Lately I’ve been noticing just how much of my life is built around striving. There’s always some stronger, healthier, richer, wiser, version of myself I’m hoping to become. This dictates how I’m supposed to spend my time.
There’s this big checklist running in my head: How many productive hours did I have today? How much was I able to accomplish? Did I push through enough discomfort? How close am I to meeting my financial goals? How much time did I spend on my relationships? Did I do something I loved? Did I eat well? Was I happy? Was I on top of things?
It seems like my goals are this harsh task master, and that my worth and value gets awarded to me based on my performance.
Some days, I feel like I deserve a medal! Other days, I feel guilt.
Less Action, More Presence
Being in my profession, I get to be an intimate observer into many lives, and I see this everywhere.
All of us, in our own ways, are striving to create worthiness. It’s a really difficult habit to break!
I have found cuddling to be a practice that challenges this in the most wonderful way.
Cuddling is one of the few activities in the world where we get to be in touch with our bodies without much active doing. Most everything else we do for our bodies, like eating, grooming, exercise, even sex, requires action.
And while these actions are necessary, the healing, rejuvenation and inspiration we crave and need tends to occur in places of spaciousness and calm presence.
Learning to Just Breathe
In my sessions, and at our sanctuaries, I get to invite my clients to let go of all that doing, and to just be. And for an hour or 90 minutes, their only job is to breathe. To allow themselves to be a recipient of abundant love and care while doing… nothing, really.
Sure, I am still here to support all the striving: for those who want to become more comfortable with touch, for those working through emotional turmoil, or who are learning their way toward healthy intimacy. Our conversations are moving and enlightening. There is so much necessary growth that occurs.
But somehow, what is most powerful is always the surrender. Simply turning into the present, being just as we are; dissolving into connection with another person. That is where the magic happens.
A Strange New Way to Be
This is such a new way to be for many of us. It can feel strange at first. Often, there’s an impulse to give something back, or to be “useful” in some way. Letting go of that takes practice.
I’m still working on practicing this myself. It’s a conscious process of decluttering that can feel intimidating at times. Relinquishing control of my value feels scary – like I would be left with nothing. I’m learning to trust in my “enoughness”, release my grasp on my ego, and allow the love to flow in.
So I’m removing a few things from my to-do list. And clearing room for a few essential things.
Take a bath, meditate, sleep, breathe, and cuddle.