With the ice last week, I was feeling super lethargic. I didn’t get as much work done as I usually do. I met with my coach on Friday so I told her that I needed help with motivation. That it was icy and gloomy and I couldn’t get anything done. She (annoyingly) didn’t tell me how to be more motivated.
Instead she asked me “who determines how much work you should get done?” She asked me “what is wrong with being unmotivated?” She (super annoyingly) asked me “what does it say about you as a person if you don’t get a lot of work done in a week?” I mean, REALLY? Can’t I just get a motivation pill or something?
It made me think of the comedian Amy Schumer. I was watching this series she made about when she was pregnant. Not sure if you knew but she had hyperemesis (where you get SUPER sick (like 5 hours of throwing up and ending up in the hospital kind of sick)). Obviously, because of the illness, Amy slept a lot. She was still doing shows and trying to run her life as usual but it was really difficult.
I remember this one scene where she is laying down on the couch and someone off screen asks her if she loves being on stage. She said “yes” in a way that you know it is her calling in life.
Still, there was one day she couldn’t keep anything down. She was sick all day but then had a show that night. She was leaning on her husband and asking him to do her show for her. Her motivation level was SO LOW.
My brain is like, “ya, but she went on anyways.” The SHOW MUST GO ON slacker! (So get your social media posts done, dang!) Then I thought about Amy. She is a literal super star. Yet, there’s one scene where she is throwing up in the middle of the night and she says something like, “I know I have so much support and I am so lucky but I also feel so alone. No one else is in my body and no one can know how this feels.” Basically, she had compassion for herself. She kept going, not because she “pulled herself up by her bootstraps” as we Americans like to think of it but because she showed herself love and compassion.
It reminds me of my favorite quote from Brene Brown “Empathy is not finite….Hurt is hurt, and every time we honor our own struggle and the struggles of others by responding with empathy and compassion, the healing that results affects all of us.”
We are taught from a young age to go above and beyond. To produce more, create more, attend more, lead more. Of course in a consumeristic society we are taught that our value lies in what we accomplish but that leads us to the ultimate question. When is it enough?
This week, I started noticing when I am pushing. When I walked the dog and the thought popped up, “you really should do weights after this” I stopped and asked “what if walking the dog is enough?” When I was scheduled to teach three classes in one day and felt guilty about asking for a sub I asked “what if two classes is enough?” Oddly, this bleed into other areas. When my teenager was complaining about having to go on a family hike, I started lecturing him about the need to be outside in nature, to spend time with his family, etc etc. I saw his eyes glaze over and thought “maybe that’s enough.” I stopped and we hiked in peace.
The next time you feel yourself being negative, telling yourself you should do more and more, maybe take a moment and ask yourself “is this enough?”
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