There are tons of tips on boosting our energy, which can be very helpful. After all, we’re adults and we’ve got plenty of things to do: work projects to complete, errands to run, dinner to prepare, chores to perform, kids to raise (and pick up from their various activities).
And all of that requires energy. And knowing some tips and tricks helps us to do those necessary and important tasks.
And yet sometimes our energy beckons to be embraced, not enhanced.
I was recently reminded of this while reading Nicole Gulotta’s beautiful book, Wild Words: Rituals, Routines, and Rhythms for Braving the Writer’s Path.
She writes, “I don’t write every day. My energy doesn’t allow for it…Years ago, I would have been tougher on myself, asked my spirit to work a bit harder. Not now.”
I love Gulotta’s matter-of-fact, unapologetic perspective. My energy doesn’t allow for it… Not now.
Instead of berating herself or needlessly pushing herself to keep striving, Gulotta is embracing her (current) tendencies. She’s working with her energy levels, not against them.
What would happen if you did the same?
What if you embraced your current energy and let yourself sink into the moment? To slow down? To unwind and relax? What if you gave yourself permission to stop sprinting and put your feet up?
Or better yet, what would happen if you embraced other things about yourself instead of pushing and pulling and bashing and forcing yourself to fit a mold you never really fit into?
This, of course, isn’t easy to do. It’s especially not easy to do when others around us are doing (or directly telling us) the opposite. It’s not easy when our own minds are calling us names, when we worry we’re giving up, and we wonder, what does this make me? How does this reflect on who I am?
But maybe it’s time to put away the judgment and the questions. Maybe it’s time to stop criticizing ourselves for everything we haven’t done and everything we aren’t, and start welcoming who we actually are.
What does this look like?
This can look like checking in with yourself first before committing to a certain project or task and being honest about whether you really want to take it on. This can look like setting solid boundaries within your relationships and within yourself (is scrolling social media at 11 p.m. actually worth it?).
This can look like taking more breaks and not cramming your schedule with activities and chores. This can look like not bashing yourself for being lazy or ridiculous if you’re tired and need a nap—and just taking the nap.
This can look like not checking anything off your to-do list and focusing instead on how you’re doing internally. This can look like honoring your introvert tendencies and staying home with a good book.
In short, it can look like not being so hard on ourselves. Which is hard to do.
But maybe we can start by simply saying: My energy doesn’t allow for that activity. Not now. And that’s totally OK.