Productivity: Do We Long To Feel Useful?

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Productivity - Is Feeling Productive (Or Not) Conditioned, Or Do We Long To Feel Useful?

February has been a slow month for me. I’ve had an awful lot of free time, a long list of things I “could” or “should” be doing, and no motivation to do very much of it at all. 


But a lot of lessons have been landing for me. There’s this thing that’s hard to describe, but I’m sure you’ll know what I mean – when you know a truth or way of being, a philosophy perhaps, mentally as knowledge, and when that learned knowledge finally drops in as embodied wisdom, which might take some time. That’s what’s been going on. Learned knowledge that you can recall but can’t truly feel, moving into the deeper parts of you where it lives and breathes. You finally meet it and understand it here. You cannot see the beautiful simplicity of the wisdom until it lands. And where it lands is in the body. When it falls there, the beautiful simplicity can sometimes be frustrating… how can something so simple, so obvious, be so slippery, appear so complex (at first glance). There is a remarkability in the fine balance that can be woven between simplicity, beauty and complexity. It feels like lots of little pennies have dropped throughout February, littering it with copper gold shine. 


Perhaps these are the first seeds of spring. Wisdom landing within, harvested from the last cycle and now re-gifted; to earth, ground and grow into a life lived with new, precious knowing. Insight. Gifts. 


Not Doing Enough

Whilst I’ve been taking my sweet time to do anything throughout Feb, I’ve also been lambasting myself for “not doing enough”. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been enjoying myself. I’ve been absolutely loving all of this time off, seeing friends and family, making new friends, reflecting and making plans for the year, chilling, getting out and about… but there’s always a little niggle at the back of my head saying “psssst… you’re not doing enough”. 

Some considerations… 

  • What does “doing enough” mean?
  • Who sets the “enoughness” bar?
  • What are the ways in which you are doing, or producing?
  • What is this enoughness that you’re referring to – can you identify it?

My answer to that last question emerged today. When asked, “enough of what?” the answer was enough content – for people to see, read, or listen to, either now or in a few days, weeks, or months time. 

I’ve been turning to guidance a lot, I’ve been super co-dependent with my guides; with oracle cards, crystals and written guidance scattered all over my healing space the majority of the time. The guidance has been hazy at times, delivered uncomfortable truths (with identical cards being pulled one week apart, I still get spooked sometimes and it got me!), and on the messages that have been clear it’s been repetitive, the same medley of meaning said in a number of different ways. Some of those messages have been along the lines of “don’t believe you’re not doing enough. You’re literally peeling off layers of conditioning to reveal the truth beneath, casting a spotlight on your shadows and bearing witness, hunting down your triggers and healing through them until they can uproot you no more.” And then  someone asked, what about what you’re doing inwardly? 

That’s when the penny dropped. 

So there you go. Permission to own your doing nothingness. Because really, you’re never doing nothing. You’re learning, growing and changing all the time. And even if you are doing nothing, why does that matter? Is this guilt around material productivity (or lack of) inherently linked to capitalism, or do we carry the desire to create, produce, or feel useful deep within?

I guess I also attach guilt to whether I’m “doing” spiritual practices or perhaps the frequency of how often I practice things like yoga, meditation, self-healing etc. Isn’t the whole purpose of spiritual teachings to free you of these stories? The self-imposed pressure, the victimhood, the guilt you attach to a behaviour. Can we bring compassion to ourselves? And can we simply enjoy? Stop and smell the roses? We’re incredibly lucky to be so privileged – of course life throws everyone challenges, but there are undoubtably many places in the world that may have served us a rougher ride had we been born there. So why not enjoy it instead of beating ourselves up for not earning enough, writing enough, exercising enough, eating healthily enough, or whatever your unique flavour of enoughness/perceived inadequacy is. 


May we learn to experience the present without labels. 

May we learn to accept all seasons.

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