Just breathe. That is what I tell myself in moments like this, or I might forget even that simple step. Life can be so confusing and complex. Or simple and easy. I find it fascinating that that depends on my internal state, my perspective, my emotions. It’s easy to go around saying that when I am flying high – when I am in murky muck, it just seems like “reality.” And it’s hard for me to shift perspectives.

Which is where I am now. The murky muck.

I mean, things really aren’t that bad. I say this because now I am feeling guilty about feeling overwhelmed. I have a lot of people who love me and whom I love. I not only have a roof over my head and food in my mouth, but nice stuff, and creative options, and, compared to a lot of people in the world, I have a lot of freedom. So I shouldn’t be feeling this way. Which of course makes it all worse.

So why is it that I feel like I can’t breathe?

Expectations. Poured on me by — yes, society, etc. – but, honestly, mostly by myself. In large vats of judgment-ridden goop. It’s heavy here, underneath all that goop. Hard to move.

I tend to feel this kind of overwhelm when I am comparing myself about where I am, to where I want to be, and focusing on the gap. It just gets wider and wider right before my eyes, because one negative thoughts leads to another, to another, to another…and pretty soon, I have come up with so many reasons why I should just stay in bed with the covers over my head, that it is all I can do to not do that.

Like today. Man, was that tempting. I must admit, I indulged it a bit, too. And that felt good. Then, it was time to get up and shift my energy.

In small, baby steps.

As you know, I am in the midst of clearing my clutter in my live-work space. Which is a large part of the overwhelm. I just stand here and stare at the mess, paralyzed. And then I pick up one thing, then another, and the momentum picks up too. But then I hit a wall when I am not sure what to do with this one item, so I put it in the “decide later” pile and pretty soon, that one is growing faster than any other pile! Ack!

Ok, stop.

Then, there is all the work to do that I am putting off. And the relationship messes that are sitting over me that are in the midst of being cleaned but aren’t quite squeaky clean yet. And there is the growth of my business and wanting to reach people and just not being sure how to do it. And the financial stress that goes with that. Or maybe, it’s all just about how to do it “right” (expectation). And all this physical clutter just reminding me that I am holding on too tightly to things I need to let go of.

If I were coaching myself, I would ask, “what do you need now?” And the answer would be, “To cry. To just let it all out. And then see where I am after that.”

So, I am doing that. Here come the tears.