Those of you who have ever experienced anxiety will know that it can creep up on you with the stealth of a ninja…slowly, slowly, until bam! It floors you. Other times it is a constant immovable heavy weight that you just can’t shift.
This morning I woke with that unwelcome hippo sitting on my chest. Heavy, squashing the air out of my lungs, and as I rolled out of bed to put the kettle on I thought ‘today is not a good day.’
Later, washed and dressed and the children packed off to daycare I settled down at the laptop. Nothing. My fingers hovered over the keyboard as inertia washed over me and I stared blankly at the screen.
Get up and go for a walk, I told myself.
“Walk?” scoffed the voice. “Why would you want to go for a walk? Just sit and relax. Do nothing…nothing.”
You know the voice. We all have it.
It’s the voice of self-doubt.
It is the voice that tells you that you can’t do something.
It is the voice that tells you that if you don’t try it, you can’t fail.
But, the thing about this voice is that it is only as powerful as you let it be.
The more you listen to it, the louder it becomes.
The more you ignore it, the easier it become to switch it off, and shut it down.
This morning I made the conscious decision to ignore that voice. I can either stand still, and continue along the same path. I can complain that I need to drink less and exercise more, and then continue to do neither of these things, or I can take those first steps to making a difference and walk the road that I choose for myself.
It’s amazing the effect the warm sun on your skin can have as you pound the pavement at the start of the day.
Everything came into focus.
The rustling of the grass.
The cows lowing in the field.
Two galahs dancing in mid-air.
My heart beating rhythmically against my chest.
Even the scent of fresh horse manure wafting on the summer breeze failed to be offensive.
I felt in the moment and I felt in control of my mind and my body.
I stopped beside some dandelions and smiled as the I recalled the childhood memory of my mother (clearly sick of being brought bunched of weeds) telling me not to pick them, else they’d make me ‘wee the bed.’
I stood and watched quietly, and so very still, as a cabbage white butterfly landed on my arm. You can read my post Sunshine and Lollipops and White Cabbage Butterflies to understand the significance of this to me.
On the way back I noticed an empty Mac Donald’s bag discarded at the side of the path, and I shook my head in disapproval as I walked passed.
Did you just walk passed that rubbish? I asked myself.
“Of course you did.” The voice piped up. “It’s not our rubbish. Why should we pick it up. Besides, what difference does one piece of rubbish make?”
I walked back and picked up the brown paper bag.
Because it does matter.
You have to start with the small steps.
And everyday is filled with potential.
We sometimes just need to have the courage to grab each day by the balls and make the most of it, and learn to turn off that voice inside our head.
What small thing can you do for yourself or someone else today that will make a difference?