Have you been feeling guilty lately? Guilty that you are not doing anything. Guilty that for a change you are just enjoying the simple pleasures of life like sleeping, spending time with family, reading, watching tv shows or movies. Guilty that you are not doing something worthwhile or productive.
I was feeling like that a few weeks back. I was thinking to myself, “Ok, so with this lockdown you have more time to do things like write, study and be more productive.” But after a few things of feeling this drive to be more productive, I hit a dead end. I wasn’t feeling well. I guess it was my body’s way of forcing me to shut down and just be more reflective.
During the time I was doing self-introspection, I was asking myself why am I feeling guilty when I already passed this phase a few months back when I was not doing much except to read and study. So, I did some digging and a few things were coming up:
- Being productive and results-driven are part of the programming or conditioning that we grew up with that’s why artists were shunned or looked upon because they are dreamers with nothing to show for.
- There is a feeling of fear of not being able to provide for oneself and the family who relies on him. All of a sudden the jobs we had is unable to provide us that sense of security that we took for granted.
- There is a feeling of losing control, or maybe totally lost all control, because the seeming control we had over our life has been taken away from us abruptly. There’s a sense of helplessness that the reality that we called life has been shaken and now we need to redefine life and what is important or essential to us.
- We were and are meant to live life happily while pursuing our passion, using our talents and achieving our best life ever and achieving our highest potential but we got conned into defining success and happiness to what society wants us to believe – that we need to work hard to get money, that life is all about suffering and there is no time to dream and discover our God-given talents.
Now, with this downtime, we can use it to be more reflective and:
- Be more thankful. Find at least one thing that you are grateful for amidst all that is happening. I remember last week as I was scrubbing and cleaning away our terrace I was thankful that I am home. I cannot imagine still being based in SG during times like this.
- Think about our own definition of success and happiness, without the outside influence. Your heart will now the answer. Listen to it.
- Do some soul searching or meditation, while seeking the answer to the question “If money and time is not an issue, what are you doing that will bring you happiness and bliss?”
- Ask for signs and help from God and from the angels in discovering your talent and how can this talent while bringing you joy, also bring you money to support your needs.
- Talk to the seeming negative feelings like fear and guilt. Acknowledge them, thank them for coming up, ask them what lessons you need to learn from them, forgive them and yourself for feeling these seeming negative feelings and transmute them for they have already served their purpose for now.
- In order to remove or at least lessen the feeling of being guilty because you are not productive, then make a list of things you want to accomplish for the week including your leisure activities like reading, writing, or whatever hobby you have. Then make a pact with yourself to keep a loose or fluid schedule and then listen to your body because it will tell you when is the best time to do “work” and when it is time to chill. Lastly, don’t be so hard on yourself if you miss to do one or two things, because it is not the end of the world if you don’t accomplish everything.
- Enjoy taking things slow because you deserve it, you are worthy. Be a child again and appreciate this time that you have to go back to the simple joys of life, the things which are really important to us.
How has this downtime impacted you? Any new realizations or insights that you can share. Please feel free to message me. I am more than happy to swap notes and exchange stories with you.