We just entered the month of October. Change is on its way. From my window, where the new rhythms of my garden can be witnessed, it seems so effortless
The change of seasons never feel effortless to me. An inner itch accompanies the month of October.
Let me explain. During winter I go into a semi-hibernation state and only tend to the absolute necessary. My son confirmed this one winters morning when he said: “Mom, this winter must come to an end now. It is interfering with my lunch box! In summer you pack all these healthy, interesting snacks. Today it seems as if you walked passed the cupboard closed your eyes, and grabbed whatever your hands could find. Really???” I must admit. My inspiration and zest for life takes a knock when the skies turn grey and the temperatures drop. The same goes for cleaning, scrubbing and organizing cupboards… Everything runs on low maintenance.
Its not only the sky that turns grey during the winter… We have a very light off-white colour floor tile right through the house. During the winter months I turn a blind eye and only give the floors a “light” wash. Nobody in the house notices this until a cleaning product spills on the floor and white spots appear … especially around October. The sight of these spots reveal the original colour of the tiles and makes my inner itch unbearable. My family’s comments about the white spots only add irritation to my itch.
Nobody ever notices the gradual build-up that causes a discolouration. At least not until the dirt gets stripped away. Here is the interesting thing… I seldom act immediately. I linger and during the lingering negativity breeds. I complain about the choice of tiles. I am annoyed because I am the only one who cleans the house. I feel overwhelmed with the size of our house. All of a sudden the house is too much to maintain. My mind and emotions get very active. Strangely enough, in these times I never feel like doing something about the real problem. I don’t deal with it. I am not that interested in solving the problem.
Because I never feel like doing the physical work to restore the tiles to their original glorious state. Even though I know I can. I’ve done it before. Its easier to complain about all the external problems that cause the build-up.
I do reach a point where the agony becomes too much and this forces me to grab the broom and mop and put my energy and attention into action. A light-tickle-the-floor-with-the-mop does not do the trick. It’s time to scrub, soak, remove and rinse with clean water.
In these moments I realise that it’s not so hard to deal with the floor. The house is manageable. The tiles are not that bad. With action, the season inside of me changes effortlessly from cold and grey to new, warm and colourful.
Why do we delay the things that we need to deal with? This question takes me back to a recent conversation I had on Kingfisher FM when I discussed the role of the ego.
The ego is a structure in the personality that develops during the childhood years (especially the formative years). This structure forms to protect us and to get us through the traumas of childhood. All human beings experience this. Young children don’t have the ability to do inner work. They don’t understand criticism or metaphors. What they see with their eyes is their truth and they take the words spoken very literally.
For instance, when a young child walks in on a heated conversation between a mother and father and the father yells at the mother to leave him alone, the nervous system of this child can be affected in a very strong way. It might be interpreted as “my dad does not love my mom anymore and he is going to leave us”. The nervous system of a child can easily be overwhelmed. Big and small occurences may result in a feeling of insecurity, being unloved, abandoned, weak or being unseen. To buffer the effect of this, the ego mind develops and finds ways to divert the attention away from what is difficult, uncomfortable or painful. It takes on the role of a protector.
The problem is that the ego mind continues to use the same strategies that made sense for a six or seven year old even when you are thirty of fourty years old. As adults, we don’t need the coping strategies of a child. We can do inner work, see the bigger picture, realise that words and actions can mean many things. We are grounded in the knowing that we are all powerful and can make wise decisions through the ability to discern and find clarity. Few of us use this ability because our auto-pilot ego-reactions tell our senses what to look out for and avoid. It nudges us to please, fight or run away without being grounded in our God-given ability to handle life.
The ego creates habit loops in the brain and this is why my first response in any heated conversation is still to quietly leave, be alone and disappear in one of my books. To be honest, this habit makes sense for a six year old but is rather inappropriate for a forty eight year old women with life experience and a deep sense of support in each moment. I can actually handle any situation because I am supported by inner wisdom.
Mel Robbins, a well known motivational speaker shared her secret to self-motivation in this you tube clip https://youtu.be/2Lz0VOltZKA. This one is really worth watching. So many of my clients thanked me for sharing this clip with them because it had a positive impact on their lives.
Lets move from auto-pilot to decision-making. According to Mel it only takes 5 seconds.