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Insight Out

Seeing beyond what is visible

The art of real presence and a scared Eddy

By Mei Lan

Recently I’m feeling overwhelmed. I feel like I’m juggling with 10 balls and keeping them all up in the air at once.
I run from one thing to the other like a lunatic and my partner asks me daily to just breathe and sit down. A part of me is yelling to stop and stand still. Yet another part is in pure flow and so joyful about all the things that are in motion in my life.
The first part screams: “It’s too much. I can’t keep this going. I am SO tired.”
When I truly listen to that voice inside I don’t really believe it.

Don’t get me wrong, as a coach I am all about self care. I do really promote taking time off. I am not at all recommending to just keep going against all physical boundaries and mental health.
Yet, now, within myself I found another layer of this story of overwhelm.

I have an amazing coach by my side who tells me time and again “You are capable of so much greater things than what you are doing now.”
The voice inside that keeps me small and tells the story “it’s too much” can get so irritated with this. Let’s call this voice Eddy.
So when my coach says that he sees greater stuff for me in the future Eddy goes sighing and complaining:
“ugh, it’s not enough yet. I’m working my ass off, I’m stretching out of my comfort zone, I’m challenged, I’m blind, not enough huh?”
Eddy is very good at convincing me that it is good enough, that I’ve worked enough and that it ain’t gonna get better than this. Bottom line: Eddy is tired and wants rest.
What Eddy doesn’t want to see is that I am indeed capable of far bigger things. Eddy is afraid that I will risk myself, that we will crash into a wall, that we will look bad or silly. Eddy wants to play it safe. Eddy is so scared of failure, so Eddy plays it small.

What if that is exactly what I will get? If I play small, I’ll gain small things.
If I play life loud, I will gain great things.

Life is a fair deal. You gain what you put in.

This week I noticed what happens when I drag Eddy along on busy days and go into big challenges with a scared Eddy.
I guess it must be something like jumping out of an airplane. You close your eyes, hold your breath and do it anyway. Only when you realise it’s going well, you’re not gonna die, you start breathing again and become present to the beautiful intensity of the experience.
Eddy and I were holding our breathe last weeks. We were closing our eyes and wishing it would be over soon.
I did not quit the tasks, I did not postpone or hide under the bed. I did not cancel my meetings and did deliver on time. I am proud of what I have achieved in the last weeks and the work I did.
Yet the feeling of overwhelm did not go away. With every task finished I kind of expected the tension to become less, but the oposit seems to happen. I stay tense and start to feel more and more overwhelmed.
Eddy is pulling back, disconnecting from the situation and I find myself doing, doing and doing, like a robot. No thinking, just doing. No feeling, just doing.

Yesterday it became clear:
I am still holding my breath and shutting my eyes. I totally forgot to enjoy and experience the intensity of the jump. I forgot to tell Eddy that it is going well and we ain’t gonna die.
Sometimes life just goes so fast, that I have difficulties catching up with what is true now. Yesterday it made sense to close my eyes and hold my breath. Today things changed and it is time to open my eyes and see truly that it is all well.

In Consciousness coaching language I would call this presence.
I was not present to what I was doing. I was not present to life.
I was physically there, my brain was performing the tasks, yet my full being was not in there. My heart wasn’t fully there. I was unconscious and already thinking about the next and the next things. Eddy was hiding under the bed and wishing things would be over soon.
But life is here and now, right? And as I have written about in other blogs, I think life is a candy store and I want to taste all flavours. So now I can taste the flavour of busy days and juggling. I get the chance to taste a full and riche life.
What will these overwhelm turn into when I meet it with full presence?
What will become possible when I meet every new day with the presence and flexibility of truly seeing what is now and letting go of what was yesterday?

Tell me, you reader, what does your Eddy need to hear today?

Insights sparked? Moved or inspired?
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