I’ve been living in my head a lot lately. and while this place is not unfamiliar to me — (if there were a loyalty program, I’d be gettin’ all the rewards) — the frequency at which I’m there has increased exponentially as of late.
I don’t think being in your head is all bad. you need to go there once in a while to check in. get an idea of what the internal chatter is saying, if only to give that part of you — that worst critic — some love. letting it know you hear it. and then, with much compassion, letting it know it’s full of shit.
being in your head becomes problematic when the visits become so frequent that you decide to just take up residency. and then your life — the actual life that you should be living — suffers.
for me, the being there has become disruptive. during the past few weeks, I’ve been jolted awake in the middle of the night by the chatter. and when morning finally comes, I have an inbox filled with emails I had sent myself during the night. they all have a similar theme, although the words may differ, and go a little something like this:
“what’s my purpose? what am i moving toward? what am i doing with my life? are those the right things? am i doing enough? too much? what is too much? what is not enough?“
I’ve experienced feelings of stuck before. this isn’t stuck. this is trapped. my therapist calls it an existential crisis. I call it torture.
in her book “Love Warrior,” (which I DEVOURED this week), Glennon Doyle Melton recalls an experience she had at yoga, in which she decides to stay still on her mat and be with herself instead of moving through the poses with the class. as the images of the “ghosts of her past” begin to make their way into her head, she describes the experience as “. . . a sadistic game of Whac-A-Mole in which the moles are my worst fears popping up in front of me and I have no mallet.”
as I read those words, I found myself not only agreeing, but nodding. vehemently shaking my head up and down. not caring that I was on a train and a few of my fellow passengers were giving me curious looks. I nodded. YES. YES. how do I deal with the questions and the doubt and all that’s going on in my head when it’s coming at me so fast? it’s all too much. WHERE’S MY FUCKING MALLET?
as I sat down on my therapist’s comfy couch later that day, all of the stuff in my head came spilling out — as if the nodding had dislodged it and now it needed a place to go. and as the words continued to flow out of me, I felt an immense sense of relief.
turns out mallets come in many forms. mine showed up as being heard and understood.
sitting in my car afterward, taking a little time to process the session, I felt something that I had been missing for a while — hope. I paused to say hello and welcome it back, because I had missed it more than it knew. and as I pulled out of the parking lot, I felt a tiny shift, followed by an overwhelming sense of gratitude. because that shift, however small it may have been, was movement in the right direction. it was the first step on a path to get out of the stuck.
and while I still have a lot of work to do to get unstuck, I now have a path to get there. a path that may be lengthy and complicated and filled with many unknowns, but a hope will be there beside me, guiding me. because, truly, the only way out is through.
“There was a dream and one day I could see it. Like a bird in a cage I broke in and demanded that somebody free it. And there was a kid with a head full of doubt. So I’ll scream til I die and the last of those bad thoughts are finally out.” ~The Avett Brothers, Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise
week in review
last week’s gratitude: friends
this week’s intention: patience
what I’m reading: The Art of Grace
girls’ night + hosted one of my favorite people
read Love Warrior
wrote + posted week reflection
brunch + catching up with friend + babe
continued no-spend November
raked leaves + prepared yard for winter
therapy (much needed)
“adopted” family for the holidays
successfully reduced daily coffee consumption to one cup
completed senior leadership meetings + gained buy-in for big work project
lots + lots of reading
enjoyed the first snow of the season
yummy + fun Friday night dinner with friends
phone date with mom
received some much-appreciated affirmations at work
started reading 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People (work)
weekend happenings + goals
pack + prepare for week away
continue process to submit writing + pics to Bella Grace magazine
check out winter market + get a head-start on holiday shopping
travel to SoDak
read + write
lunch + catching up with a SoDak friend
continue working through the stuck