Live Life - Play or Pause

My life on pause...

Recently, some unfortunate events caused my life to screech to a grinding halt. Plans were thrown out the window, appointments rescheduled and emotions were set loose to mess up all the neat corners of my mind and my home.

Emails went unanswered, ringing phones stayed cradled and the stairs and hallways were fighting to claim bragging rights to the biggest ball of dog hair. For a week or two, my regularly scheduled programming was put on pause and the scripts needed to be re-written.

The questions is, how to press play again? Life can't stop for ever. When I stop, I get stuck and the longer I'm stuck the harder it feels to get going again. I had started to procrastinate life.

I had to laugh, because I've been facilitating a group at Sheena's Place on Clutter and Perfectionism and one of the trademarks of perfectionism, that leads to procrastination, is "All or Nothing Thinking". You know that saying, you teach what you need to learn? This has always been very true for me.

All or nothing thinking can easily get us into big trouble. This is the line of thinking that says "If I could only take 3 weeks off work, no make that a month, I could clear all my clutter." All or nothing thinking says that we have to do it all, right now, perfectly OR not at all.

Relating this to life, I guess I felt like I had to figure it all out, write the perfect new script and jump into life all the way. Pretend like nothing had happened. But I couldn't do it. I couldn't find a pen, let alone write a new script, so I stayed stuck.

I realized that the only way I was going to get unstuck was by pressing play, but I would do it slowly, by doing little things, one at a time. Get out of bed. Take the dog for a walk, even if you don't want to. Wash one sink full of dishes. Dust one shelf. Make one phone call. Cook one meal.

I remembered the things that were familiar and healing. I went to one yoga class and one night of dancing. I also decided that I needed to introduce things that were new so my partner and I explored a new conservation area and walked on new paths.

This past week, I've been alternating between play and pause, but the more I press play, the easier it is and the shorter the pause. What's been important for me to remember is that something is everything. Taking one step, making one gesture, moving one inch is enough to get life moving again. It doesn't have to be the best step and I don't need to know what my ultimate destination is, but as long as I'm moving, it's perfect.