“Let things happen as they’re supposed to.”
I have been a ‘pusher’ all of my life. Now when I say ‘pusher’, I don’t mean the drugs use type 😉 – I mean the work-focused type. Pushing myself to work harder, learn new things to increase my skillset, pushing myself to exercise, to dance regularly, to do interesting cultural things.
But then, on Monday, I met a vicar who shifted my world view. Rick works at a hospice I was visiting in Cheshire. There to see a close family member, I was struggling emotionally. He had a twinkle in his eye and a calm, patient demeanour. We sat together in the hospice chapel – a simple space with a stained-glass window and a few seats.
His eyes had a soft gaze. As he looked towards me, I felt that there was nothing in life he’d not experienced and it had all been fascinating.
As I described my struggles and came up with possible solutions, he offered me the insight that pushing is going against the natural course in life. Life is about embracing the now, accepting what happens and engaging with everything with an openness. We should be in touch with our instincts in life; to be guided by its natural order. When we push, we may miss what’s meant for us.
I sat and listened and a deep question unraveled in me – what are we all pushing ourselves for?
It’s a philosophy that many of us stand by in western life. We have pride in our ability to push beyond our comfort zones. Motivational speeches encourage us to try harder, persevere and become the person we can be through our efforts. Empowerment is the religion for those who want to achieve in life – to become a person who is admired by others.
Do we do it to prove something? And to whom?
Through my pushing I make myself go to the gym, keep a steady weight and run my own business with a keen determination. It’s worked. I have inspired people through the work I do, but here I was facing the prospect that there something I still had to learn, despite all the wisdom I had gathered in my time as a coach.
As I face the truth, the cost of all this pushing can mean that I feel worn out, depleted. My love life can get knocked to the bottom of the pile. When I do feel an instinct that I should stop and relax – another part of me feels I need to carry on – to keep going.
As I sit there and question my pushing addiction – I ask myself – what happens if I stop pushing? Who will I become and what will change?
So I decide to experiment – I decide to go along with what I feel like doing. No strategy – just my instincts.
And it led me here. I woke up and wrote a story about the vicar. I felt the ‘push’ to do a blog and decided to go with first thoughts. Talk about Rick, a kinder philosophy for ambitious types like me. A view of life that can ease up the need to keep pushing harder and trust the moment a bit more.
So here it is – piece of writing in a few minutes. No attachment on whether it’s good, bad or if it will please anyone.
I even lost half of what I’d written because my computer decided to malfunction. Normally my push mode would get all fired up, angry and try to fix the problem. My new mode embraced the blip and I just wrote it again.
It’s making me realise that life can be a journey of ease – not pushing but relaxing into what feels good can help us enjoy our expression so much more. Creativity feels good when we let go and ease into the moment.
What about you? Are you an addicted pusher? 😉 Perhaps we should start a recovery club. Do share your thoughts below!
I feel guilty when I stop doing ‘stuff’ and I think so many of us these days forget how to just ‘be’. Would be good to be more like Zen Dog who lies back and rides the waves.
I Love this Gilly! Thank you. It doesn’t show up on the page, so for anyone who wants to read it:
He knows not where he’s going for the ocean will decide.
It’s not the destination, it’s the glory of the ride.