On the past couple of episodes of Designing Yourself, Whitney and I have discussed some great stuff - how we handle stress, and how we recharge ourselves. The great thing about these discussions is that they've provided context and perspective for the work I've been doing on myself over the past few years.
Let me be direct: I have spent a lot of time being "busy" in an effort to avoid dealing with feelings, identity, relationships, and a shitload of other things. Collectively I feel like we have made the notion of being busy too simple to attain and boy, there is a part of me that feeds on that. I can always catch up on Twitter, watch a complete series of a TV show, and plug away at that never ending to do list. But what does that all mean? What does it get me? When does the well-organized person organize in some downtime?
Now, downtime is something I define differently than you do. Sometimes downtime includes zoning out reading blogs or shopping for clothes. Sometimes it means lots of activity with my family, and sometimes it means being very alone. Often, it's an independent thing though - breathing, slowing down, and being observant of the world instead of my busy-ness.
Without downtime and work on the self, I experience profound avoidance. Gang, it's hard to work on emotions and relationships and intentions. It is extremely emotional. I have had lifelong assumptions about myself challenged, and moving from a place of observation to action can be downright terrifying. But it is also profoundly freeing. It is both. And that's where, historically, I have walked away from the challenge.
I've walked away because it's beyond logic and beyond my brain, which has been a driving force for a significant part of my life. I've walked away because I don't know how to do it. No one told me how to best manage this stuff, or not manage it, and just... be with it. Be with myself, be me in those moments. There's no manual. And even then, it delves into the very definitions and notions of who I am. Not trivial, ultra challenging, huge stuff.
I've put some ideas around this. and will be sharing these tools at WebVisions. It may be great for you, or it may not, but it's working for me. I sincerely hope that you can find something that works for you, no matter who you are, in what I share.
Because what I've discovered, nearly by accident, is that my imperfect and wonderful brain can only take me up to a precipice of fear. It's a combination of all my parts, and my support system, that can truly push me through it.