March 31, 2023
Turning the Saboteurs Inside-Out
i’ve been stuck in the muck.
Despite two decades living in the Pacific Northwest where spring comes early in vibrant yellows and purples and almost vulgar pinks, i still remember how the advent of the new season Out East felt like a rut you just couldn’t get out from under: muddy, intermittently wet, cold, with piles of winter debris and last year’s grass rotting brown. Like a grey pile of icy snow, hardened by a waiting that refuses to melt.
i’ve spent too much time waiting to come unstuck, spinning my wheels, sitting here in the murky ditch waiting for a kind stranger to pass by and give me a push. In the stick, you have lots of time to think….
And that’s dangerous.
Thinking, ruminating, plotting, contemplating this next step or that one. It’s given the Saboteurs plenty of room to play and hijack this vehicle and drive it off the road. i’m sure you’d recognize the cast of characters—the demanding Judge, the Stickler who needs everything to be perfect, the flitting focus of the Restless and the Avoidant toddler who prefers to hide under the duvet. And don’t forget the anxious Hyper-Achiever who somehow manages to hide the fact they feel like a total imposter by holding tight on the Controlling whip.*
When the Saboteurs take hold there’s no bouncing along with the springy-sproing of the blossoms blooming and business booming. There’s just the dirty habit of Old Man Winter caught in a negative spiral whose centrifugal force drives us deeper into indecision and inertia.
Sheesh! i need to do some spring cleaning!
And not just of the dust bunnies accumulating under the couch, the dusty gook in the window crevices, or the cobwebs in the back corner of the pantry… but some serious spring clearing of the mind.
It’s time to:
AIR OUT the sheets of negativity by pausing to be present to the small slivers of beauty in every moment
SCRUB the floors of discouragement by naming the self-sabotage and giving yourself some compassionate attention
WIPE DOWN the baseboards of inaction and try out some new ways keeping the grime at bay
CLEAR UP the cobwebs of resistance by imagining your room clean and bright
REORGANIZE the closet of isolation until it sparks with joy
and POLISH the silverware (Nah, don’t bother! No one uses that sh*t anymore. Just drop it in the donation box)
*Check out Shirzad Chamine’s work on Positive Intelligence and combating the Inner Saboteurs. There’s a great little online assessment you can do to identify your top players.