So here I sit, tea in hand, ready for brilliance to spill forth from my brain and fly out of my fingers onto the waiting page. I take another sip from my mug, rest my fingers on the keyboard, and…
Nada. Zip. Nothing.
I am frozen in time, frozen in fear, frozen in rebellion.
The good thing is that I know myself well enough that I can recognize some patterns here. I know that devouring a sleeve of cookies will not help, even though the scared little kid inside me thinks it will. I know that surfing the ‘net for another pair of killer shoes will not help, even though the rebellious teenager thinks it will. I know that I can speak calmly and lovingly to these parts of myself, setting up small, healthy, and meaningful rewards that each of these aspects of me will enjoy when the task is done. I know that I can read funny and comforting blogs by people like Laurie Foley and Fabeku Fantumise, both of whom just wrote about failure and fear, in that order. I know I can call a friend and bookend my writing time for support and accountability. And then I know that I can just sit. Not in shame, not in judgment, but in patience.
And gentle curiosity.
The yoga I practice teaches me to use BRFWA in these moments of paralysis. It’s a funny sounding acronym that stands for Breathe, Relax, Feel, Watch, and Allow.
Breathe, to pause and take in some oxygen.
Relax, to soften around the issue at hand.
Feel, to get in touch with the emotions that are present.
Watch, to step to the side and observe the situation.
Allow, to let things flow into the next moment.
Some days, like today, I have a stretch of quiet time that I can use to slowly lean into the process. At other times I am BRFWAing all over the place, sneaking in little moments as the storms form and break around me. Regardless, BRFWA is a tool I can use to help create a safe environment for me to explore my boundaries and edges.
I’m a sensitive soul, so barreling through tasks without regard for my feelings feels inauthentic. And the flip side, becoming deeply entrenched in my fears until I’m sitting in paralysis is depressing. The urge to somehow validate or distract myself through food, shopping, or web surfing grows strong, and I find that those coping mechanisms can be hard to wrestle myself away from.
And so I try to give myself the space to breathe, relax, feel, watch, and allow as much as I need to. I don’t do it perfectly, and sometimes I forget. In fact, lots of times I forget.
But that’s alright. I’ll just sit with it until I remember again.