Going Over the Edge

I am starting to love that moment when I go over the edge. I will be going about my business, doing this or that, the suddenly something shifts and instead of flowing, I am pushing, and a knot of stress begins to form in my chest. Nevertheless something in me wants to keep doing the thing I am doing and I persist. Very quickly, the knot tightens and I know I have gone too far.

Today I was reading The Minimalists blog, and also working on removing junk from my stationery drawers. The big question was what to do with my old appointment diaries. I never refer to them, but one day I might want to know when I did something, so I don’t want to just throw them away.

I began to wonder if I could digitize them by retrospectively adding important events to my digital calendar. Then it started, the Alert Alert arose in my chest. “Stop now – you are going too far!” I knew I was beginning to sieze up but I was curious as to whether I could add retrospective items to my digital diary. So I went ahead and added an entry from lasts year and told myself, ” Dont worry, I am just seeing if it is possible”. Within the space of a few minutes I had that stress pain in my chest.

That moment when I become aware of the stress arising is the moment I am interested in exploring.  It’s not about whether it is feasible, or wise, or overkill to digitize old diaries. It’s about the qualitative shift in my approach to what I am doing. Somehow I move from flowing to pushing and what had been a pleasure becomes a painful chore.

Now that I am aware if this phenomenon I am better able to intervene when the warning signs start. It surprises me how quickly the resistance to what I am doing can come up, but if I pay attention and back off, I can move from activity to activity much more smoothly.

It is interesting how strong the urge to push on is, and how difficult it can be to back off, even though I know I am getting into dangerous territory.

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