Avoidance doesn’t make the problem go away. It relegates it to the dark corners of our mind where it continues to grow.
I saw an email come in that I wasn’t particularly looking forward to. I knew it involved some work that I wasn’t ready for yet, either in time or, I felt, in my skills. It was out of my comfort zone.
I skipped over it. Marked it as unread and it filed itself appropriately in the pile of ‘things to get to’.
I avoided it for now. But every time I opened my inbox I thought of it. Would it still be there looking at me? Waiting for a response on the other end?
Finally I pushed through all resistance and opened it one morning, kind of by accident.
I read the words something like ‘project has been postponed’, ‘illness in the family’, ‘I’ll be in touch another time’.
I immediately sent back condolences and apologies for the late reply.
How many times have I done this, I wondered? I know, I know, ‘what we resist, persists’, ‘what we avoid, grows larger’. And still…
Our brains predict the worst. Often, it’s not the worst.
Is there something on your plate, or lurking nearby that is causing anxiety just because it is looming in the shadows?
Often it comes in the form of a difficult conversation, or a disliked task. But the fact is that it is there, no matter what. Also, our minds and bodies interpret it as a threat, rather than just a difficult conversation or a disliked task. This causes us some distress. Our survival patterns don’t like threats.
Use your breath and your mindfulness practice to move through perceived threats. Breathe deeply, go slowly, but go. Don’t stay stuck, or your stress will too. Our bodies like it when we take action.
Try it now: If there is something you have been avoiding, how can you approach it today? It’s not life threatening, go with care, it’s just uncomfortable.
Or, come out and practice with us. We breathe, look at our thoughts, and chat about important stuff like this. I’d love to see you…
Have a great week,