Action - How Even the Smallest Actions Empower You

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Are you feeling like you just can't?

You want to stay in bed, binge every season of every show ever made. Maybe eat a pint of ice cream and a bag of chips for breakfast and call it a day...

Meanwhile, calls need to be returned, applications filled out, dog let out, and when was the last time you washed your hair?

I was having this EXACT day not too long ago. 

Even though I'm a pretty chipper, optimistic, proactive bitch, I'm still 100% human and get depressed and overwhelmed from time to time. And I can certainly spiral into detachment and avoidance as easy as anyone.

But, begrudgingly, I always manage to haul my ass out of the funk, and finish my day with the happy dance of gratitude. 

So, because I love the science, and because I love the woo, and because I've gotta turn everything into an art project, I was excited the tarot deck spat out the Seven of Pentacles in reverse for my art journal/sciencey self-care lesson.

This is what the card means...

Limited success, lack of vision for the long-term, limited reward, procrastination.

Worry over money or other security threatens to blind you into giving up. This card advises you to take action rather than sitting around hoping it will go away. Problems are often much bigger before we take a close look at them. Don't let anxiety keep you from taking steps to solve the crisis at hand.

Holy shit. This is right on.

So, suddenly I'm without proper income, but certainly have the same expenses as before. Life is uncertain, I don't understand the application process, and there's suddenly a hundred things I have to look in to. ...what did the tarot card say about anxiety?

There were times I was definitely seduced by the idea of just sleeping until it was over. But I knew it would all still be waiting there for me no matter how long I slept. Not to mention the hole I suddenly found myself in would certainly grow deeper during my nap.

So I got to work. And this is how you can, too...

But first, some science!

Your subconscious brain really likes predictability and routine. I mean, it's busy doing SO many things all the time, it makes sense that it would want familiarity. So when you suddenly have to do something totally different (like most of life right now), the subconscious brain says, nah, I think I'll do this easy thing I'm familiar with instead.

But then your conscious brain says, bitch, no. We've GOT to tackle this shit. 

And the subconscious comes back with, WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME?!? CAN'T YOU SEE THAT WON'T MAKE US HAPPY? IT'S SCARY AND TERRIBLE! ...let's just take a nap instead. 

And the saga continues UNTIL you actually DO something. 

The act of DOING shows the subconscious brain that it's not going to kill you. In fact, once the thing is DONE, the subconscious gets cocky and says stuff like, ummm... who's awesome? I'M AWESOME! Did you just see what I just did? I'm a freakin' rockstar! I can do anything.

That's how skydiving works. 

By no means should you be jumping out of an airplane, and your brain is quite aware of this. Your blood is pumping hard, you psych yourself up for it, and then you jump! Adrenaline, screaming, falling at a great velocity, it's all the things, and then you land. Suddenly you're a super hero because you overcame the thing your subconscious tried to warn you about, and you lived. 

The difference between skydiving and forging through a pandemic is that one of them is a chosen activity, and the other is not. But the action you have to take is the same. You just have to make the leap.

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When it comes to action, size doesn't matter.

When it comes to tackling a task, try to break it down into smaller baby tasklets that are easier and not so daunting. Psyche yourself up about doing it. Play Eye of the Tiger. Maybe set up a healthy reward once it's done. THEN DO THE DAMN THING. 

Once your baby tasklet is complete, CELEBRATE. Tell yourself you're awesome. Recognize that it didn't kill you. Get excited about the next task. Repeat. 

Eventually, with enough practice, your subconscious will just be annoyed that it has to deal with the BS, and more willing and able to do so. 

Be patient with yourself, friend, and take one step at a time, celebrate your victories, and recognize the badass that you are. 

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