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Monday, 15 August 2016

On Being Lazy, Or Not...

Lazy.
Interesting word - wonder what it means? 
Out of the 46 words accompanying it in Thesaurus, I find only maybe 7 or 8 which are what I would call ‘consciously wont’ words - things like careless, indolent, lackadaisical. But even then many of those would fall amongst the other 38 or so words which say many other less crushing things about the ‘state of being lazy’. The dictionary says for ‘lazy’, ‘Averse or disinclined to work, activity, or exertion; indolent.’ (Interestingly ‘dolent’ means ‘to be in pain’, so ‘indolent’ seems a pretty good plan to me!)
So what are the other descriptions? Apathetic, comatose, dallying, flagging, languid, lifeless, procrastinating, sleepy, unconcerned, unready, weary, are but a taster.
This is what I think could be put after these: 
Apathetic - not really bothered about the job in hand, which, if you don’t have to do it, or do it right now, doesn’t make you lazy, only someone who hasn’t actually stated they don’t want to do it, ever or now, but instead is caught up in a ‘should & ought’. It’s only when you have to do it - your job, or to carry out a promise, which is commitment - that something else has to be looked for, whether discipline or incentive. But what mostly happens? Yes, your inner judge tells you in no uncertain terms that, having not done or started the thing, you’re the worst person on the planet with no right to any joy or pleasure, so you do it just to redress that threat. Not a good method really, because Job done + Guilt = More Resistance next time. Sometimes though many of us don’t do things until we force ourselves, because then we feel really noble and good! Duh! (Oh, and trying is this: ‘Do it, or don’t do it; there is no try’. Yoda. I rest my case.)
Then there’s comatose, flagging, sleepy, and weary - well, they tell their own story!  But maybe they crop up when you've actually done enough, or even too much and need rest. Maybe you've gone over the line into boredom and just need a break. Maybe your energy isn't focussed and your leaching it and need clarity. (Looking busy is a fine way to flag - best stop and find balance again!)
Then lifeless - definitely nothing more needed, from any one or anything! But of course this word really just lives with the ones above.
Dallying? Maybe something has caught your eye which is interesting. Genuinely interesting, like a view, a friend, a butterfly, a book on the shelf, even a Facebook post from a friend. And if these are more interesting than putting in a load of washing, or doing the filing or banking, is that really lazy? Or just the sign of a curious and intelligent mind? If it makes you miss the bus, well, it's a reminder to decide how best to deal with dallying next time!
I think unconcerned lives with apathetic - how about you? Not doing what doesn’t concern you is valid, and honest. If it should (a rarely right use of the word!) concern you, what else do you need for it to get done? Help? Loud music? Food to energise you? More information? A different time or conditions? Self-belief or reassurance from a friend? When unconcerned is around there’s usually something missing which can be found.
Then the goody - procrastination. I love how a word which implies nothing’s getting done, yet has 5 syllables, is long to write and say, and is quite complex in the characters used. That’s why nothings’ getting done; the word’s too long!  Seriously, it’s a word with a heavy cloak of shame, but what does it really imply? To me it says, ‘this isn’t the right time’, or ‘I need more information’, or its because I’m trying to ‘push the river’ beyond where I can be in the process right now. Often it's that I’m scared of failure, or getting it wrong in making the wrong choice, or that I need support. Or it's even, ‘I don’t know how to do this’, or even where to start asking for help. It's not being lazy.
Who has ever procrastinated when they are about to do something they really want to do? And why wouldn’t you have all the info, support, excitement, information about something you love? And why would you have all that for something you don’t love?! So, for me, procrastination means, if I'm doing something I am not loving, I need to find support, information, a plan, a friend to at least help me start, and to not try and do the whole thing in one. ‘The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step’ is a lovely saying, and one which needs remembering when we’re feeling ‘lazy’ for not having taken all the steps in one!
Life will include all forty-six words many times, and for many good reasons, so please, please can the one ‘lazy’ word be dropped? It's such a shame-laden word, and action-under-shame is always harder to do. Can I notice when it crops up in my judge’s nagging and hear what’s behind it? Can I find one of the other 42 words which will help me find what I need in order to begin or continue,or to put down the job, because it’s only an ought or should and not relevant for me?

I reckon the score looks ways better like this: Lazy 0 - 42 Way More Neutral Versions. What say you? Let me know in the comments box?  

Friday, 12 August 2016

Growing Up The Kind Way...


‘Oh, grow up.’ Or, ‘Hey, you’ll grow out of it’. Which do you prefer?  
I’d like to invite you to go to a pot plant in your home or garden, look at it sternly, and say, “Oh, grow up.”. Then a gentle, ‘Hey, you’ll grow out of it’. 
How was it to shout at your plant in a way so as to suggest it was failing in some way? How was it to suggest that it should be bigger and better than it is right now? That if it did not just ‘grow up, now,’ at your behest, you would throw it out?  Did you feel really quite silly because you knew it was a castigation the plant really did not need, want, or deserve? That it only needs the things it needs for life, for growth, is the time it takes to do so? An acorn cannot be pushed, coerced, or punished into being an oak tree.
Now, please, repeat to yourself the same words as you did to the plant in the second paragraph.... I rest my case. :-) 
The only thing that matters about your own growth on your journey from tiny to large pot is your own self-kindness - your very own water, light and attention. And remember, like plants, every one of us needs a different pot size; some huge plants grow slowly in small pots, and small plants grow very fast, needing massive pots. Select your own appropriate pot as you nurture yourself into growing out of old behaviours and ever more into yourself. 
But ‘grow up’ because you should be bigger than you are right now? Please, no! Nurture and encourage yourself on your natural journey to being the greatest you you are here to be.