Good evening friends, I hope you are having a peaceful Sunday!
I thought I’d try start a mini-series (once again) because I have a couple of things I wanted to talk about, and I thought this might be a nice conversation for us to have on a Sunday.
I’m currently reading The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, which is a staple spiritual text in the 21st century and I can see why! It’s already inspired some changes in my mindset, which is what I wanted to share with you tonight.
Stagnancy and feeling stuck are topics that have been discussed at length on this blog, but I’m usually coming at them from the angle of resistance.
Whenever I get into a period of stagnancy, whether that is a lack of work, creativity, or socialising – any kind of ‘progress’ – I become very frustrated.
This is because I want to avoid stagnancy, and I’m not the only one. Over the years, we have placed a lot of value on productivity, and I have placed the majority of my self-worth on the same thing.
Unless I am busy or doing what I feel like I should be doing, I think I’m failing and no one likes to fail, even though it is one of the guarantees in life.
Both failure and change are things that we can guarantee will happen to us if we take action in life, yet they both come with so much resistance.
Coming at things from a stance of resistance is not productive or healthy for any of us.
As Eckhart Tolle claims in his book, trying to change what is, as in failing to accept what is going on in the current moment, is madness.
It’s actual insanity, one of the main causes of stress, for people these days.
Accepting what is and living in the moment is a difficult thing to do, especially for those of us with an interest in productivity, self-development and all that jazz.
We spend so much time planning and thinking of the future – the end goal, as this is where we believe all happiness will be found.
But we don’t suddenly arrive at the end goal overnight which means that weeks, months and potentially years of progress are being ignored.
You can miss out on your entire life living this way.
But what does this have to do with stagnancy and the other things I put in the title?
In The Power of Now, periods of stagnancy, failure, or other forms of change – such as being let down by another person because they haven’t lived up to your ego – are something we need to accept.
Not only do we need to accept these kind of times, but we should also expect them, as they are a natural part of life.
Without the periods of stagnancy, the stillness after a failure, or the confusion that can come after you’ve been let down there would be no room for further growth.
As Eckhart says:
“Growth is usually considered positive, but nothing can grow forever.
If growth, of whatever kind, were to go on and on it would eventually become monstrous and destructive.”
Chances are, if you’re reading this blog then you are also into self-improvement and development.
While I believe that everyone is striving to create the best life for themselves in whatever way they can, people like us are more acutely aware of this desire. This is why we seek out new habits, routines, and behaviours that can enhance our progress and help us see some real changes constantly.
While there is nothing wrong with this, The Power of Now has taught me that constantly striving for better is not an ideal way to live.
It encourages us to stay focused on some imagined future where everything will be better. But if we cannot be present right now, how can we guarantee that we will find the contentment we seek at some far-off date?
Contentment comes from being in the moment, and accepting what is – even if these conditions are not ideal in the eyes of society or your ego – which can happen at anytime. In fact, the sooner you start the better things will be for you.
So next time you find yourself in a period of stagnancy, or processing a failure, or dealing with being let down by others – sit in these feelings.
Do not resist what is happening to you, during this time or any other. There is value in these quiet moments of life, as they allow you to reflect, to sit in your growth before any other progress can be made.
Periods of stagnancy provide a rest period for your mind and soul. However, we cannot fully experience this necessary rest if we are meeting these times with resistance.
I know it’s hard in this time of hustle culture and toxic productivity, however we need to accept that regardless of what we’re doing we are enough as we are.
With this mindset of ‘enough’, we will be more likely to face periods of stagnancy or failure in peace.
You are enough, my friend. You have everything you could ever need or want, you just need to accept it and feel it.
Allow for stillness, for precense and peace – make a habit out of sitting back and observing the way you think and feel in this very moment. Yes, it’s hard but as Glennon Doyle says ‘we can do hard things’.
Give yourself more credit!
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash