I Got Lost

20 Mar 2015, Posted by Katie Austin in Aria's Blog

Kondalilla FallsI’ve had a good dose of my own medicine this week.
Sometimes it’s really hard to see what’s going on when we’re right in the middle of it. On Wednesday I had a coach tell me that I was spending too much time in front of my laptop and needed to be nicer to myself.
Oh my goodness! The relief of having someone else tell me that was incredible. It wasn’t as if I didn’t know it already but there was something so powerful about having it affirmed externally and to be given a directive to comply. Real permission.

I immediately packed a towel and some lunch and drove an hour and a half north of Brisbane to one of my favourite rock pools. There’s something so potent for me about swimming and then lying in the sun to get dry. And it makes all the difference if I can do it naked. The sensuality of it is sublime. It’s the most delicious alchemy of water, sunshine and bare skin. It feels almost like getting drunk somehow. Drunk on goodness. I can get a similar feeling of that same rich contentment from lying in bed with someone, wrapped up close in their body, dozing off together, and then drifting back to wakefulness still entwined in exactly the same closeness of physical connection. There’s such exquisite satisfaction in it. The closeness, the shared surrender. It nourishes my body so deeply that it feels like it seeps into my soul.

I hadn’t realised just how far I’d gone off track. I kind of knew that I was feeling stressed but it wasn’t until I felt good again that I really had perspective. I’d been feeling that I didn’t have time for friends. I’d meditate most mornings but then I’d check my emails the minute my eyes were open again and immediately loose much of the ground I’d just gained on inner calm. I was going to the organic markets and buying beautiful bunches of herbs to make fresh pesto only to have them rot in the fridge because I never felt I had time. I went to try out a new gym and after a tough workout I found that my mind was even more shattered from the exercise than my body. I couldn’t believe how hard it was to think. I’d been off coffee but I resorted to taking it up again in order to be productive. But I still missed my deadline for posting my blog this week.

It’s an awful feeling to be stressed about not being able to be productive. It just feeds into a continual loop. And the thing that can keep it spinning is feeling that there’s some good level of productivity that’s required in order to earn the much needed break we really want. Catch 22.

What I share with people all the time (and completely forgot for myself) is that the game changer is just to step out and take a break anyway. Just drop everything and let your soul have the peace it’s aching for. Run to the hills for a weekend, take long service leave, go to the beach all day on a Tuesday, spend the whole weekend reading in bed, walk the Camino trail, do 10 days in a silent Vipassana meditation retreat, try a restorative yoga class.

Just find a way somehow, to stop.

My day off turned into two. Having washed off the feeling of obligation to be constantly working I found that I suddenly had enthusiasm for all sorts of little things that had been irritating me for weeks. I cut down the banana leaves that had been obscuring my path up the front stairs. I made the coriander pesto. I moved my house number along the fence a bit so that it’s actually visible now (kind of important given that clients need to find me here). I booked my laptop in for a service. I planned another cocktail of water, sunshine and nakedness at a beach with a girlfriend for next week. And I recommitted to my usual nice things like weekly movies and yoga and the Asian bathhouse which had fallen by the wayside recently.

And then, just like that, I felt like writing a blog.

And I felt like doing some other work that had previously been way too overwhelming. Some tasks still stir angst in me as soon as I think about them so I stepped back from those but others called to me and flowed easily. No will power required at all. They just felt like easy things to do after my thirst for stillness and freedom had been so deeply quenched.

I’ve been working an awesome new client questionnaire recently. The results for each person will be displayed in a pyramid. The bottom layer is a reflection of all of this that I’ve been writing about here – our groundedness. The feeling we have of being happy in our skin. Taking pleasure in the day to day. This section of the questionnaire has by far the most questions because it’s SO important to have solid foundations. Inevitably it’s where I start with just about every client. It’s why I called my 5 session package, Grounding Your Power. If we don’t feel at home and at ease in ourselves then it’s pretty tricky to progress much further along. Attracting and loving someone else means really becoming masterful at listening to our own needs and loving ourselves first. Sometimes it takes a dramatic change of scenery to really feel the truth of that in our bones, but it’s amazing what flows then from that place without even trying.