Tuesday, January 22, 2013

What happens when you want to punch goal setting in the face

As most of you on here would know and appreciate, goal setting is like a road map.  The process will help you get from A-Z, and help you move forward. It totally serves a purpose. Pre-adrenal fatigue, I was a Master Goal Setter. Heck, I even led workshops on it!

But after inching closer and closer to my 3rd year of battling adrenal fatigue, I've realised that sometimes life isn't as simple as A, B and C. And sometimes, it’s really not useful to set goals - unless you want to feel dejected, upset and overwhelmed.

So there I was: Master Goal Setter one day, and then I got sick and... woah! Everything shifted. As any good Master Goal Setter would do (can you tell I absolutely defined myself by this talent?) I adjusted my goals, I redefined them, I set new parameters around what was now important to me. Major illnesses have a habit of doing things like that you.

But for someone so used to being a good kick-ass little human DO-ing, where I would tick the goals off and move onto the next, I was lost.  

But I knew one thing for sure, and that was:
 goals and goal setting were no longer serving me.

It was time to drop the goalsand to just be. I had to return to Stella the human BE-ing. And, my gosh, it was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.

I had no idea where to start or what to do next, because let's be honest, making goals makes sense, and fits into a neat little box labelled ‘achievement’ and ‘worth’. But all of a sudden I started to feel absolutely repelled by the things which had once been the basis of structure in my life.  If you dared mention the words 'goal' and 'setting' to me - especially on a difficult adrenal, bone-tired day when it took all my energy to literally get out of bed, have a shower and plonk in front of the computer at work -  there was an overwhelming urge for me to punch you in the face(except that would take too much energy)!  

Thank god I was too tired to do anything, but that repulsion was strong - and hey, I'm a yogi! I don't go round punching people in the face. I figure out why I'm so affected by them, and find what lesson I can learn. Well, I used to. Now, I just wanted to scream. 

All my tools were of no use to me anymore.
I would write down my affirmations, and go to say them, and laugh at what a joke they were. 
I would start collecting images for a vision board, and then in a fit of anger and tiredness, one night rip them all up and throw them away.
I would keep changing my goals and readjust them over and over again, and then I'd fall in a heap because I was too tired to even take the first step towards them, no matter how teeny tiny they were.
I became frustrated that I couldn't do my strong vinyasa yoga class anymore.
I'd get upset that meditation put me to sleep.
I was devastated that even teaching my beloved yoga was starting to drain me.

But the good thing about being so sick, so tired, so sad, is that you just get through the day; you just do the very next best thing that you can.

Screw goals: My day was a success if I went to work. Bugger practicing yoga: If I could eat dinner, the day was a winner.  The most basic things in my life, like eating fruits and veg, became mountain-sized obstacles.  Sleep was my haven, but unfortunately a lot of people, bosses in particular, don't really get/ understand/ care if you're tired.  Thus the partner of my adrenal fatigue, depression, reared its ugly head and I felt beaten black and blue by life. 

Then one day, driving to work, I sang along to the radio. I was so shocked that I nearly veered into the lane beside me. I was singing! I felt a tiny sliver of lightness and (dare I say it) happiness, sneak back into my world for a split second. 

As a wise friend said to me, “We don't visualise and meditate and say our affirmations because our life will unfold like we intend and wish it to. We don't even do it so we inch closer to our dreams. We do it so we don't fall backwards, we do it so we don't stop growing.”

So my lesson to share today is: It's ok to want to hate goal setting and it's ok to not do it. In fact, it's more than ok. You have to do what is right for you at any moment. There is one constant in life, and that is that nothing stays the same. If you stop finding value in something – explore letting it go. Trust your instinct. To thine own self be true.

Practice the yogi tenant of “ahimsa” (non-violence), at the very minimum, to and for yourself, daily. Some days you may need to cry all day, or sleep all day. Then the next day, without warning, you may sing in the car. But trust that sometimes YOU know the answer, even when others around you don't. 

It's ok to feel like you want to punch goal setting in the face, but it's absolutely NOT ok to keep doing something just because everyone else tells you to do it. Trust yourself, and take time to figure out if what you’re doing serves you – wonderful, gorgeous, individual you. This way, you can bloom again.

1 comment:

Cindy Fearon, RYT/LMT said...

love this post and so needed it! thanks :)

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