This post was written a week ago; I’m running each post the week following its drafting, so I can reflect on each again as I prepare it for posting.
About a week ago, I wrote about how frenzied my life can at times become, and declared my intention to attend to what I term my “Frenzy Stance” and learn some new techniques to employ before the things I’m trying to do start to feel like they’ll chew me up and swallow me whole if I’m not vigilant.
How did I do with that goal?
Well, it might help to start with a bullet summary of some moments and incidents that stood out to me:
I realized that the moon was nearing full (a time of both intense creativity and a distinct lack of sleep, for me; I call myself a Full Moon Creative).
When my Accomplice rushed me to finish his label project before I had cleared the time and mental space to focus on it, and before I had an idea of how to address the obstacles I was struggling to scale, I let him know, calmly but decisively, that my mind works best when it can simmer ideas for a bit. Once he gave me the time I needed, it was about a day and a half before I had a completed template ready for his approval. A couple of very minor fixes, and the first label was a go!
I am currently volunteering as a #JuNoWriMo Twitter Sprint leader. When I saw that there was a need to write pep talk introductions for the challenge newsletter, I agreed, and have been moving through the process at a pace that works for me, being honest about what would be too much to expect of me. I did the same thing when asked to host an extra hour of sprints on one of my “days off.” I set the schedule to allow me space and time not to be hosting, where I could spend that time with family or my own thoughts. On the other hand, when I realized that I’ve been scheduled for a three-hour stretch on Saturday that I didn’t sign up for, I weighed the time against the benefits, and decided that I’ll accept that shift.
I’ve reduced the number of things I focus on at one time. My brain is generally happiest when it has a diverse selection of goals to pursue, but, over the last few months, I’ve come to see, more and more clearly, that when I allow it to simply bounce between all of them, I dilute my efforts sometimes to the point where I feel I’m exerting a tremendous amount of energy to get nowhere. So I’ve begun choosing two main projects (this month, the #JuNoWriMo Challenge is the primary goal, along with something like labels; StoryFest participation; homeschool reporting; or the like as a secondary). Other less intensive goals round out my day, offfering progress with minimal dilution of effort, and a change of pace when needed from the main projects. Because they’re less intensive, they allow the main projects to simmer while I’m not actively pursuing them.
Those are the major things. It was a busy week, and there were other moments when I felt I was attentive to the goal in positive ways. There were also times when I was less mindful, and less successful – I snapped impatiently at my daughter, slept very little, pushed myself mentally and physically, didn’t drink as much water, journal, meditate, exercise, or do as much home and yardtending as I might have preferred for my overall well-being. Even there, though, the fact that I can recognize the lack is a sign that I am paying more attention.
It’s not a solution, or even, yet, a plan to get to the point of resolution. But as I move into my belated Week 2’s theme of Self-Compassion, I’ll be considering how to apply it to my Frenzy Stance, and see where that leads me.
Sometimes, mindfulness takes time to develop. I’m giving myself time to become mindful of the things that tend to overwhelm, the symptoms that overwhelm is on the way, and the beginning glimmers of ways to deal with those symptoms before they escalate.
Find more Mindful Monday here.
How does overwhelm manifest in your life?
Do you have techniques to deal with it?
Will you share?
The suggestion you make might be exactly what someone else needs.