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The Opposite of Hustle

After last week’s email about the meditation that cleared my back pain, I’m
happy to report that I’ve continued to be pain-free this week, and not only
that, I’m finally starting to feel my energy come back online.

I mean, I’m not about to start jumping through hoops like Neil Patrick
Harris in this Tony Awards opening (seriously, have you seen that yet? Amazing.)

But I’m sitting here at 7:30am on a Sunday watching YouTube videos on my
laptop.

Three years ago, all I wanted was to be able to get out of bed at 7:30am so
I could get to work before the employees I managed. Every day was a
constant struggle.

It’s taken me three years to finally learn how to stop struggling. And here
I am, awake and well-rested, at 7:30am on a Sunday.

It’s taken me three years to really learn how to stop trying so hard.

For the last week, I haven’t had an alarm set at all. I gave myself
permission to sleep as long as I needed to. Instead of worrying that I
didn’t have any work lined up — and believe me, I have plenty of reasons to
worry about that — instead, I could finally choose not to worry and just
indulge in the opportunity to get some rest.

I’ve talked a lot about the importance of rest. But only now do I really
feel like I understand what it means to relax.

If you had spent any time with me in April or May, when I was in the throes
of the back pain demon, you’d think I was just quiet. I was in here,
looking out at the world and listening, trying to respond as best I could,
but everything was competing with this incessant five-alarm fire that was
my back pain. You might have noticed me looking around, calculating how
long it would be until I could lie down again.

And then when I did get to lie down, my mind was racing about what I should
be doing instead. Worrying about who I was letting down by taking this time
to “rest.”

Although my body was lying down, that’s not resting, my friends. This is
the thing it’s taken me so long to learn. How to actually rest. How to shut
off that voice — without using mind-numbing substances — that’s always
going on about what I should be doing instead.

Here’s a mantra for you: “I am ready to relax.”

Repeat as often as needed, with an eye towards setting aside the hustle,
the constant worrying, trying to be perfect. Perfect is draining.

I thought about all the imaginary people in my head I was trying not to let
down, without realizing it. If they had a problem with their health, I
would forgive them for taking some time to heal.

Seriously. Let it go.

I had to first realize that I was caring so much about what “they” would
think of me.

That was buried deep in a shadow I couldn’t even see.

Once that came out, I then had to shift to convince myself to stop caring.
This was a massive shift to make. This was holding my energy hostage, you
guys.

It’s been a hell of a week.

How was your week?

 

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