, ,

Wrestling a greased pig in the dark

| 4 Minute Read |

“Wrestling a greased pig in the dark” is a line from Brené Brown’s book Rising Strong. She refers to the expression as an excellent description of what you might experience if brave enough to “try and get your head and heart around who you are and where you come from”. This felt like the perfect way to capture what I’ve been doing ALOT over the past few months, and in one way or another, I suppose I’ve been doing it for many years.

Let me assure you that no actual pigs have been harmed in the writing of this article – although I did find that tackling Brené’s question is not work for the faint-hearted. I can tell you that it’s been worth rolling my sleeves up to do the work as I haven’t felt this calm, happy and healthy for a very long time, with occasional spells of batshit crazy as I continue the work! Whilst no one can do the work for you, I was hoping that if I shared some of my experiences and insights, I might save you a little bit of the leg work – especially if you fancy getting your arms around your very own greased pig :-).

The conversation which began when I started Behind the Hashtag really helped me on the road I find myself on. When you’re in the midst of doing the work, it’s challenging to actually reflect and write about it–it can be a bit raw and tiring. Having taken a break from writing, it has now felt like time to get restarted with sharing some of my experiences, hoping they may help others who could identify with my struggles. I’ll do my best to give the whole, sometimes messy, occasionally funny, picture.

I did need that step away for a while. Sometimes you need to get very quiet and very still to hear what’s going on in your “head and heart”. It’s been so helpful for me to take a breath and also take a break from ploughing through a to-do list. I’d noticed that everything was beginning to feel like work – even those things I usually get great joy from, such as Behind the Hashtag. Always notice that and listen to it – when you suddenly notice you stop enjoying something.

As I begin to pick up the pen again, it seems very appropriate that what’s nudged me back towards writing is reconnecting with the memory of the dear friend who always gave me the “What are you waiting for?” encouragement. It was Chrissie I set out to honour with Behind the Hashtag,  and whilst there’s not a day I don’t think about her, it was reflecting on stories about Chrissie, in planning for her long-overdue memorial service, that reminded me of her wonderful “you can do anything” attitude she would always fill me with.

It hasn’t been all hard work, though. I was also finally taking some time and space to focus on health and wellbeing. As part of this focus, I needed to build new routines, shift what I had been paying attention to and above all, tackle what I’d been avoiding.

As well as clearing ACTUAL cupboards, I was also clearing my mind. If you don’t stop to reflect and take stock, you can miss so many of the things that you’ve already got – they are just tucked away at the back of a cupboard.

It’s not the first time I’ve tackled the physical and mental de-cluttering, but something different did happen this time. If you’re taking on a major project – like a “deep clean”, you would usually call in professionals to help – they have the equipment and experience to help. So, whilst I’m incredibly blessed to have a local and global “village” of gifted friends, who have never waivered with their love and support, I realised I needed some “reinforcements”.

Having more help wasn’t the whole story of what was different. Part of what has made the past months so challenging and incredibly helpful is that I became teachable! Years of learning, reading, researching, observing, studying… like some frenzied student on too much caffeine… literally years of looking for answers to life’s struggles. And only in these last months have I actually become teachable – which is oh so very different from learning. That doesn’t mean I always get it right – far from it! It does mean that I notice and learn from it when I get it wrong… then move on.

For a few years now, at times, I’d been noticing I would be absolutely exhausted and not really understand why. Well, it turns out my head and heart had been in a wrestling match for years; I’m now finding out slowly but surely how to stop the fight! Working out our patterns – particularly those that pull us away from where we’re trying to get to – can be a game-changer. Over the next few months, after some hard work and more exploration, I’ll be happy to share what’s helped me. And I promise – there won’t be a greased pig in sight!

1 reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *