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18 Jan 2018

Going Full Circle

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You might experience some resistance to gearing up again. Could this be because you tend to operate in a gear or two to high? One of the issues that I often see is illness or depression due to having pushed ourselves too hard for too long. It is an issue I am personally aware of and I know it is tough to manage.

My garden has an upstairs and a downstairs. This means when I sweep I can just push all the leaves and dust over the edge and make it a downstairs and a problem for later or someone else or something I don’t have to worry about now! Or I can sweep it up and place it in the compost. This would mean a full circle way of dealing with the issue, considering the full consequences of my behaviour!

So much of what we do is just sweeping things down stairs to where we can’t see it or delaying the inevitable of dealing with it.

We delay having a difficult conversation by avoiding the person or releasing the tension by venting to someone else about them.

We also comfort eat as a temporary way of soothing and ignoring the message that something isn’t working for us, that we work too much, or feel disconnected from beauty and the miracles all around us.

We take yet another pain killer when the body is telling us that something isn’t working and needs our attention. To follow the leaves analogy, sometimes we have created such a back log of leaves that to clean it up becomes almost impossible. The first area where overdoing shows up is the body, but we often live disconnected from it’s signs believing in ‘mind over matter’.

I think we might be missing the satisfaction of full circle, as there is a sense of completeness within it, whereas half circle leaves us in suspense or non-completion.

This half circle way of operating is done both as individuals and as a culture. When for instance we set some very narrow criteria for something being ‘good’, like what is ‘best for the consumer’, then we are sweeping the leaves of the environment and social impact downstairs to be dealt with later.

We use plastic wrapping and bags, disposable coffee cups, consume what is inside and discard the packaging for it to become a future or someone else’s problem.

We are not ever going to understand the full impact of the way we live and the idea is not to fill us with guilt and shame, but rather to make us think of the consequences of our actions; essentially to think full circle. To remind us to check in with the body, to notice the signs of stress, lack of empathy and difficulty in concentrating, to consider where our little disposable cup will end up, what is its full circle life?

If we demand of ourselves that we consider full circle more, then our behaviour will shift. We will ensure that we bring a reusable bag when we go shopping or our own refillable coffee cup. Perhaps we will look how we can drive less, fly less or insulate our house! We might commit to being less reactive in our relationships when we realise and know the full circle consequences of our actions. Or we might start listening to the body a little more, allowing it to direct some of our choices and behaviours before it forces us to slow down or even stop working.

So, what is one of your half circle areas that you feel would be good to change? Mine is buying new clothes, so when I next stand with a piece of clothing that I so want, I am going to remind myself of ‘full circle’.

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