Jan 13 • 20M

Effortless Interlude

Wendy discusses the idea of effortless and how it fits into resistance and laziness

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Wild and Precious helps you make peace with your wild and precious life. Conversations, meditations, encouragements. A podcast by the Underbelly Project.
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Welcome! Wow — 2022. This week I am sharing a short 20 minute episode riffing on what I have learned about effortlessness over the past few days. Specifically, incorporating Julia Gillmor’s Facebook Livestream on Resistance and Russell Brand’s YouTube video on Laziness.

Here is the script I read from for the podcast:

Hi - Wendy here - welcome to another episode of wild and precious conversations.

This week, a short interlude.

I have lined up a pretty cool list of conversations for the coming year, and I thought it might be a good idea to pause and give a little context to what on earth we are doing here.

I am also dipping my toe into the idea of uploading video content as well, for a few reasons. 

So, for this week, a short discussion about the idea of effortless and how to incorporate that into your life.

Which, let’s be honest, feels pretty impossible sometimes.

Last week, Marla Estes used the metaphor of compost to describe that place of uncomfortableness we need to stay in sometimes. As she described it, it’s a place where growth can happen.

True enough — and jumping off of that, my friend Julia Gillmor did a Facebook Live (I will link in the show notes) about resistance and how to move through it. Important. Finally, I was influenced by a 2 or 3 year old video I noticed by Russel Brand on the idea of laziness.

So, dear listener, as we move into 2022, I can say that I am definitely mired in - or nestled in? Compost. I can almost feel the growth happening and I can say that I can feel the roots growing down, digging down through the rich soil for nutrients. I can also, maybe? Feel the growth beginning upwards, searching for the sun.

Having said that, Staying with the metaphor of a young plant growing in compost…having watched Julia and Russel and having been taken by their thoughts which converge with the idea that yes, it is important to take daily action to do those things you don’t want to do. And yes, rest is important, but no, (and this is riffing on what Russel Brand said) passing out on your couch in your week-old jammies with an empty bag of potato chips balancing on your belly is maybe not the best way to “do self care”? And, I will add - maybe it is, for you, in that moment - that one is hard to say. Suffice it to say, though, that for each of us, there comes a point where we know…we just know…it’s time to get off the couch, dip ourselves in some freezing water, sit quietly in contemplation, take a walk in the woods, or otherwise more forward moving stuff.

As Russell Brand says, though, so eloquently, “we’re always applying moral attributes to our actions and objects — as my counselor would say, “evaluative judgement” — that food is “good” or “bad”, lying on the couch is “bad”, sleeping in “bad”, etc…

Here are a few thoughts. Russell Brand talks about laziness as being a “sort of personal nihlisim a sort of well, what’s the point of doing anything?”And that is I believe, what Julia is thinking about when she talks about resistance - that moment when you being to try to convince yourself that there is no point, “Why you?” As Julia says, “What is your thing? When you look in the mirror, and you say, “I’m not ___________ enough”” What is your thing? What is your resistance? As she says, this force is universal - everyone has their own, personal resistance, gravity maybe, :) trying to gently coerce, pull them down into the much of the compost they find themselves in…I think this metaphor works really well, actually..

Russell talks about his daily habits that he now does no matter what - run with his dog, jui jitsu, meditation, cold plunges.

What Julia calls resistance, and Russel doesn’t name exactly, I call “our inner critic” I actually made a course in 2017, when I first started playing around with making content around my passion for mental health, called “making friends with your inner critic” or embracing your inner critic - because in my world view, it’s a good idea, similar to the way Aikido works, to use the power of our adversity to help propel us forward. 

When we acknowledge our inner critic, listen to it, actually, listen to it, acknowledge that it is doing its best to help, and then gently but firmly let it know that you are taking its voice under advisement but that you are in control now, not the inner critic :) You then have a wiling partner who knows its place…and the voice gets quieter and also more respectful.

As Russel says, “I think it’s okay to relax, I think it’s okay to rest” Damn straight it is. It’s essential.

Sometimes our inner critic might say something like, ‘What do you think you are doing? You’re not nearly prepared for this…” or similar… and, in my world view - sometimes there’s a grain of truth to that…

The inner critic is noticing something and doing its best to alert you. Maybe you need a nap. Maybe you need a snack. You definitely need to help your inner critic learn how to say these things in a more encouraging way :) but maybe you do need to pause for a bit, take notice of your surroundings and move forward better prepared, rested, rejuvenated.

Is any of this “effortless”? Here’s the thing. I can tell you, it becomes more effortless the more you practice. You likely know this yourself. 

I do believe I am in the fortunate group of people, similar in some ways to Russell Brand, who did not have a choice. I am trying to be more open about this part of my life as I move through the shame of it. Hell, it’s been decades! But for me, the best I could do as a young person to try to cope with some pretty heinous that happened to me was to develop some severely disordered eating. Severely disordered for about 12 years.

I had to stop and I knew I had to stop. That “stopping” took a long time and resulting in huge growth for me…that never stopped. Once you recover from something that huge, I can say definitively, you kind of become hooked on healthy living. So — while “recovery” didn’t make me rich, or beautiful, or hip, or fashionable, or whatever…it made me real - yes, as in Velveteen Rabbit real. And it is continuing to make me real. And yes, it is getting more and more effortless as the years go by. 

Life is still exhausting at times. The things that happened leading up to me beginning this project in December 2019 felt more exhausting and difficult than I thought I was capable of working through. Fast forward through the last two years and I can tell you — there were moments I was prostrate on the ground, crying my eyes out, not thinking I could continue. 

I can also tell you, that by following the very basic things I have been practicing over the past decades, I was able to not only continue, but I would say thrive through what life handed to our family - and continues to seems to hand to our family. I notice that we are all in this compost together. Some of us are trying to escape it because it feels yucky…for them, things aren’t going to feel effortless any time soon.

Others are digging their roots in a bit, facing their resistance, taking action, and daily committing to loving this life we’re in. 

I’m committed to daily, incremental improvement, to honing my voice, my offering, making sure that I am at least a small drop of positive in this vast sea. 

Thank you! Next week we have a conversation with Jean Russell - an amazing woman with a long pedigree of accomplishments who will be discussing the book The Dawn of Everything with me. 

Let’s do this! Thank you for listening - and as usual, I love feedback, love reviews, and please consider subscribing. Actually, yeah, please subscribe. Take care of yourself and at least one other person this week!

Notes:

Video of the podcast — Let’s see where this goes, shall we?

Julia Gillmor’s Facebook Livestream on Restistance — You may need to join the group to see the video - it’s worth it.

Russell Brand’s YouTube Video on Laziness

Thank you. Let’s see where 2022 takes us. Feedback welcome, always (be kind) and yes - please go to your favorite palce where you listen to podcasts and rate, review and subscribe. If you’re not sure what I mean by this, send me a message and I will explain further - and THANK YOU!