I learned to be with myself rather than avoiding myself with limiting habits; I started to be aware of my feelings more, rather than numb them. – Judith Wright.
(This is a post by Iris Barzen).
You know that feeling that something is not quite right?
That something is missing in your life? I knew it pretty well. Actually, I couldn’t stand it. That’s why I tried to cover it in make-up.
Let me explain.
When I was 18 years old I was just another young girl going to school with nothing to worry about but the next exam and my best friends’ love life. I also had nothing to work towards, nothing that excited me.
I didn’t know what to do with myself.
To distract myself from feeling lost I got a new hobby: Make-up.
When I came home from school I would sit down in front of my computer and not get up until a few hours had passed.
Why? Because I was reading make-up blogs, watching tutorials and researching the latest limited editions of brands I couldn’t afford.
I was wasting my time every way I could so I didn’t have to admit that my life didn’t matter.
Not to me and not to the rest of the world.
Most of us go through this at some point in our lives. We feel that something is missing. We don’t really understand what it is, but it scares us. So much that we’re willing to do almost anything to make it go away. And the easiest way to suppress that funky feeling is to distract ourselves with whatever comes our way.
That’s why some people spend hours playing online billiard. That’s why I spent 4+ hours a day learning how to do the perfect smokey eye.
For you it might be different. Maybe you buy every limited edition Chanel nail polish you can get your hands on. Or endlessly search for the perfect red lipstick.
Or you’re knitting away on pot holders. Maybe you simply spend your free time zoning out on the couch.
The difference between numbing out and doing it for pleasure..
It doesn’t matter.
What matters is why you do it.
As long as you’re building card houses or collecting stamps for sole pleasure as a hobby, that’s fine. But when it becomes your way of (not) dealing with a pain deep inside you, that’s when it gets tricky.
In order to figure out whether you’ve been purposefully distracting yourself or if you’ve just found a cool hobby for yourself, ask yourself these questions:
- Am I doing this for fun reasons?
- Does it help me recharge?
- Does it make me happy?
- Do I do it because I don’t know what else I should be doing with my time (and my life)?
- Do I do it to fill the emptiness inside?
- Am I neglecting what I know is important?
If you catch yourself nodding to the last three questions, congratulations. You’ve just taken the first step on the journey of living consciously, you’re seeing what is. This article right here is your first gentle wake-up call to life.
The first wake-up call.
My wake-up call came in a video by the husband of one of the make-up gurus I followed. I was numbing away once more, when he said something like this: “Life is not worth living when you’re not dreaming.”
I didn’t have any dreams. And suddenly it made me sad. I was only 18 years old and had stopped dreaming already.
This was my first little wake-up call. It took a ton more until I finally realized that I couldn’t keep watching silly youtube videos and painting my face everyday. Instead I developed a burning desire to figure out what it is I want in life.
Today I ask you to be brave enough to sit still and really listen to yourself. Is that tiny voice still there? What does it tell you?
If it tells you to stop painting your face, I suggest you do that.
Little Ms. Voice knows what she’s talking about.
Iris just launched her blog, Bright Little Socks, a place for people who are brave enough to wear bright socks in serious business situations and dare to change the world.
She wants to use her life as proof that it’s possible to live like you mean it and still put food on the table and pretty dresses in your closet. Tweet with her over at @BrightLilSocks.
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