I don’t mind admitting that the end of 2014 left me bereft of energy. What will a health challenge, the loss of Treacle (the best cat you will ever hope to know – she was only 2) and months of isolation whilst I tried to finish off my second book. I piled into January feeling rubbish.
Usually I draw upon the things I love such as painting and seeing friends to give me a boost, but the effects were fleeting. I sunk myself into a couple of work projects – occupational engagement rules eh? Inner motivation is the key eh? Well, it wasn’t working.
The usual self enquiry questions didn’t seem to help either:
- What makes your heart sing?
- What if you let go and started to trust the process?
- Remember a time when you really enjoyed your work. What were you doing?
- What feeds your passion and gives you a spring in your step?
These questions landed badly in me, sounded glib and I found myself saying “I dunno” or “oh I am so bored of this”. I started to wonder whether I was having an existential crisis – it felt like a significant loss of meaning and purpose and whilst I felt the deep loss I felt for Treacle, but I think this was just the catalyst for something that had been building for a while. And, whilst I acknowledge that I am a person with somewhat variable mood, I was struggling to get out of a place characterized by complete lack of interest and a very weary soul.
Just before New Year I had a creative planning day with my chum Morwhenna, who you can see more about here. Christmas had felt like a drudge – “whoopee doo – a time for even more shopping, cooking and cleaning up” and by New Year I had really had enough… During the day Morwhenna reminded me of the power of “doing the opposite to usual”. I laughed as I am not certain I have a usual, but I suppose I would usually ask those questions above and try and get involved in things I enjoy. When I have felt like this before, I have perhaps run off and done some locum work or found a job!.
So what would the opposite of this look like?
- Forget “what makes your heart sing? What makes you angry, Jen?”
- Forget “what if you let go and trust? What if you pushed like hell?”
- Forget “remember a time when you felt happy, what about the times which made you angry or annoyed?”
- Forget “what feeds your passion? What really pisses you off Jen” and
- Forget “get a job” and instead “stick firm, stay still, build resilience in “what is”
The sap was rising…I spent the next week noticing that I was getting annoyed about a lot of things, so I started to make a list of the things that really irritate me. Here we go and sorry if you don’t agree, these are completely my own feelings and opinions:
- OFCOM’s decision to not include the Green Party in the TV debate despite them having a greater following than UKIP and in many areas, the Lib Dems. This is not democracy and not free press as we think we have in the UK!
- The complete lack of knowledge in our huge local secondary school, about Sensory Integration and other problems that adolescents experience. In fact also the lack of knowledge of SI and other hidden problems in adults at work
- The ridiculous amount of stress induced by “modern living” and it’s perfectionist, happiness driven, consumerist culture. And that much of that stress seems to have landed on women’s plates,disguised as equality!
- The complete lack of value placed on the arts and creativity in relation to health, education and “work”
- Oh and of course, all those silly people who don’t know what OT is, let alone understand the immense good it can do in the world. Oh and what if we had an OT in every organisation, think of how much better work could be!
Ahhhhhhh I am so angry about those things ahhhhhhh
I sensed a shift and noticed new energy in my system. It had been stirred up from what could be considered the sludgey, shadowy, dregs of my being, but it was energy no less and it was so very welcome.
The next thing was to try and recruit this energy for my work activities and see if I could connect these “upsets” to my current work projects.
- I have committed to supporting our local Green Party for the upcoming General Election: this is values led action!
- Whilst I am not a SI or paediatric OT, I am supporting several close friends who have children struggling at present and will fight for increased awareness at our local school.
- I know that my passion for coaching in the workplace increases when I work with adults with hidden challenges such as SI problems, depression or the joys of being a “highly creative individual”…
- My Discovery Party business seeks to support women in a creative, fun way and make coaching accessible in today’s highly stressful life.
- My creativity book is nearly done….and the heart of it is to make coaches and other professionals understand and support creativity in others – a real reason to finish the book!
- OT Coach – I so love the OT profession and I so love working with OTs who need support or want to do things differently.
So, there you are. I am pleased to report my energy for work is returning!
I highly recommend figuring out what things really p*ss you off or really get your goat (love that expression!). Anger and negativity get a bad press and they really shouldn’t – many great businesses and social causes are powered by this fabulous, firey energy.
Oh and if you fancy putting the things that’s really annoy you to good use, do get in touch and have some coaching 🙂