I was once reluctantly taken to an American Graphologist for him to analyse my writing.
I had been living abroad in my late teenage years, and feeling unwell constantly, with no real explanation which any of the traditional doctors could identify. Blood tests and examinations, led us no further to discover the source of my illness.
One of my older brothers suggested I see a Graphologist called ‘Baruk’ instead of going to yet another traditional doctor.
The mind boggles, but I trusted him and went with it.
A few days later, I found myself walking through a narrow cobbled alleyway in the middle east, and as I looked above me, there were lines of hand washing hung up resembling clouds hovering over me. It certainly was no Harley Street, I can assure you.
My expectation of this encounter at the time was minus zero.
I put myself in the hands of someone I barely knew, with no knowledge of his professional background, but I felt a niggle of excitement at trying something new. We arrived at the end of the street, which signalled his address and knocked on his front door.
As I walked in, feeling like a lamb led to slaughter, I entered the smallest ground floor apartment I had ever seen. My brother chose to wait patiently on the other side of the shabby wooden front door, already scraped and worn from years of rain, wear and tear.
I remember this encounter as if it was yesterday. Baruk was a wise, gentle and very confident man who analysed my writing carefully and methodically. The incredible way that every single thing he predicted about how I was showing up in life made so much sense in the years that followed.
I’m still baffled by this.
He told me then, that I lived life through stops and starts. He invited me to imagine myself sitting in a car with one foot pressing the accelerator and the other pressing on the brakes; back and forth, signalling that I never seemed to get anywhere.
At the time, being young, inexperienced and naive, this prediction meant nothing. What did I know about life? I trusted him implicitly though, and the second big statement he threw at me as I prepared to leave, changed the trajectory of my life.
“You need to leave the environment where you’re living, leave this country, it’s making you sick.”
Don’t ask me why, but within a few days, determined and resolute, I packed my cases, left the middle east, and travelled out to live in London.
The illness I had then, never resurfaced again.
I don’t believe any doctor in the best hospital in the world could have given me a more accurate diagnosis or advice.
I mention this encounter with the Graphologist, as when the wind is howling outside, it’s raining, dark and cold, signalling a typical morning in London, takes me back to his words using the car analogy of ‘starting and stopping.’
We all experience moments of an impasse in the week when nothing seems to reawaken interest when we feel absent and nothing moves us into action. Taking one step after the other, which constitutes a movement, but still not sure of the direction, even as we start to navigate, cover terrain and proceed from one place to the next.
This is what it felt like to begin writing this morning and I wished Baruk was here to share a few words of wisdom.
In my writing habit daily, I spend one-hour writing in the morning before coaching my clients. Normally I sit across from my laptop and plough away effortlessly, but as much as I tried to think of the right article or the right way of commencing it, the words didn’t pour out and darken the page.
Instead, my mind wondered back to Baruk the Graphologist, and so this article begins with him in mind.
I surrendered to writing the perfect article and simply wrote the short story at the start, spontaneous and in real time.
As a life coach, who has worked with the mindset of hundreds of clients, I still get caught out in lack of self-motivation. The difference now is that I no longer attempt to force myself out of it or try to resist it. I just let it be and understand that some days I’m so fired up that I do the equivalent of a weeks work within 24 hours. and at other times, pushing ahead with the day is like walking on treacle.
Tough, sticky and exhausting.
So I don’t try to fight it, I just know that eventually my system will recalibrate, pop back up, and I will notice it as it does so, because things will take an effortless flow again. There are moments in life when we have to stop resisting because our internal system auto-corrects in a millisecond. there is nothing to do but be present with the unfolding of it.
Let’s face it, there are feelings and emotions that when they enter our world, we dread. It makes us feel icky and uncomfortable. Emotions like sadness, anger or frustration. We generally don’t roll out the red carpet with these, instead, they are pushed to the side entrance. The energy we spend fighting and pushing this away can be exhausting.
So it can potentially stop and pause our workflow, as it has attempted to do with mine today.
A mentor of mine once told me that we enter into feelings, like we enter into different rooms.
They don’t feel so great, granted, so in order to avoid them, we medicate, consume alcohol and create really busy lives, we then wouldn’t have to stare at these feelings in the face. We perceive them as the shadow, the dark side, and we don’t want to let them in.
Harry Potter, Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit all allude to these.
We don’t mind sitting in the movies, buying their promotional material and going to the very spot where these movies were created. But to face our own emotions is another matter altogether.
Reflect on your life.
What are the thoughts, feelings or beliefs that get in the way of building consistent momentum?
Identify and get them out there.
They could be ‘It needs to be perfect,’ ‘its not good enough,’ ‘It’s never going to work,’ or your mindset might have a more creative dialogue.
Since I have a timer when I write, to make sure I don’t go over time, I do the same with the emotions and thoughts which are trying to sabotage my writing flow. I place a timer signalled for only thirty minutes when I will entertain the sabotaging thoughts/feelings and practice full surrender.
I put a time frame on it because as much as I feel it’s important to surrender, there has to be a time limit. Otherwise, I will not only be rolling out the red carpet, but I will be serving them continental breakfast and afternoon tea. And this is detrimental to any person who wants to flourish in their business like I would like to.
Just like the Graphologist Baruk predicted, up to a few years ago, I was stopping and starting, Pressing one foot on the brake and another on the accelerator.
Learning to understand my mindset, identifying the thoughts and emotions that were sabotaging my workflow, resulting in continuing to press my foot on the accelerator continuously. Only stepping on the brakes when I needed to take a metaphorical breath, catch some air and get my bearings.
The accelerator is my work mode, and the brakes signal my reflective time, and both of these modes are hugely supportive of each other.
I had a client a while back who was struggling financially with his business, as he was not building up any type of momentum. I slowed him down and got laser focus on what was getting in the way of this.
I observed how he would get into action, became productive, but the moment he had a difficult thought, belief or feeling, he began to spiral down, unmotivated and borderline depressed. He would experience such a wave of self-doubt that he would stop what he was doing.
This led to incomplete proposals, unfinished projects, and a business that was slowly going under.
He felt he was at the mercy of these feelings, and would become completely sucked in, either in trying to resist them or being sucked into its influence, which zapped all his energy, and there was none left to become creative or take action.
I asked him to give this feeling a name — he decided that it was a male character and he called him ‘Mog.’ From thereon, whenever this feeling would plough in whilst he was actively engaged in his business, he would tell ‘Mog’ that he had to leave; he could come back later, but now was not the right time.
This was fun to create with him, and it worked a treat.
In recognising the culprit, instead of becoming passively sucked into its’ influence, he began to create a fun element which allowed him to take more leadership in the interaction.
We didn’t need to convert the feeling into a positive one or resist it.
We simply identified it, gave it a name and began to interact. The difference was that my client was then in control of when he allowed ‘Mog’ in or out, rather than being hypnotised by its influences and losing a whole days work as a result.
This had a huge impact on him as he began to start a project, build the momentum, continue, follow through and complete his projects, without being at the mercy of ‘Mog.’
Part of being a multi-dimensional human being (and not a blow-up doll), is that we’re gifted with lots of different facets, thoughts, emotions and feelings that will drift in and out throughout the day. They’re not wrong, bad or evil, but part of living fully is experiencing feeling these too. I believe Baruk the Graphologist would be proud of how I’ve moved from starting and stopping, to starting, continuing and completing.
Identify the thoughts/feelings or beliefs that get in the way of your workflow? What difference could it make to your life if you could shift this, rather than react to the feeling? Connect with me and let me know.
Originally published at www.micheleattiascoaching.com