Respecting Your Ebbs & Flows

I’m going to drop a truth bomb on you:  The idea that you’re always supposed to be productive, energetic, working out, creative, etc., is a nothing more than a myth.  

Actually, lets call a spade a spade: it’s a big fat lie.

Society has sold us a fantasy of what our “perfect” life should look like - and that perfect life includes doing all the things we’re “supposed” to do all. the .time.  So if we’re not meditating, saying our gratitudes, working productively, exercising, and cooking and cleaning religiously, we feel like we’re doing something wrong.

I want you to hear me when I say this: only a robot could do everything perfectly all the time. Because we are living, breathing, fallible beings, that is actually impossible. And that’s okay.

So, how do you let go of perfectionism?  First, you have to embrace your natural ebbs and flows.  Here’s how they work: Some days, you are going to feel energized, and you’re going to knock all the tasks off your to-do list.  In those days, you are in flow. Other days, you’re not going to get out of bed until 11am, and then you just won’t feel like doing anything. Those days are called ebbs.

Both of them are a natural part of the human experience.

Here’s the reality of life: some days are going to be good, some days are going to suck, and some days are going to be just okay.  There’s just one thing you need to remember about those less than perfect days…..they will end.

Let me give you an example. Over the past few weeks, my anxiety was at an all-time high. As always, I self-managed for client calls, but outside of that, my mind was a wreck.  I was sucked into my thoughts, and they were in a relentless, stressful loop. I honestly felt like I was drowning. I wasn’t getting any work done because I couldn’t focus, and it was taking all of my energy to be present for my clients.

In the past, I would have fought against my feelings and raged when I felt like this.  I would have tried to go through my life and work full-force. I would have refused to accept how I was feeling.

But instead, I took my own coaching advice: I accepted it. I told myself, “Okay, this is a bad day. I’m going to just take it easy on myself.” I got in bed, watched TV, slept, took a bath, whatever felt nourishing in that moment. The most important thing I did however, is trust that it would end.

You don’t have to suffer from mental illness to experience ebbs and flows.  You can experience ebbs and flows in any area of your life. Sometimes, you’ll feel like working from dawn til’ dusk.  Other days, you’ll be a complete couch potato. When it comes to self care, sometimes you’ll feel like going to a 10-day meditation retreat.  Other times, you’ll run from your feelings like the actual plague. And you know what, that’s okay.

If you remember one thing from this email, remember this: You don’t have to be perfect all the time. You don’t have to feel good all the time. You don’t have to be productive all the time.

Just let yourself be, and trust that in an hour, day, or week, you’ll be in a state of flow again.  And when that happens, ride it until the next ebb comes in.

 


Gieselle Allen