If You’re “Fitting Everything In” You’re Just Squeezing Yourself Out

I was the yes kid at school.

Debating club? Yes please. After school drama? Yes please. Extra help needed for rearranging chairs for assembly? I’ll do it. Three part time jobs and yes I do still want to go to that party please.

There was something about taking everything on that felt good to me. Productive. Like I was being rewarded for my efforts and doing good in the world.

And, while at least some of that sentiment is beneficial, it wasn’t exactly a sustainable approach to wanting to be of value.

I thought if I could just “do it all” then I’d have the life that I wanted. My relationships would be thriving. My family would be happy. I’d have all the money. I’d be able to help people all over the world. And travel, yep I’d definitely be able to do that if I could just make sure I’ve “done everything else” first.

Busy doesn’t even really feel like the right fit for what my approach was.

It was more of a “fitting it all in” approach. If someone suggested I don’t take on that extra thing I would be stunned. What? Why? I want to.

The thing with “fitting it all in” is you end up squeezing yourself out.

I spent so much time wanting to do all the things that when I got to the end of the list, I was confused as to why I didn’t know where to go next. I should know by now.

I’ve always been a happy person at my core.

But it doesn’t mean I didn’t experience deep loneliness, isolation or disconnection. In some way the idea of not doing all the things felt like an emptiness to me, and that was scary.

Not knowing where to go next scared me. I thought I had to reach for the next qualification, or job promotion, or change careers. But what I really needed was to not do anything else.

Walking into a yoga room and lying flat on my back whilst calming music played was one of the hardest things I’d done. I remember squinting my eyes open to sneak a look around – what was everyone doing? Just lying there? Am I doing it right?

That feeling of nothingness. No things to do. No where to be. It felt so unknown to me. Yet there was also a tugging feeling inside my body that knew it was right for me to be there.

And that tugging feeling was what started to shift me into a new approach. I started to pay more attention to what that feeling was telling me. And the more I gave it what it wanted, the more me I felt.

A lot of the time the answer we’re searching so desperately for already exists within us. It’s just that we haven’t stopped to do nothing long enough to see or hear it.

I didn’t know that tugging feeling existed until I lay down. Uncomfortably so at first, yet over time it became all I wanted. To be still. To surrender. To be.

It felt so good.

Maybe your approach has been working so far in your life. Mine sure did for years. But if it’s not, if there’s any part of you feeling dissatisfied, stuck, or unsettled then there’s likely a tugging feeling inside you too. My invitation? Create space for it. In whatever way you can.