Updated: Dec 16, 2019
STOP TREATING YOURSELF LIKE A CONSTRUCTION ZONE
Have you ever felt like you treat yourself like a construction zone? Needing to bulldoze an emotion, situation from the past or in the present? Wishing and wanting it done yesterday? To me, construction zones are ugly, chaotic and sometimes invasive and most often accompanied by unwelcoming STAY OUT signs.
I think this way of living is more common than not. Why do we expect to burn the candle at both ends and not be affected by it. Society tells us to. JUST DO IT, achieve more, do more with less and on and on. What if we did less and felt more? WOW - oh the wonder of wisdom!
My friend Debi sent me a picture of herself planning her week. She is sitting outside time slotting her week in a very organized rows of lists. Along with the picture she texts, “loving being a work in progress!”. I immediately soften with admiration when I see it. I am not only a little envious of her organization, I am inspired by it and to top it off, moved by her words.
I continued on with my day thinking about her commitment to “loving - being a work in progress”. When I began to wonder about construction zone popped into my head. I was shocked. My thoughts went something like: “CONSTRUCTION ZONE? ?????- really Pam- what the heck? That is NOT lovingly a work in progress”.
While it surprised and even shock me, it felt like it came from my heart. Taking mental inventory on a few big shifts in my life, I examined if I had approached them all like a bulldozer? Yep, pretty much. Ouch.
In many of my crossroads, I opted for the construction zone approach. Tear it out and begin again. What is so dumbfoundedly ironic about this is that I am an artist. I love to lose myself in the process of creating with my hands. I am a true Pisces, completely absorbed in it and go with the flow in the process of creating. The second dumbfoundedly ironic thing about this is that I am also a Yogi. I could write a book about all the Yogic teachings I overlooked as I decided to treat myself like a construction zone. I could be gentle and love the work in progress approach in so many other aspects in life, just not how I choose to treat myself. Works in progress are what the artist lovingly does. They inspire a return, evolving and patiently creating. Yogi’s do the same. We build our practice one class at a time. There is no construction approach to Yoga or to Art. Why life?
I am moved to share because of how these two approaches metaphorically represent my old wine habit. When I found myself struggling to drink less, I looked for construction site style solutions. Something that would please flip the switch to get me to drink less and not feel deprived when I did not drink. Drinking more than I wanted, kept me in a constant state of construction. No wonder that’s how I approached dealing with the tough stuff of life.
Here is another irony. Increased alcohol consumption is also a work in progress. No one decides they are going to struggle to drink less or have a hard time not drinking too much. The body becomes tolerant and then needs more and more to get the same effect. I never decided I would drink the whole bottle of wine, but I did and too often. It is the simple science of an addictive substance. Wine is an addictive substance. Sorry, my wine drinking friends, but it is. Especially if you are drinking to relax, tune out or turn off the thoughts or feelings. I know, I know, the taste, the glass, the elevated sense of achievement and the bottom-line thing that has been around since we were kids- the imprinted images in our brains and stories we tell ourselves. This is how mature, respectful adults do life.
Here’s what I know. I did the best I could with the tools that I knew to experience life. I call it my survival mode time of life which I partner to a construction zone approach to living. They went hand in hand. The science says that constant artificial stimulation of the brain decreases our ability to feel and notice natural pleasure. When we edit out, purposefully or not the natural enjoyment and struggles in life, we lose a part of ourselves- we lose our ability to enjoy subtleties. Alcohol can bulldoze us clean of our true selves.
I stopped treating myself like a construction zone when I stopped trying to numb, ignore and postpone my thoughts and beliefs of that day, week or month with wine. This one act has dramatically changed my life. It is normal to avoid pain. Maybe wine is not your go-to. Maybe it’s something else that takes the edge off. Life is a work in progress, I am a work in progress. I have been all along but now I choose to experience the good, the mediocre, the amazing and the frustrating- all of it.
Do you have a construction zone approach to you and your life? If your answer is yes. Then what is your WHY? Why and what are you trying to bulldoze? Figure that out and you can begin to move away from a construction zone approach to life. Trust me, it’s not serving in any way. You can begin to think and behave “loving you being a work in progress” Like art, like yoga.
Thank you for reading my friends. Please leave your comments for me. I would love to hear from you.
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Pamela J Price is not an addiction therapist or a medical doctor and this private life coaching should not be considered a substitute for professional medical assistance. No guarantees to sobriety and individual results will vary. Requests to change appointment times must be agreed at least 48 hours before your scheduled meeting.