How to Gently Move Through Overwhelm

In my backyard, I have a garden. 

I am so grateful for this garden, especially right now, and yet, I have neglected it.  

Each year, my garden has become more full of weeds than the plants that I would like to grow. Every time I go out and look at it, I just stare at it for a few minutes and I think: there is so much to do; where do I start? This brings in the familiar feelings of overwhelm and the action that I used to take when I am overwhelmed, which is to walk away…inaction. 

Over the last few weeks, I have slowly been connecting this with how this is an old pattern for me. One that used to show up for me in my writing and work often. And, here it is…again. 

Being home more, well, being home all of the time actually, has given me the space to really see this coming up for me in this way, in my garden. 

I began to see an opportunity to practise again what I have learned and what I now teach and coach about how to move through my overwhelm and my resistance with more ease. 

A few interesting things happened as I started to move through weeding my garden in a way that felt good for me …

First, I decided that I was going to start and I shared my intention with my husband David. This is important because many Saturday mornings I have thought about doing it and didn’t share it or do it. By deciding and saying it out loud that I was going to start, I supported myself to stay with it. 

Second, I decided to take a simple first step and start with dandelions. I could identify them and I knew what to do with them. (Part of my challenge is that sometimes I am not sure what is a weed and what isn’t!) And, before I knew it I was making progress and also making more decisions about what was in and what was out and where to put them. 

Thirdly, as I did the work and made some progress, David joined me. I was not alone in this. Suddenly it was not so overwhelming for either of us if both of us were doing it together. We also had a nice little chat. 

And, as I stood back and admired the progress that evening, I also saw all that had not been done and I remembered, dang, if we don’t stay on top of this all of those weeds are just going to come back. This is well-worned thought path of mine, and for all of us as humans, to focus on what’s missing and the potential problems ahead and so easily dismiss what progress what we have made.

This is truly where to place our striving : to strive to see the progress that we have made while holding space for the fact that there will always be more to do. 

This is the work I do with my clients. The paying attention. The staying with it. And, the accountability and support that’s required to do so.

When I see my client suddenly recognize a pattern that she has been beating herself up she is ready to start doing something differently. Or, when my client sees himself pushing himself in many areas of his life to then then realize, wait a second, I am making progress here, shouldn’t I be happy with that? 

These are the patterns that you want to take out of the garden our minds and really take a look at – what is going on here? Are these thoughts supporting you? Seeing the patterns and then being kind do ourselves about it and making a different choice. 

It takes work, it’s ongoing and it’s worth it. 

So what’s showing up for you during this time? What is becoming really evident that it needs attention for YOU? 

If you are ready to let go of overwhelm and learn how to move through your resistance with more ease, please email me at support@melisseanders.com for a 15 min call where I will ask you to share a bit about what’s happening for you and we can see if the work I do is a good fit for you and whether it makes sense to take a next step together.

Warmly,

Melissa

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