Workhorse Anonymous (Part 2 of 2)

Hi, my name is Lauri and I’m a recovering workhorse.

It’s Saturday morning. I’ve had coffee and breakfast. I’ve also checked email. I’m sitting back attempting to relax. It’s Saturday after all. And yet … that all too familiar feeling kicks in. The one that says, “I should be doing something.” Doing something to build my business, to make money.

This voice is a desperate voice. A voice that is unable to sit in silence. Unable to rest … ever. This voice believes that I’m only worth something when I’m doing something. This voice drove me for much of my life. I’ve been in business for myself for nine years. It took me a loooong time to make peace with this voice. To hear it and then to sink into the discomfort and get curious about what lurks there. As I faced this urge to always “do, do, do” I discovered what is arguably my worst Soul Sucker: The Workhorse Soul Sucker (a kissing cousin to the Perfectionist Soul Sucker). This Soul Sucker tells me that I am not enough, but that my mission, my quest, my purpose is very important, so I’d better work 10, 20, 50, 100, 1000 … one million times as hard as everyone else to try to make up for my “not enough-ness”.

Damn, I thought I’d (mostly) made my peace with this voice. Apparently not.

As a solopreneur there is always more to do. In my peace place, I thought I’d discovered that the only way to keep going when there will always be more to do is to nourish nourish nourish. Nourishment is my theme for the year after all – and you have to put the oxygen mask on yourself first (or so they say).

For a long time I was solo in all aspects of my life, so once I found the peace, it was easy to maintain. But now, I am solo in work and I have a partner in life. I want the new partnership. It has brought and is bringing more joy and fulfillment than I ever though possible! Our partnership helps me be a better me all the time. But in this moment, the partnership is bringing that voice out again. Right now, partnership equals pressure. The workhorse has reared his ugly head. If I’m not working in every single moment like a martyr, I feel that I’m letting my partner down. Disappointing him. That “I’m not enough” voice is back. That urge to fill the silence with noise – with random busy-ness – is back.

How do I get the workhorse under control when my choices impact the partnership?

I try to remind myself that all of my best decisions (and results) in life have come from courageously following my intuition. That I have to nourish and flow from moment to moment (rather than struggle, desperately forcing things). I need to give myself this inner space or my intuition will stop speaking to me. When I try to force, it’s as if my inner wise one is right there saying, “Okay. I’m trying to show you the path of ease, but if you want to struggle on lost causes, trying to fit square pegs into round holes, I’ll just wait here until you exhaust yourself.”

Even now, I’m not sure if I’m writing this because I’m “in flow” or so that I could say to my martyr self, “Look at me! I’m so good! I worked on a Saturday morning!”

I think I’m trying to prove myself to my partner just like I used to sit and look busy at an office desk as an executive assistant – working harder than anyone else, believing I was unworthy, trying not to get fired.

And truthfully, underneath it all, I’m trying to prove myself to myself … again. The relationship simply created the friction that brought this forth.

I’m feeling tired. In need of some Saturday recovery time. As I wrap up writing this I have a choice to make … rest, take a walk, do yoga, meditate … Or get to work on all kinds of administrative busy-ness crap. … If I am to continuing my path as a recovering workhorse, I should choose the former…

With passion & love,
Lauri

PS – When I finished writing, I thought I was going to choose the “fill the space with busy-ness” Workhorse Soul Sucker path. Oddly enough, I didn’t. I chose spaciousness. I guess writing helped me get it out of my system … for that day.

 

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