I’ve never liked the expression, “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps.”
While we all need motivation sometimes, it’s a pet peeve of mine when feelings are invalidated.
I’m a feeler. And I’m protective of those feelings.
“Bootstraps” annoys me. I file it in the same folder as, “It’ll be fine,” “Cheer up!” or “Have you tried yoga?”
I’ve been delving deeper into the enneagram, and while I’m still not sure if I’m a 1 or a 4, I know I’m a feeler and a thinker. I could get lost in my feelings for hours, thinking about them, having feelings about my thoughts, and thinking more about those feelings about those thoughts.
It’s exhausting. Just ask my husband.
Recently, on this podcast with enneagram teacher Suzanne Stabile, she explained that we all have a preference to think, feel, or do. But we need a balance of all three.
That’s it, I thought. I don’t “do” enough.
Crazy, right? I’m a working mom for heaven’s sake.
But here’s my confession: When I’m “doing,” I’m often looking at the clock, waiting for the doing to be over so I can delight in “being” again.
In Tibetan Buddhism, lungta translates to “wind horse.” It is a positive internal energy inspired by the strength, endurance, and dignity of the horse. It can literally be translated as riding our breath toward our life essence.
Over the past couple weeks, I battled a nasty head cold. I missed trick-or-treating with my daughter and just made it through a performance of Shostakovich’s Concertino for two pianos.
Oh, how I wished I could just check out. But after a day’s rest, I felt a bit better. There were Halloween cupcakes to be baked, lessons to be taught, Shostakovich to be mastered.
Somehow, plugging away through the week actually helped. I rested in the mornings, taught in the afternoons. When I had energy, I practiced. When I didn’t, I paused.
Paying attention to my body and giving it what it needed made me feel positive. I improved a bit each day.
One of my daughter’s favorite TV shows is about wild animals. The main characters wear “creature power suits” that turn them into wild animals with special powers. When they put the suits on, they–and Olivia–yell, “Creature power!”
Creature power! Lungta!
Yell what you like. You won’t believe this: It works.
My “doing” is more energized and joyful. I hung the above photo in my office to remind me that I can access this positive energy whenever I need it. I started new repertoire just because it’s fun. And I had a blast performing the Shostakovich (thank you, cold meds and cough drops).
And my “being?” It’s more relaxed, less hindered by thoughts about my to-do lists. I’m learning to respect the being. I need it for the doing.
Maybe there is a case for those pesky bootstraps after all.
Are you a feeler, thinker, or doer? Which is your preference, and which could you use more of?
To a balance of all three. To lungta.