How to Ease the Pressure of Life

Life, death, sickness, even simple expectations, can put extreme pressure on us and block us. Blockages due to pressure can seriously undermine our desire to live a life of purpose, doing work and activities that matter to us and our loved ones. Tune in this week to explore this kind of situation and some helpful solutions to ease the pressure.

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Transcript for Today’s Show

Hey thanks for joining me today for this episode of Curves Welcome, a podcast about facing and embracing the curves of life. If this is your first time tuning in, this is Suzie Carr. Today’s episode is inspired by my character Taylor from The Pet Boutique. It has to do with catching a break so you can get back to focus on those parts of your life that bring you the most joy. After the death of Taylor’s spouse and then her beloved dog, Taylor lost her ability to focus in life. As a popular novelist, she could no longer form an intriguing sentence, let alone an entire story. The harder she tried to put words onto paper, the more impossible conducting the task of her life’s work became. Until she met Lexie and learned a valuable lesson on how to get back into her writing groove and ultimately reclaim her passion for life and all its gifts. As a writer myself, I’ve been in Taylor’s position where words were hard to come by when life’s pressures got to be too much to handle. I’d sit before my computer with a pressure to produce something, and that pressure killed my words before they even had a chance to spark to life. I find this same thing to be true in my role as a film producer at UMBC. I am often tasked with enormous projects with stakeholders who have extremely high expectations, justifiably so, for me to produce a compelling piece that’ll meet all their goals of creating an emotional appeal large enough to influence prospective students to enroll in our graduate programs. The pressure of that stakeholder need weighs heavily on my mind and sometimes creates a blockage that disables my artistic edge and leaves me clinging to the perils of a creative block. Life, death, sickness, or even simple expectations, can put extreme pressure on us. Have you ever felt blocked like this with some of the tasks that needed your attention and felt like you were all alone in your suffering? This blockage isn’t just referring to creative instances. This blockage can be for things as routine as cooking a healthy meal, vacuuming the carpets in your home, selecting the right fruits and veggies in a grocery store, even driving from point A to point B. Blockages dues to pressure happen to many of us and can seriously undermine our desire to live a life of purpose doing work and activities that matter to us and our loved ones. Pressure. It’s all around us and if we allow it to, it can wreak havoc on our lives. That’s what happened with Taylor in The Pet Boutique. Her heart was all in on her grief and she couldn’t find her way back out until someone shined a light on a way to ease the heartbreak. Something I’ve learned through the years is that the more we force ourselves to focus on something that overwhelms us, be it a word count goal, a looming project, being near perfect for someone or something in life, whatever the catalyst to that pressure might be, the more that forced focus derails us. So what do we do if pressure is a very real thing and you can’t move past it to get things done? You do as Taylor did. You ease the pressure by turning your attention to something mild, benign, and different. Instead of sitting in front of her computer staring blankly at a white screen willing words to form, Taylor turned to a remodel project to get out of own way. And in turning her attention to ripping down plaster, laying down new floors and painting walls, she found refuge for the pressure. Of course she also found some much needed joy through her growing affinity toward Lexie, her fun and sexy new remodel buddy. We all have our own story that hits us differently. Despite this difference, we all have access to the same simple approach that can help put us on the path to where we belong on our journeys. That approach is learning to accept that what is happening is happening and to embrace the fact that at any moment, we can choose to direct our attention to something else. Meditation is a good example of this. One of the big problems people tend to have with meditation is feeling like a failure with it because they can’t stop thoughts from entering their mind. The same is true for our journeys to heal and move onward. We feel like we’ve failed when we can’t stop the thoughts that keep us stuck in pain or pressure. The big problem arises when we feel we lack some innate trait to eradicate thoughts from our mind to move forward in meditation or in life. This is the wrong way to view the process. We are thinking beings. Thoughts are our constant companion. The more we try to suppress thoughts from popping up and stealing our mojo, the more they persistently dig in and plague us. I’d like to propose a different approach the next time you feel pressure to be at your best in life, work, or play. I propose you stop for a moment to catch your bearings, embrace that you are a thinking being, and stop resisting the very human process of thought. Don’t attempt to not think. This adds resistance. Instead focus intentionally on something that is less stimulating than the thoughts and tensions running through your mind. By focusing on something, you quiet the mind. Try this next time your thoughts are side railing you. Find an object and hold onto it. With as many of your senses engaged as possible, embrace it. Let’s use something as simple as your finger. Close your eyes and feel your finger. Feel its grooves, wrinkles, dry patches, soft patches, Flex your finger, let it relax, flex it again, relax it again. This is called deliberate focus. You see by deliberate focus, you embrace the fact that as a thinking being, you need to think, and at the same time, you get to tune out of crippling thoughts as you tune into ones that are benign and allow you the rest you deserve, even if for thirty seconds. In those thirty seconds, your body has a chance to catch up with itself and reclaim something it craves, tranquility. The more you do this exercise, the more tranquility you will experience. And the more tranquility you experience, the freer you become to enjoy your much deserved wiggle room. We all need wiggle room to prosper. That wiggle room can come in many forms, and its part of the fun to figure out what that form is for you. Maybe it’s this finger exercise, a breathing one, an artistic one, or maybe it’s talking with an elderly person and turning your focus to making them happy for that moment in time, spending time giving love to a pet, engaging with nature. The activity can be anything that brings you peace. See that’s the key, an activity that brings you peace, if just for a small span of time, so that you can bridge that divide that often occurs between your mind and heart when you allow pressure to build and consume your every waking moment. Embrace those things that help heal your soul so you can get back to focusing on things that truly matter to you and to those you love in this world. Hey friends, thanks for spending time with me today. I hope you enjoyed today’s topic. If there is something you’d enjoy exploring in a future podcast, please reach out to me via my website at curveswelcome.com and I’ll work it in. While you’re there, grab a free story, too. It’s my way of thanking readers and listeners for their support of my podcasts and romance novels. I also want to thank all who have become patrons of my Patreon page. Your support means a great deal to me. For more information on joining me on this journey and gaining access to special rewards, visit the link in the show notes. Also be sure to follow TLT podcasts to keep up on the latest episodes. So thanks for tuning in. Until next time, go out there and continue to learn, grow, and embrace life’s curves.