From the Diary #21 ~ Slow, rhythmic effort


I’m guessing we’ve all carried shame at some time. My shame comes in how I am able (or not) to direct my time, and the amount of energy I have to spend in any one day. It lives in how I can’t move towards my own goals and be everything I need to be for other people, too. It never seems there’s never enough done, before I’m tired again.

In fact, it feels like the tap root of my shame is that I can never do enough, or even be enough. I do a lot of ‘busy work’ ~ email answering, lesson planning, spreadsheet completing, bouncing around between Facebook and Instagram, and when I’m working from home,  jumping up and down to attend to whatever part of the cycle the laundry is currently on ~ then I feel unfulfilled at the end of it all and no closer to where I want to be. It leaves me scattered and unfocused. But I get to look good. I answer everybody’s replies and complete their reports. I get a distinction in my assignment.

But maybe I’ve been misreading my emotions. Perhaps it’s no longer shame in thinking that I’m not enough, but instead a sadness rising that I have not allowed enough deep time with myself for thinking, writing, meditating or just (gasp!) being. And the worse thing to do to self medicate these emotions is reaching out with half an hour scrolling through social media. It’s not reaching out I need. It’s reaching in.

I have been working at bringing more of this deep, still work into my life. I’ve been cleaning up online habits, especially around my morning routine. I’ve been disconnecting the wifi connection on my phone and kindle in the bedroom, because I know myself. I have poor impulse control. All the social media before I’ve even started the day adds to my busy, busy, busy mania. Things are changing, slowly. There are compromises to be made. I miss being up to date with the connections I’ve worked to make on Instagram, but I like how calm and centred I feel. I like how I don’t feel guilty of ‘neglect’ because I am prioritising my own needs and starting to bring my own goals into focus.

At the weekend I spent sunset with the swans at Boldmere Gate. I watched with fascination as they preened and waxed their feathers, a long and laborious task but a necessary upkeep in their lives. Later, as they swam away I thought about the old adage that the swan’s graceful appearance belies the furious propelling of their webbed feet beneath the water, as if their grace was just an artful illusion. Peering below the surface, I saw that their feet did not look frantic. Sure, there was motion, but there was also focus and a slow rhythmic effort to move themselves to where they wanted to go.  And there’s no shame in that.





15 thoughts on “From the Diary #21 ~ Slow, rhythmic effort

  1. Tweaking our expenditures, time or money or effort, is all we can do. Social media as a reward after your journaling and goal taking steps perhaps Fresh writing in the morning because you don’t need too much energy to catch up on IG. People will still remember you. I know I do.
    Love to you Claire,


  2. Oh Claire, such powerful words. Really feel it. Yes to ‘reaching in’ – what a wonderful way to put it. So with you on that. Since Dad’s passing there has been a lot of wide open space to just be, think, write and not much else. My house is a tip, my blog bereft but soul is full. Hope you find the slowness you need xox


    • I so appreciate this check in, Dal ~ thanks for your lovely words and I’m so glad to hear that your soul is feeling full. Many blessings to you X


  3. You know… I feel the same way often. I do so much and its merely a distraction. Remember, there was something about those activities that meant something to you at first. Just shift your gaze to somewhere else. You will find your new meaning and purpose. Glad to see you writing still – sending a supportive hug. Moskowitz


    • It’s definitely the connection that I love about IG and Facebook, but it’s the connection with others and the connection to myself that I’m trying to balance. Thanks so much for your thoughtful words, Mosk and thanks for stopping by 🙂


  4. This is so lovely and a great reminder. I have been moving inward this spring as well… Fewer social outings, more me time. I worry that friends will forget me, but I cannon let myself forget me. Thank you for sharing. So helpful to know we have the same concerns. Much love to you. Keep going! Trust your instincts. They feel right to me.


    • You capture it so well when you say ‘I worry that friends will forget me, but I cannot let myself forget me.’ Let’s not forget ourselves. I’m glad it meant something to you too X


  5. Beautiful, dear Claire. The grace of your words and the grace of the swans. I indeed missed you on IG, but I understand – it makes so much sense what you write. Taking time to reach in. To listen. Beautiful you. Sending you slow, graceful, tender hugs and a big thank you for your words.


    • What lovely words, Eva ~ I love the connection of IG but the challenge is balancing the connection with me. It’s the harmony I’m seeking. Sending you a swan hug right back X


      • I understand so well – you know that balance is my word, and as we already acknowledged, harmony and balance are so close together… and the connection with ourselves is what everything is built on. No matter how often you or I show up on IG – you’re always in my heart 🙂 So another swan-hug (lovely word) back to you
        x Eva

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