Peaceful Tom

This post is an aside to my Lockdown Diaries, but like them it is a little bit of a free flow.

Over the last two months it has come to my attention that I have a “flighty” mind. This is not a revelation to me, but I write it here as a precursor. When the Apple stores across the world closed we were sent home, and I suddenly had a lot more free time on my hands. I closed up my PT and handyman businesses at the same time, effectively casting me into the life of a writer. I was locked up (or down, both work) and gifted a swathe of time, whilst being paid by a company that have acted incredibly. I was lucky and eternally grateful, as I still am. This gift of time free of worry, allowed me time to create, to develop, to do all sorts of wonderful things. Some of those things actually happened. But for the most part I understood that time was not the problem stopping me before Covid-19. No it was myself, my mind, my foibles. Somebody said to me recently that if I saw myself as other people see me I would be pleasantly surprised. But in my mind that is the same for many people, we are the harshest judge of ourselves and our own worst enemy. Honestly nobody can touch what my mind can do to me. Nobody.

Where was I going here? Well this thinking got me to reflect on my motivation, my drive. I haven’t taken the time to think back what it was like previously and whether it was stronger than it is now. Perhaps I will later. But as I’ve grown older that motivation has either become less, or just refined. Maybe I filtered out the crap as I tried out different jobs, tried to learn new things. I realised a few years ago that I won’t follow advice even if it is in my best interest, I have to learn for myself, often the hard way. That’s just how I am. What motivates me is doing something that helps other people and of course writing. It has been my truth since I was a child. That sounds a bit “wanky” perhaps, but I have not stopped that focus on helping. It is in all the jobs I’ve had, the businesses I’ve set up and in the “War & Peace” Tibetan tattoo that covers my body. It is my motivation, but it has taken me a lifetime to understand that.

So with this motivation in my mind I was moved to thinking about life in general, where I was going, what purpose there was in it all. It’s a common thought that I now enjoy pondering rather than feel anxiety about. I am unsure whether the lockdown (or up, both work) has helped, because I have been working on my mind for years. I also don’t do well with spare time, so rather than helping me it was a challenge, for a while I just didn’t write at all. Once I began working from home and my days were filled, I found it easier to write, to think. Aside from knowing my motivation I also need the stress of less time in order to get things done. It focuses my mind about 1%, which is just enough to get started apparently.

A lot of my thinking on this came from free flow journalling and the work with my coach. If I speak of revelations or realisations it is not because a miracle came about. It was through working at it with small steps over a long time. That’s what worked for me, I am a sloth in human clothing. Through that work I am now able to look at what I am doing with a loving eye, giving myself less of a hard time whilst enjoying the process. There is something the cynical part of me always despised, which was talk of self love and throwaway lines like “you can’t be loved until you love yourself”. But as I have come to deal with the internal conflict in my brain I hear a voice that is different. It is one that is confident, assured, calm and loves what I do. Strangely that voice is who I’ve been trying to find for many years. I call him Peaceful Tom and he is here to stay.