Productive Reflections

It is a soggy morning at SMASH HQ.  I love these grey mornings, especially in my new office with its amazing 12-foot window overlooking our front porch.  The house is quiet (except for my bulldog, Lilly, snoring under my desk). I find myself unable to be ‘productive’.  I hate that word anyway.  What does it really mean?  Who is to say blogging or meditating or journaling isn’t productive?   I grew up in a go-go-go household, where praise was given to completed To-Do lists.  Through my recovery journey, I have realized those incessant lists go against my nature.  I am a thinker, always have been.   In order to continue moving forward, I must honor my need to pause and reflect.  I must give myself permission to absorb where I am in my life, as well as where I have been and where I am going.  If I ignore my need to sit and simply be, then my mind will run in circles and anxiety will creep in.

This morning I find myself in a very reflective mind space.  Given my journey and line of work, this tends to happen from time to time.  In the past, I would not allow myself time to sit and be mindful.  That inner-critic would say I wasn’t being productive and that my urge to reflect meant I was stuck in the past.  It is a relief to finally reach the point of acceptance.  I no longer beat myself up and try to stop thinking about my past and ‘be productive.’ I simply accept it is what I need in this moment.  My mind needs this time.  This journey, this process, it is an extraordinary one.

It is no secret that we all have some cross to bear; we have all encountered some major hurdle in our life.  But our world moves so quickly, we often don’t stop and look back on how far we have come or where we are today.  Maybe we don’t slow down because it is too much.  It can be scary and overwhelming.  I know that is true for me at times.  To know it was just three years ago my life was hanging on by a thread is difficult to comprehend.  And to know where I am today, well, there are no words.  Allowing myself to feel the emotions that come along with such a journey can certainly be a lot to take in.  The great thing is that today I know I can handle whatever emotional wave comes my way.   I always go back to the wise words of Brene Brown, “You can be scared and brave at the same time.”  I don’t think truer words have ever been spoken about recovery and this journey I am on.

So that’s all I really have for this morning.  Just a simple reminder to allow yourself time to pause, time to be.  I think we can all learn something from Lilly and her laid back spirit.  Enjoy a quiet moment (bulldog or not) and reflect on your life journey. IMG_6879

Be in the moment.  Be where you are.  Do not worry about what is to come or if that To-Do list goes unchecked.  Just be.

Side note: Today’s post was inspired by this morning’s discovery of my Carolina House Goodbye letter.  I was cleaning out computer files and came across the letter I wrote and read to the staff and fellow patients on my last day, March 2, 2011.  What a journey it has been…

Goodbye

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