Chain Reaction

Learning how to let go and introducing habits doesn't happen overnight.

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It’s been a busy few months and it’s quite easy to get caught up in busyness.  I read recently in a Psychologies article that ‘busyness’ was an excuse for not doing other things.

It’s time to put it out there that the proactive mind is always busy, it never switches off. The proactive and creative mind is constantly putting thoughts out there, creating things to do, people to see; knows jobs haven’t been done and there is a chain reaction in the frequency - the repeat the repeat the repeat.

Past experiences ‘made me’ a list person, and although I still write a lot of lists, they are not so obsessive, and I no longer carry matters forward week after week. I used to have line manager that had a great big A4 Diary and every day would have a list and if the details were not crossed off, then the details would be carried forward and the lists would keep on growing. At the time in my novice/apprentice days I never questioned it, I thought, whatever works for you. I always wondered why the lists were so long, and even though some lines were struck out, or ticked as done, there would still be more to do. 

Never ending!

I think I picked up the list making as a habit, and I am having to learn to let go and generate new habits, it hasn't happened overnight. It's taken a lot of time and research to create preferred habits, and I often talk about suspending time thanks to reading quite a few books by Marie Darrieussecq. The author writes fiction, but there is a lot of psychology embedded within her own stories. 

Literary magic and escapism aren’t available to me in the real world, only via books. It's impossible to place true-time on hold, so I am glad that I’ve found contentment within my own passionate habitat to be happy in life through a process of Creative Writing and Journalling.

Nowadays, if the job, visit or task hasn’t been accomplished by three pre-programmed-listed attempts, (unless it is monthly or maybe weekly pencilled in as a routine) I let it go.  The routine, or as some may call it ‘ritual’ will happen, on the next recurrence. Some tasks never go away, they simply reoccur. 

It has been quite a tough learning exercise to feel okay about this, I am someone who likes logical, and to be in control and admitting lack of time does not come easily, although I have to also admit, that since I have started to accept that sometimes things just won't be done when I want them to, if things are meant to be, they will find a way.

Once upon a time, I would at some point 'flap' about the process, and wish I had more help. The problem lies within the script, I was only ‘wishing’ for the help, and the help never came. I never asked for the help.

What if you don’t know what help you truly need?

What if we aren’t looking or listening out?

With so many questions and consumed by the new normal of busyness, even when the answer arrives offering help, for me, it wasn't identified. In truth, sometimes when I was able to tick-off the checklist, alone. I would feel quite proud in myself because, yes, it may have generated a hyper-environment and, yes, I did seem to have a lot to do, but wow, how powerful I would think I felt when my ego did it all – all by myself.  

Where on earth did I learn that ridiculous isolating life-script!?

When I take some time out to journal my thoughts, it gives me time to be present, to think and to remind myself of moments. Moments that made me into a creature of habit. However, I throw another thought out there, what if we are creatures of habit living in the wrong habitat?

There is a story there. You see! The creative mind never switches off, it is always thinking, planning and can get itself into a busyness-chain-reaction.

I wanted to follow my own dreams three years ago, I wanted to become a writer, a paid writer, someone who writes about what they see and hear all day and everyday, someone that tells a poem or two, writes a few fairy tales and maybe, one day, not to far off into my future I would write a best-selling novel, and it hasn’t been easy. It often feels like a need a miracle to happen. The three years have been challenging, I lack self-belief. In the early years of change, I had to research my passion. I had to decide if I was in it for the long-haul (a little like a marriage).  Sometimes, I was tested and wanted to quit, because surely it would have been easier to have found a new habit, easier still, to resort back to a pre-programmed default habit and how can a person function in this worlds economy without a regular income?

The new routine I was embedding or nesting into, it felt unknown, but right. I had to be committed.  I truly believe if we are to live a life of repeat, then let us endure the repetition with the habits that we love.

What chain reaction of habits do you have inside and want to uphold?

Image courtesy of Pixabay.

Julie Spencer

Ambassador and Learning Support Assistant, Psychologies Magazine

Proud Ambassador for Psychologies Magazine. The magazine encapsulates many of my core values: being kind, have compassion, look after your health and wellbeing, be professional and be supportive of others. A little self belief can go a long way. I have studied as a mature student. I went into a writing frenzy and spent 3 years writing in solitude. I was a stay at home mum, too. What I learned: being alone for long periods of time is bad for your health and wellbeing. Thanks to a little nudge from Psychologies Magazine I am reconnecting and rebuilding my C.V. I'm a creative. I have lots of ideas and I need to constantly realign my focus onto one project at a time. Until recently I had a real fear for public speaking, but after reading a book that suggested I acknowledge my fears and challenge them anyway; with the support of the Psychologies community and more I'm working through my fears one blog at a time.