imagine

I wrote earlier about my aha-experience with the word imagine, that it offers me the possibility of dreaming realistically. So what have I been imagining lately?

The first thing that came to my mind when I focused on imagine, was “imagine I would become a great shiatsu therapist with so many happy clients that I can do it as a job”. Right away a dream about a job! And indeed, it is even a quite realistic one, as I am currently training to become a shiatsu therapist. Only half way the first year of four, but still, working on it. I have not mentioned it before in this blog as I was trying to avoid subjects related to possible future careers, as this made me panic right away. So now I can start dreaming about it! Time to go to sleep soon, I will try to think about it after I turned out the lights, maybe I can continue dreaming about it in my nightly dreams!

Recently another dream became true, quite unexpectedly. I will not mention the subject as it is too personal. Actually it was the only very well defined dream that I had. That was of course my problem: if you are afraid of dreaming, you stop thinking about what you would really like… And then you don´t know what you want. But in this one matter I knew what I wanted and I got it! Right away I discovered a new dream, connected to the previous dream. So by dreaming I am now moving forward. That´s the way to go!

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empty head

Sometimes unexpected things happen. For the past weeks and months, I have been actively trying to achieve the feelings of success and self esteem. The results were varying from very satisfying to absolutely frustrating. As the summer holiday will soon start here in Finland, focus is slowly shifting from working to relaxation. My project has been rather on hold; I even didn´t finish the planned action of trying out the piano in our local restaurant. I haven´t written anything the last days. Preparing suitcases and buying necessary equipment has dominated my program in that level that I did not have to think about trying to be useful. Wonderful feeling.

Yesterday I reached a state of mind that I have missed for a long time: an empty head. I did not reach it during the yoga class; no, thoughts kept coming up all the time then. It happened very unexpected. I had promised our youngest son to buy him a skate board and protective gear and take him to the skate park. He had been practicing recently with his dad´s old skateboard and he seemed to really get in to it. As the skate board is adult size and he is only eight, it was a good idea to buy him a properly sized board. It was immediately clear in my mind that I would also take the old one, then I could try that instead of just sit there and watch him have fun. I was quite looking forward to it, as I had seen him improve rather rapidly. It made me eager to try it myself. My husband has been a real skater in his teenage years, but he quit shortly before I met him. I have never really seen him in action and I have never tried skating myself.

We went to the park, we started skating and two hours later I had to drag our son out of the park. Only then I realized that I had been thinking about nothing else than skating for the whole time. Just being in the moment, watching what goes on in the park, trying things out, asking advice from my son, being exited about every little piece of progress. No second I experienced fear of failure. An adult woman being on the board for the first time in her life, clumsy and slow, more to extremely experienced kids and teenagers swirling past me. I felt supported by the fact that there were some teenage girls practicing too, clearly already in a more advanced stage than me (less is not possible 🙂 ) but still rather holding back and still learning to really go for it. But even if they would not have been there, I guess I would have felt fine. Learning something from scratch is extremely interesting for me. I love it. Is that the lesson I can learn from this skate experience? That I just need a job where I can start from zero every day?

I never expected anything from this skating, that also makes this experience so great. I simply have not considered it as an activity, it just happened. I pick it up quite easily, probably because I have an excellent balance. In yoga classes or other practices where balance is required, I am mostly better than the teacher. And while I was skating, I was amazed about how close to dancing it comes! At least the simple, basic things I was learning, just moving forward without falling, taking soft turns and going down from very gentle slopes.

Another thing I realized already earlier and has been confirmed now, is how stimulating it is for me to have other people around. I love practicing in a group, but now it seems that simply being surrounded by other people doing similar things is just as satisfying. I just loved the atmosphere in the park, relaxed and cozy. A job being home alone all day is definitely not my thing!

dreaming

I discovered two new action fields today! The session with the psychotherapist was very productive 🙂 I will tell you first about my plan to learn how to dream in a realistic way.

In this post I wrote about my problem of dreaming too big. Inflating a small idea to a huge balloon. I discussed this with my therapist today and got some very interesting and hope giving insights. I found out why I call it too big: the moment I get an idea, I expect myself to realize it; fully, perfectly and as soon as possible. Have to, have to, have to. The perfect recipe for certain failure. Big balloon – small needle; poof, dream gone and one more reason never to dream again.

My therapist mentioned how nice it normally is to dream about what you wish to achieve. I checked if I could imagine that, being simply happy about having a dream. And there it was, the word imagine. Imagine people would like to read what I write. Imagine someone would feel supported by my stories about my project. IMAGINE is the magic word of the day! The moment I add imagine to my idea, it stays a wonderful possibility instead of turning into a monstrous stress. I can keep thinking about the idea without getting frightened about failing. It is just a dream, not more and not less, just like it is meant to be!

I do not know if anybody else experiences too big dreams like I do. For that reason I add explicitly what an immense relieve this change brings. It feels like having studied for a math test for hours on end without having even a clue what it is all about, and then suddenly finding a small piece of information that makes it all clear in matter of seconds.

Imagine… just the taste of this word in my mouth, the sound of it, typing it over and over again, it makes me feel happy.

Thanks to this word I can start dreaming again. I will keep you updated about this adventure!

feelings

My project is about things I realize, steps forward. I intended to write only about the positive sides of this project, leaving the doubt and other difficult feelings attached to my story out. Gradually I started writing posts about feelings after all. I know, that is how life works: good times and difficult times. Still I feel stressed about my project being “poisoned” by those posts about difficult feelings.

So I decided to split this blog in two parts. A part about the project; the success story. Another part about the feelings rising during the project; the mess behind it. No idea if this is a good step or not, but I´m still going to do it.

It is an attempt to control the situation, make myself more at ease. Is control the opposite of intuition? Not necessarily so I guess. Intuition is also about being aware of your own feelings. And right now I feel I want to split it up.

confusion

I have been rather confused yesterday and today. About my project, but also about life in general. The feeling that the world and life are too complex to understand is well known to me. I don´t know what I could write about my confusion about life that makes any sense to the readers, so let´s talk about my project. (Clever readers have already guessed that this project is my way to get grip on my life in general. Keep it a secret, I don´t like seeing myself as a control freak. So the project is a kind of metaphor for my life in general, now that I think about it. Talking about the project is also talking about life in general…)

The original idea of my project was experiencing success, two days ago I changed the focus to satisfaction and actually I have been thinking for a while already that I should maybe focus on preventing expectations to rise. Probably the project is about all of those…

What do I mean by preventing expectations? I first need to explain about my double strategy. I don´t know how other people´s head is working, maybe similar to what I will describe or maybe completely different. Would be interesting to know. Anyway I experience this double strategy as a burdensome fact.

When I get an idea, my mind is responding in two ways. The first response is thinking what a marvelous idea I got, how brilliant I will be at realizing it and how grateful the world is going to be to me. Dreaming too big, I call it. The second response is that I will never be able to realize it. That is the part I already talked about, it is the fear of failure influencing me. I am not sure which response I grew to fear the most. I think the first one. It is clear that it is the fear for the first response that makes me want to concentrate on preventing expectations. When dreaming too big, I build very high expectations. I expect too much from myself, but I also expect a lot from the others. Support from my partner and close friends, enthusiasm from all people I know, crowds of clients fighting to be the first ones to be able to undergo the benefits of my idea… And then, surprise surprise, the idea does not get realized. I try (sometimes hard and full of energy, sometimes more shy and realistic) but it does not work out. The second response, that had been trying to tell me from the start already that I would not be able to do it, is growing stronger and stronger. You see, I told you!

I decided to get out of that vicious circle of trying and failing. That is the main idea behind the project: creating only actions that are bound to succeed. Small steps, no dreaming too big. Action fields that are not related to possible professional activities, only to my own development. Low expectations. Activities that will succeed however they turn out; they can not fail.

Writing this blog is also part of this project of course. Regarding preventing expectations this is the most tricky field of action. The wish of making money by writing has been active for years already. So this is the one field where I actively need to take my expectations down all the time. I need to keep reminding myself: I am writing this blog ONLY because I feel I want to share about what this project does to me. I am not expecting people to like it, I am not dreaming of somebody turning up and telling me how wonderful I am and could I please come and write for them, they will pay me a monstrous amount of money because I am so good. This is such a good exercise. A difficult one, but very good. This is a start, I know that, but I do not know where the road is leading me. That is how I get back to the title of the blog: let your intuition flow. Just follow the road without trying to build the road.

work

Not having a job -and not actively looking for one- has a lot of advantages. Kids are in school and husband in the office. I have time for a lot of things. Nice things, practical jobs, useful jobs. It is great to have this freedom to decide myself what I do when.

This situation also has a lot of drawbacks. I am the one who has to decide what to do when. I need to make my own structures. I have to make sure I create a sense of usefulness. Recently I easily get lost in my days. The days when I even do not have to take our youngest to school or pick him up are the most risky ones. For the time being he can´t go to school by himself (public transport not working out) but he has a class mate living close by and we share rides to school with her parents.

Today is one if these days that I am home alone from 8 am till 4 pm without any fixed structure to hold on to. I always start with optimism and good hopes. “Today I will feel good about my day.” When I see the time passing by, restlessness starts to stir. Mostly after lunch I am completely lost. I want to enjoy but I feel like I have to do something useful. I feel like nothing I have done that far has been useful enough. Today I already reached this state by 10.30 am.

I decided just now to act like a normal employee today. I have my working hours and during that time I will work on tasks my job requires me to do. Well, my job is to get over this fear of failure. The activities of this morning have been very useful: writing about this issue on this blog. I know that accepting my feelings -all feelings- is a very important lesson I need to learn. Writing about these difficult feelings of fear is a very good step.

There are other steps today I will take that will make me feel good about my job. I will practice the piano. I will go swimming and see how this possible action field develops. I will buy these flight tickets in mentioned in the previous post. I will sort out another issue that has been on my to-do-list for ages and that has a huge fear of failure hanging around it.

I think I just now came up with an important insight. I have been seeing usefulness as a major goal in life. Something being only useful when others are happy about it. I will try to put my focus on satisfaction instead now. I will never get out of this circle of fear of failure when I keep putting goals that can´t be reached. I can start feeling better and more secure about what I can mean in this world once I start feeling satisfied with myself.

The employee plan immediately made me feel happy and satisfied. So that is what I am going to hold on to today!

fear of failure

Fear of failure is a very awkward issue, at least that is how I experience it. I do not know a lot about how other people experience it, so I can only talk about my own case. Today I woke up feeling like I can deal with the world and myself in a nice and optimistic way. I see perspective in many life topics and feel confident about them. Everything is suggesting a comfortable day.

Then there are these tiny and rather unimportant things that make me feel all shaky. Today for instance there is this flight ticket for my cousin I should have booked already last week and now it might have gotten more expensive. Or maybe it did not, because it is a special type of booking where the price is not depending on when you do it, at least that is what I seem to remember. Doubt that can be easily taken away from my mind by calling the operator and checking it. But no, I do not make the phone call, I sit here at my computer writing this text. My system somehow simply gets blocked on the fear of having failed this simple task, of having caused extra costs by not acting immediately. A very exaggerated fear, because the possible loss can only be some percentages of the total price of the ticket. Really, nobody is going to blame me for this, the others involved won´t even notice! Still it causes a very strong uncomfortable feeling in my tummy and makes me want to hide somewhere.

I guess the problem is that the size of my reaction is not proportional with the issue causing the fear. The fear is way too big. This is how fear of failure is dominating my daily life on a rather subtle level. Nobody ever notices, because I mostly don´t talk about these issues, like the flight ticket issue. But the fear is there and takes a sadly big amount of my energy. It feels good to get it out like this, to see this truth confirmed on the screen so I can´t deny it to myself any longer.

There is one thing I like about fear of failure. I can get so fed up with it that it makes me angry and very much decided to overcome it. Like today. I will overcome this. Not in one day, but you will see. This project is going to get me there.