As you may or may not know, I finished the manuscript of my latest book. I had worked on it for several months, giving it all I had. And then I was done.
Instead of feeling relieved and excited I felt empty.
“What now?”, I wondered.
As it happened, I was due for my next appointment with Bernie, my Alexander Technique practitioner. Bernie is a special woman – patient, compassionate and wise.
On that day, I told her I had finished my book and wondered what on earth to do next. She replied, “have fun!”
To my surprise, I burst into tears feeling incredibly vulnerable. “I can’t!”, I exclaimed, “I have to keep going! If I stop, everything will fall apart!”
She patiently waited for the storm to pass then gently suggested, “Let go, Sue! You’ve been driving yourself relentlessly for months and it’s slowing you down.”
The thing about letting go is that it isn’t always an act of will.
Plus I had trouble getting my head around the idea of having fun when I really should be working.
And then I came across Susan Jeffers’ book ‘Embracing Uncertainty’ where she defines hedonism as ‘the doctrine that pleasure or happiness is the highest good.’
And she goes on to say, “In itself, hedonism isn’t exactly for anybody’s highest good, especially not for the hedonist but taking pleasure surely belongs way up there as an important part of a life well lived.
Specifically, this means our ability to take the time to enjoy, value, appreciate, relish and get pleasure from all the beauty around us.”
To me, that means, taking the time to slow down, look around and smell the roses, metaphorically speaking.
I thought I was taking the time to do just that at the weekends, when Paul, my partner, comes to stay over. I also believed I had to get as much as possible done during the week to allow myself to relax over the weekend.
Bernie’s point was that I was depriving myself of the pleasure of stopping, breathing, relaxing and giving myself some unrushed fun and enjoyment as part of my working week.
Fast forward a few weeks when I noticed that something had shifted. I no longer felt driven. I had stopped pushing to achieve a particular outcome.
Instead, I’ve started to enjoy the process rather than pushing myself to achieve a specific result.
The pace feels calmer and I’ve started noticing options I hadn’t noticed before.
And, best of all, I’m achieving more with less effort.
Bring on hedonism, I say!
With love and gratitude,
P.S. My third book, ‘Open Your Heart: The 7 Secrets Of Strong And Loving Relationships’ will be launched on Thursday, 21 September 2017.
P.S. I enable women build strong and loving relationships, first with themselves and then with others. That’s because your relationship with yourself shapes all your other relationships.
If you’d like to find out how you can do that email me on firstname.lastname@example.org for a FREE one hour exploratory conversation.