What is wrong with this phrase beating procrastination. I feel confused contemplating this phrase when I instinctively used to describe my unwillingness to start fully designing the website and wireframe designs for the webapp which I hope to launch.
I'm confused because I hold the belief that one should embrace all of self, the shadow self, our perceived weaknesses, our traumas, all of our being. Beating gives me the vibe of procrastination as an enemy. In fact, I conjure up a scene of a school bully abusing a victim much weaker physically.
Is procrastination a weakness? Or is this a guide from beyond like Rumi suggests in the Guest House poem. I explore deeper as an opportunity to face my fear. This is how.
Let's start with a meaning or value to the verb procrastinate. To procrastinate is to delay or put off doing something (we assume) to a later time or date, but sometimes not at all. It comes from the Latin word pro (forward) crastinus (tomorrow).
Essentially this verb implies there is potentially something more important which needs to be addressed first before the action or work can get done.
Normally I'm described myself as passive, laid back, lazy or not good enough when rationalizing my actions why I put off doing something. However, I've recently also began to try understanding my messy mind's thought processes after listening to several of Dr Caroline Leaf's podcasts.
There is a space in between labeling myself as lazy or rationalizing the task to be too unimportant, too trivial, too complex etc. That space is the space of Curiosity and Fear.
In this Guest House, Curiosity welcomes Fear (of the unknown, or Uncertainty) into the Guest House.
Curiosity is a permanent guest whom volunteered in exchange of free lodging, to work at the front desk to receive visitors.
The bell rang. In fact when Uncertainty arrived, the young scrawny teenager looked hesitant and lost and had already been waiting for some time before striking at the bell. He waited on.
Curiosity stepped out from the office behind the reception and went right into the checking in registration process. Being curious, he asked if Uncertainty felt tired and needed a rest and drink while the paperwork was done. That is hw the conversation typically begins.
Uncertain about his financial situation, Uncertainty asked about the daily room charges and if there was a discount for a longer term stay. This was when he revealed he was in a period of transition, that the path ahead was yet unclear and potentially a steep upward learning curve to overcome. He had taken the first step, which was to arrive here, to begin his work but felt the plan was too big to even set out in writing and he felt overwhelmed at times. Seeking respite from ceding control to what lies ahead, he felt comfortable in the certainty of the familiar, what he could control. He felt safe while the "not progressing" on the path ahead weighed on and gathered weight in his heart as he sought to suppress the feelings of fear of the unknown. Self blame set in, he felt unworthy, he felt useless, he felt helpless, and so he continued ignoring these feelings to be safe from the future judgements. He procrastinated.
Until one day, a brief shock to his system came when he penned down his feelings of lost and disenchantment after waking up to anxious thoughts about the future. He took the first step, to arrive here.
In this present moment, Curiosity dived further into the topic and asked, "how do you feel about making the journey here, right in this moment?"
"Nervous excitement." Uncertainty replied timidly. Yet at that moment, he became aware that his tiny first step, was enough to transform the anxieties into a positive form of excitement. How curiously fascinating! He remarked in his heart.
Curiosity jumped in with excitement, "Exciting indeed! I'd be curious what impressive deeds you'll accomplish here while at the guest house. How very courageous of you to take the leap of faith!"
Uncertainty smiled. He remained apprehensive but since the journey had been made, he remained present to both opportunity (that there is a chance of succeeding) and fear of failure.
Shortly after his checking in, Uncertainty met Hope at the lobby.
Embracing the underlying feeling
Instead of beating procrastination or beating yourself up instead, I find a path to get started begins with being curious and seeking to listen to the message of the fear or feeling desolate.
I have finally embarked on tiny steps towards the overall direction I've set. Taking things one step at a time, and with each effort, I'm steadily re-identifying myself as a finisher and self- starter as opposed to a late or non-starter. This is where I'm meeting Hope...
Journal entry December 13, 2021