A few weeks ago I was watching the doves up the field, they were all flying around above my head, and I noticed there were about four at the back, zig-zagging behind the rest. I wondered what that was all about, and was reminded of how with indigenous people, they would brush out the track in the dirt they were leaving as a trail, so they couldn’t be followed. I wondered if these four doves were ‘rubbing out’ the trail they were all leaving in the air, to put off predators from being able to follow them in some way, maybe energy ripples that are picked up through sensing.
At that time I was working through a 6 week programme to better understand ‘motivation and confidence’. I realised during this time that my own motivation can slow down when I am hoping for a brilliant outcome and my motion towards that brilliant outcome can slow down to a grinding halt.
I was discovering how quickly my mind can wander back into old memories of times when I’ve met challenges at a time of similar action. As an example, I have gotten into such a messy old muddle in the past when I do my annual book-keeping, that I seem to automatically remember the chaos and frustration from previous years, which hinders my motivation in the present moment when that time of year comes up now. Whilst remembering the past frustrations my mood was being altered and actually becoming ‘of the same’ as then. Hence the lack of motivation. Chatting this through with one of my daughters we recognised how procrastination is really common, that it can develop so quickly and like a snowball building in size as it rolls along, the outcome can be really disheartening, causing self-criticism and low self-esteem.
The unconscious dread of ‘now will become the same as then’ can be quite disempowering.
I had identified this process for me and perhaps others, as ‘Drifting into Dread’ and spent some time reflecting on this at the same time as noticing how the doves as the back zig-zagged, maybe to wipe out their trail they were leaving behind. I realised that I too could wipe out the trail I was creating, where my thoughts were linking the present to the past, remembering the frustrations that were affecting my present mood. So I decided that every time I caught myself ‘Drifting into Dread’, I would ‘rub out’ those memory thoughts of previous years, ( I actually use visualisations myself a lot, and in this case I picture the zig-zaggy doves, imagining they are rubbing out my wandering thoughts) and distract myself with some present activity which would enrich and lift my mood. And have now found a new way to manage my filing system and a very understanding accountant!
How Not to Drift into Dread – Every one is different, so spend some time looking at how you can make positive changes to the subject your would like to improve, in a practical way. Notice when you are drifting and ‘rub out’ the old stories and memories that alter mood in the present by:
1)Take a break. 2) Do something really fun for half an hour. 3)Spend time with your animal companions. 4)Go outside for some Mindfulness in nature, using your senses to come back to the present moment. 5)Visualise something that rubs out those thoughts in picture form, like I now use my zig-zaggy doves. 6)Wrap yourself in Self-compassion and kindness.