know. I’m sure there are better ways, and I’m sure that one of them is having the means to go on vacation and experience the same release of pressure away from home. I would have enjoyed myself more and have a better tan besides. But that was not my intuitive reality this year, and I feel like it was a more thorough experience for me because of it.

This release was the rest and revaluation I needed in order to emerge on this warmer side of Winter engaged and ready to approach all of what is coming for me with energy and gratitude. I feel so ready. I feel so recharged.

I’m not sure if this is the way everybody should try to review the routines and habits of their daily lives because it was intense and it felt so profoundly intuitive and personal to me, but I do encourage exploring the day-to-day to see if there are changes that will make you feel more engaged and aligned with what your ideal intuitive lifestyle calls for.

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