Well, that last, positive, upbeat Dialogue soon gave way to a sh*tstorm of some proportion:
- Computer / cloud drive slowed to a virtual standstill (pun intended) so I had to skip my crucial (for MH) midday walk, to complete my training session prep for 2pm
- 2pm training session for 8 people on Zoom – my computer wouldn’t run Zoom from my end!; my old computer wouldn’t run Zoom! either; had to deliver the training from my phone (in my hand as tripod wouldn’t work either) with a participant kindly running my slides. Irony: the session was entitled ‘Keeping mentally well while working from home‘. Ha!
- Massively intense therapy session – “It’s not child’s play”
- More computer refusal to work, so I’m now at 6.30pm having spent all day on my butt – and with concern about the viability of future trainings if the tech won’t work
- I wail with despair, G offers to help check my computer, I tell him not to ‘solutionise’ when I’m wailing (sorry G)
- I drag myself out for a walk, revved up on the day’s glitches, decide (:/) to watch some sinister documentary on my phone as I walk in the woods… and end up hurtling down a hill, twisting my ankle and wrist, and cracking my coccyx. Wail. Phone G, who kindly comes to meet me.
- I sit nursing self while G cooks.
- G had looked at my computer while I was out. The wifi had been running at 50% today. That was it. And the world wasn’t trying to do me over.
That was Tuesday. Today’s Thursday. I’m still v bruised and limping. But I’ve had time to realise I needed to calm down, internally.
What about when lockdown ends..?
I’ll tell you something that contributed to me spinning myself out, I believe in retrospect: a beloved family member, who lives 1.5h drive away, saying on Monday evening, ‘Come for lunch on Sunday. You know, the three of you, come over, and we’ll have a socially distanced lunch in the garden. Or Friday? Or Sat? Or the next weekend? When can you come?’
I can’t begin to explain my response. Maybe I’ve developed Stockholm syndrome towards this Lockdown, but my internal response was “Noooooooo!!!”. Why?:
- It’s still massively against the guidelines to go and visit, especially in groups – fines apply
- This beloved person is meant to be properly shielding.
- I’ve so benefitted from the simplicity of not travelling anywhere (I’ve been to the nearby city once, and out to the local Co-op/Sainsbury/pharmacy’s in the nearest town maybe 8 times in 10 weeks). My car’s now sitting on the drive with a flat battery fhs!
- I’ve so benefitted from having weekends: one day to rest; one day to get the house in order; ready for a new week of focussed work.
- I’ve so benefitted from a rigid routine – for my MH but also for my physical health – I’m losing weight, I’m going to bed earlier, I’m (generally) less stressed, I averted the complete burnout I was teetering towards back in March.
- I’ve benefitted from seeing people virtually – that’s fine for me! Let’s have Sunday lunch on Zoom, when you live 1.5 hours drive away. The old “when can you come over?” phrase (which I’ve had from a couple of sources tbh) Fills Me With Dread. I feel dread partly because I’m working SO hard (I’m self-employed – in the apocalypse, self-employed people don’t take breaks) that I don’t have acres of ‘free time’; but also because the phrase makes me recall that old era paradigm where people would yank each other over to their space as a sort of ritual of socialising. So much Time and Energy expended and drained! (To the question, ‘When can you come over?’, you can’t say ‘I can’t’ indefinitely because it’s rude – so you eventually go, sometimes out of joy and love, and sometimes out of duty / politeness / being worn down / to get it over with…? They will never know which.)
- This Lockdown has allowed me to be properly autistic and I now don’t want to run my life any other way because I’ve seen how much better I feel, and because I’ve seen how much I can achieve when I’m not pissing my precious energy up the wall on travel and people-mixing in (what we used to call) ‘real life’.
There we go. That’s what it is. Good to have that off my chest. That’s helpful. Ehem. Thank you.
I learnt something using this HRV monitoring device today. The second, I mean the second, I have a ‘future-thinking’ thought, my heart slips out of coherence. So, I was looking at the Inner Balance app (linked to my heart rate by the ear piece) and admiring my coherence levels, and I think to myself, “Hm, I might repeat this 5 minute session once it’s done.” And, bzzz, the phone vibrated to let me know I’m out of coherence. Amazing.
Think how I spend my days: constantly thinking about what’s next, constantly therefore, in limited coherence, or incoherence.
So when they say, ‘get in the present moment’ and ‘the power of now’ IT’S NOT JUST PHILOSOPHY – IT’S BIOLOGY!!
This good-frequency, heart-based living occurs best when we are, as they’ve said all along, in a state of appreciation, with our mind in the present.
How shall I incorporate this in to my days?
By building a system which allows you to be in appreciation of the present moment. This is the ‘upstream’ thinking that Dan Heath is really offering you. The opportunity to set up your LIFE, so that you have days full of opportunity for being in the present. In truth, unless you can be in a calm present moment state with your clients, you are simply passing on little waves of incoherence between each other. Holding heart coherence next to another person is your greatest gift to them.
Your well-organised clinic is slowly moving you in this direction. Systematise the heck out of your work! Use that wonderful autistic wiring to create your WOC (well-organised clinic) so that you can be Present to your clients.
In truth, if you do this, you will be able to travel and BE in the physical presence of others, without feeling you are leaving work unfinished… Yes, being in the physical presence of others is important – because of the heart fields intertwining. BUT, stabilise your heart coherence so you’re not picking up another’s incoherence should they be in incoherence – and don’t be afraid to be with others so that they can reboot their coherence. KNOW that is what is happening – settle soft (and hard) in to your chosen state, so you don’t deviate, close your empathic antennae in a bit – and know that sometimes the greatest service we can give to another is to lend them our peace for a second. You know that’s what others (L, A, G) do for you…
Tysm. Spot on. I see it. Ty.
Systematise the heck out of your work! And be Present.