Striving. Self-Violence. Pressing and pushing up hill and through pain and resistance. You know the jam. The pathologically masculine and sadistic relationship to productivity that permeates our culture. We have medication ads glamorizing the get up and go when the body’s breaking down. We have over-scheduled, back-to-back days where a final collapse in front of Netflix is classified as lazy. We get leverage on ourselves with ‘motivating’ dialogue that’s actually just a loud asshole giving us a play by play of how we’re behind.
Are any of these familiar? “Keep going.” “You’re not done yet.” “Don’t give up.” “Push through.” “Dig Deep.” “Don’t be a quitter.” “You always give up too soon.” “You don’t finish what you start.” “You need more will power.”
Bloody exhausting. I’m so tired just writing that, I don’t even know if I have it in me to finish this post! Maybe I should say something mean to myself and just trash it all together. Maybe I should give up, slosh around in the shame of not following through for awhile and then take a much needed nap.
OR, I could just love what I have to say and say it. Love what I want to do and do it.
Drawing upon love rather than will power can actually keep things moving with far more grace and energized ease than one might think. It’s a counterintuitive way to slay resistance and stagnation. It’s taken years for me to move this from a concept into an embodied practice. Loving it isn’t an idea. It’s a yoga. It actually requires work. A different kind of work than buckling down. Fully loving requires breaking open, moving energy, staying with, seeking, relaxing and allowing.
Take this moment, the stringing together of these words. A chore? An end to strive for? Or a love affair? I care so much about people being kind to themselves and to others that I’m compelled to write about it, weave it into the myriad of other commitments and ideas I have to fulfill within my work.
But how I approach my work matters more to me than the outcome.
Outcomes are seductive objects that can destroy our experience of life if we’re punishing ourselves in trying to achieve them. Truly. Salivating over outcomes can run you into the ground.
Can you relax into productivity?
Can you surrender into getting the job done?
Can an open bliss state be the conduit for what you want to make happen?