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Good Companions?

    What sort of relationship do you have with yourself?

    It might seem an odd question but it’s worth thinking through.

    None of us truly wake up alone. Perhaps your days begin with a review of the nights’ dreams (“So there was a trowel, Depeche Mode and Lowestoft – what could that mean?”), a brief check that everything is still in place and then a plan of the day. And why not? The species likes to plan. We like a sense of order, the knowledge that if we do A then there’s a good chance that B will follow. Certainly gives us comfort.

    But how do you get to this point?

    Are you an aggressive co-worker bullying yourself into compliance? Do you threaten yourself with dreams of disaster if you don’t do A and B? If you’re self-employed do you like the boss? What do you think of his tactics? Does he ever let up? Even during lunch?

    Or are you a laid back procrastinator telling yourself that eventually you’ll get around to the plan but that right now you’d rather watch Frasier for the 77th time and enjoy the third coffee which will of course be the big motivating one snapping you into the day?

    Most of us are stuck between these extremes – getting our jobs done and yet finding ourselves sometimes resentful at the tactics used to complete them.

    Its good to know that there are techniques you can learn to change the relationship you have with yourself. You might start by noticing the way you are with yourself- the way that routines takes the place of choice and the decisions that you do make seem to carry you along but don’t completely involve you. Do you sometimes feel like a reluctant adolescent you’re dragged along by your tasks rather than fully participating? Take a moment to stop and be mindful of how you got to this moment. Slow it down. Take a full bodied awareness of what exactly you are doing. Feel your breathing. Realise that this moment is the only one you truly have and there is no point in focusing on the future or dwelling on the past. This is it. The simple centering of yourself helps dispel the bullying boss and the procrastinator and puts you back in your activity. The more you can do this the less pressure you’ll feel and the easier it will be to go though your day without these troublesome forces around you.

    You’’ll sleep easier too!