Productivity is like breathing. On the inhale your heart beats a little faster and your body gets flooded with oxygen. On the exhale your nervous system relaxes and you release some toxins. Somehow we, as a society, have gotten addicted to the inhale and judge the exhale. We celebrate the go and denigrate the slow. But, there is no way you could go on ONLY inhaling... At some point you have to exhale. Imagine the stress you would put yourself under trying to resist your next exhale in perpetuity. To anyone watching you, it would be obviously ridiculous, not to mention bad for your health. The cycles of productivity are like this too. Learning to be easeful about your own individual cycles of productivity and rest is essential for long term and on going mental satisfaction, health and fulfillment.
I think this is a process a lot of us are beginning to discover, as we break away from the manufactured ideas of success that the dream of modern society has drilled into us. Just as we are disconnected from the cycles of nature, so too are we disconnected from our own cycles. I am finding such freedom in simply saying YES to what my body, spirit and heart are telling me is available to me in any given moment. At times I am full of energy and can work tirelessly for hours, at other times, I feel the need for more sleep and quiet time. There are many factors that can influence this of course, and discovering the ways nutrition, sleep cycles, exercise and spiritual practice (among only a few factors) influence our personal experience of life is a whole other level of journey. When in doubt choose the simplest obvious answer. Rather than rail against yourself for not getting as much done this week as you did last week, enjoy the EXHALE in anticipation of the big inhale that is surely coming. When you feel energized and find yourself busy busy busy, enjoy the exhilaration of the inhale, knowing that a chance to exhale is just around the corner. On and on we go. Such pleasure if we choose to flow with, rather than against our nature.
So, are you inhaling? Or exhaling? I invite you to surf the wave. To be clear, this isn't meant to be taken to the extreme. If you are in a down or exhale cycle, don't NOT show up for work and blame me for it... ha! It's more internal than that. It just means be gentle with yourself as you go about your daily tasks. Don't expect to be bounding down the halls with energy. Maybe say "no" to that invite out for drinks with friends, FOMO or no. If you find yourself on an up or inhale cycle, don't work yourself to death! Just enjoy the added energy and have some fun going out with friends or whatever other higher energy activity you enjoy. No matter what take each moment as unique and endeavor to respond to it uniquely and with care.
With much love and solidarity~