Guilty Pleasures

Guilty Pleasures

I had my first al fresco breakfast of the year this morning. One of my absolute favourite things to do during my morning dog walk. I sat on the grass and leant against a gate with the sun on my face and the Cotswold hills spread out before me. With a cheeky sausage roll and iced coffee bought from the village shop and Huntley, my chocolate Labrador, at my feet, waiting patiently for any crumbs.

And, yet, for some reason, the experience wasn’t filling me with joy. My back also felt tight which is always a clue that something is not ok with me.

I heard my phone vibrate in my pocket, saw that it was a colleague and hesitated. I decided to call him back and he asked: “How are you?” 

Feeling guilty

And, in that moment, I realised I was feeling guilty. That, somehow, it wasn’t ok to be doing what I was doing. I could feel the urge to justify, to explain, to defend. 

Robert and I are organising a training for a not-for-profit educational foundation called More to Life – the first ever residential training in the UK and the first ever time in Birmingham. It teaches people how to step free of things like guilt that block us from fully engaging with and enjoying life. We’ve been working together since the beginning of April to make this happen. It’s coming together well. 

I’m a slacker/not committed

As I thought about his question, I could hear my mind telling me: “If he knows where I am and what I’m doing, he’ll think I’m not committed, that I’m a slacker, that I should be doing more, that I should be ‘on it’ and ‘all over it’ all of the time, that it’s not ok to take some time out, to enjoy my life.”

And, of course, that may or may not have been what he was thinking. Which is his business, not mine. 

The ‘not enough’ thinking robs us of our joy

But, I can now see that IT IS what I was thinking. It was that ‘not enough’ thinking that was robbing me of my joy, as I leant against the gate.

And in noticing, I was able to let go of those thoughts, the tightness in my back released and I started to smile again. The rest of my walk was pure pleasure. And, then, I was ready and willing to get to work.

 How is your mind robbing you?

What is it saying that is getting in the way of you making the most of all the moments for joy that are on offer throughout your day?