We're Made to Wobble
There’s an old toy from the 1970s called a Weeble. You can tilt a Weeble all the way over onto its side, but it will stand itself back up again - over and over again. Weebles wobble, but they don’t fall down.
The Weebles tilt under the forces against them. So do we. We feel pressure, we feel tension, and we feel stress. So we act against our circumstances and we push against those feelings because we’ve forgotten that we will always get back up. The Weebles always do, and so can we.
I had a conversation with a friend yesterday, and she shared about the intensity and overwhelming busy-ness of her life at the moment. “Can’t you see it?!” she joked. “It’s swirling all around me!”
I obviously couldn’t see it how she did, so I asked her to describe it.
1) What’s actually happening in life? In other words: What are the circumstances?
We all have circumstances, and it feels like they pull and tug and push and press us sometimes. Like the Weeble we feel like we’re leaning over sideways under the weight of it all.
2) What does it actually feel like? What's in this feeling of overwhelm? We feel it in our body, so let’s really feel it in our body. For her, it was tension in the chest and shoulders, a tightness that felt like it was constricting her breath. She also felt nauseous in her stomach.
We hung out with those feelings for a couple minutes, just observing and describing them.
When we feel emotions, we usually think they’re telling us to act, but they're not. When we feel the pressure of overwhelm, we get busy and frenetic. When we feel threatened, we put up a fight or we run away. When we feel angry, we intensely express ourselves with righteous indignation. And so on.
3) She and I then did a grounding exercise, a guided meditation to expand our awareness of our body and our place in space, that lasted about 5 minutes. Upon opening our eyes, both of us were experiencing ease, clarity, peace, and well-being.
4) We got in touch with what we really want. Acting from stressful overwhelm doesn't usually serve what we're really after, what we're really committed to. In fact, my friend demonstrated beautifully that acting from overwhelm was actually hurting her chances at getting what she really wants - deep connection with the people in her life.
What if we can’t actually fail in life? What if we won’t buckle under the pressure? Like my friend pointed out when she found her feeling of clarity: the steaming kettle of her overwhelm wasn’t screaming at her to get more done and handle the craziness - it was telling her to settle down.
When we settle down and find feelings of clarity, ease, and presence, we both enjoy life a whole lot more and we’re more effective in our actions.
The truth is, we actually can’t fail in life, it only seems that way. For some of us, it seems that way a lot of the time. But our feelings might actually be pointing somewhere else, and we've just never learned to look in the right spot.
My friend and I left the conversation with this beautiful and simple reminder: taking care of our own well-being and fostering habits that bring us ease, clarity, and appreciation feels pretty amazing. And we’re better able to provide the care, thoughtfulness, and effort that our world has asked us for.
What's one thing that you can easily fit into your day that would serve your own well-being? After all, when the emotions flare up, we only need to give our bodies and minds enough room to right ourselves, just like the Weebles. We too are made to wobble, and we can always stand back up.
Thanks so much for engaging with my work. ❤️