I don’t feel like it today.
A simple enough statement. Harmless in and of itself. And at times, completely understandable. After all, most of us have really busy lives. The “I don’t feel like it” gremlin may not be a gremlin at all, but rather an expression of a need to rest, restore and recuperate.
Often though, there’s a lot more behind “I don’t feel like it” than first meets the eye.
Right now, as I write this, it’s 5:15 am. My husband is away at a clinic with his horse, so instead of walking across the gravel track that winds its way through my garden to sit in my little office amongst the trees, I am cross legged on my bed, coffee sitting on my bed side table, and my children sleeping in the bedrooms either side of me.
At this time in the morning, the house is quiet, the computer keys make a loud sound as I type, and I can hear the weather outside; it’s wild and I quietly lament that the onset of summer has not made itself known yet. I’m struggling to think compassionate thoughts about the people that run the weather app I use.
Usually, I have an idea for what I will write about but this week, I find myself waking up on Friday (the day I write a blog) with no fixed idea in mind. And as I sit in front of my computer, I find the words “I really don’t feel like it” float through my brain space.
I eye my book to my left. I would really like to read you, I think to myself.
It’s tempting to crawl back beneath the covers and let myself off the hook. But the future me knows that if I were to do that, future me would be disappointed with the current me. Because writing is important to me. And I have made a promise to show up in this way week in and week out. The promise didn’t include “except if you don’t feel like it”.
I ask myself, what should I write about today. I wait for the burst of divine inspiration. And then it occurs to me. I don’t feel like it today is not just a thought. It’s the topic. And one that derails us more often that you might think.
The I don’t Feel Like It Today that is allowing itself to be ruled by the mood of the moment
Oh yes, the old mood of the moment. How many of us have set a goal or an intention to work with our horses towards a specific end only to wake up the next day and well, not really feel like it? The lure of “I’ll do it tomorrow” is ever present and at times, very appealing, especially when it comes to the establishing new habits or patterns of behavior. Tomorrow is a far more attractive time to start!
The thing about commitment is this: when you make one, you do so from a place of positive possibility. That place understands the higher vision or dream that you have for yourself and your horse and the processes and practices necessary to engage in to get you there. The inspired, energetic zone that we allow ourselves to imagine from is real but will only endure for as long as you actively seek it out. The natural stream of energy means that motivation will naturally peak, ebb and ease. With this knowledge in mind, it’s important to honor the mood of the moment, while simultaneously being connected to the higher vision.
This is where it gets tricky (hello emotional agility!).
Honoring the mood of the moment means staying responsive to what’s presenting and leaning into it. Leaning in does not mean succumbing (not all the time anyway), but instead acknowledging and understanding the motivation question behind the emotion that you are feeling and taking action in such a way that allows you to maintain emotional flow.
It’s possible to respect and have reverence for what you feel in the moment and still act in alignment with your higher intention.
Take this morning for instance. I recognized that I didn’t really feel like writing. I didn’t beat myself up about it or pretend it was any different. But I did ask, what’s this all about?
The truth of it was, I wasn’t sure what to write about, and that fear of not being able to produce something of worth made me defer to the easier-to-handle thought that I just wasn’t in the mood.
Leaning into the thought allowed me to recognize that and act in accordance with what I ultimately knew was important to me: to show up and write.
Attention to the moment, action in alignment with the higher intention.
Honor the mood of the moment. Consider it and what’s behind it. Check back in with the higher vision of where you want to take things.
The I don’t Feel Like It Today that masks fear
It’s easy to use the I don’t Feel Like It Today excuse because you are afraid of what might happen if you do actually show up. I see this in my work all the time. It’s a very sneaky procrastination tool and one that we can convince ourselves is right, simply because we can find many reasons to legitimize it.
Busy at work.
Busy with the kids.
Don’t feel so great.
All of those might be true.
You know how you tell if that is really what you want though?
You feel it in your gut.
You know if you genuinely aren’t up for it or if there is something behind it that speaks to a bigger concern that you don’t want to face up to.
The thing is, being afraid is ok. Fear is necessary and helpful. But it can only do its job when you stand eye to eye with it and acknowledge what needs to happen to move to the other side of it (upskill, ask for help, learn how to gently manage your nerves). Then you metabolise it.
But until then, it becomes something that it needn’t be.
A beast that controls you.
Listen to your gut. Trust what it is communicating you. And then take action in a way that empowers you to keep moving forward with the higher vision in mind.
The I don’t Feel Like It Today that lacks clarity
A lot of don’t-feel-like-it-ness comes from confusion. When we are unsure of the steps to take, deal with an issue that’s presenting, or move ourselves from Point A to Point B, the ambiguity can convince us that we just aren’t in the mood.
If you feel like you are chasing your tail, consider the possibility that clarity is what’s needed to reignite momentum.
What specifically is it you are wanting to do?
How will you know when you get there?
What resources do you have to draw from for help and support?
Get clear. And then go out there and make it happen.
The I don’t Feel Like It Today that lacks passion
You know a thing that happens a lot? We should all over ourselves.
I should be doing this.
I should be doing that.
If you just aren’t feelin’ it on a regular basis, check in to make sure that you riding life is lining up with what is of value and important to YOU- not your trainer, significant other or friend group.
It’s surprisingly easy to get swept along in the tide of other people’s doing only to find the stuff you ARE doing doesn’t really float your boat at all.
Is what you are doing in your horsing life really what you want to do?
What IS important to you?
Are you having fun?
If this is ticking your boxes, find ways to bring the joy back. After all, without the joy, what really is the point?
The I don’t Feel Like It Today that speaks to the need to rest
Before I leave you completely with all this I The I don’t Feel Like It Today possibility, it’s important to drop this one in here to: sometimes, you do need to rest, do less and be more.
Taking a day out here or there, or feeling the need to switch off and unwind is totally necessary and something to be celebrated.
The only thing I ask of you is this: If you DO decide to leave it for today and take five, then really embrace that process. Don’t give yourself the time off and then waste it by beating yourself up or feeling guilty. The Itty Bitty Shitty Committee loves that kind of palava.
No. If you make the decision to do it, then 100% do it. And if you make the decision to NOT do it, then 100 % not do it.
I have a favourite quote that I think applies here:
Don’t half arse anything. Whole arse everything
Whatever you do then, make sure you whole arse it.
After all that, it turns out I actually did feel like it today.