I am on a vacation from the community that I live in – spending a week skiing and hiking and sitting in coffee shops. And as I stepped out of the flow of community life, the first thing I noticed was how a pressure was lifted.
Suddenly I’m in a town where people don’t know my story – my habits and my background, my strengths and my weaknesses. And suddenly I can breath more fully.
So what is this pressure? Where does it come from? What is the source? And what is the cause?
In community living there are a lot of pressures. I get into disagreements. I get feedback about how I could have done something better. I give feedback about how I feel like something could be done better.
And there’s a pressure that comes with being seen by my community. There’s no hiding my habits or choices. Everyone knows and everyone is free to comment.
I’ve been in situations before where someone is trying to put the pressure on me – convince me to do something in the way that they would. And it’s easy for me to step out, to let go, to breath, to not take on the pressure.
So how can I do this where I live and work now? How can I notice the pressures but not take them on?
The first step is where I am now – to see the pressures and to acknowledge that they are impacting my life. And the next step is learning to step out when I don’t need to be in them. Taking a deep breath and realizing that what is happening doesn’t need to be taken personally. Acknowledging the facts and at the same time to not say it’s “all my fault.”
And my life in the community is the perfect place to practice this. Pressure will come up and I have a choice of how to work with it.
So Tuesday I step back, into the community, into the flow and into the pressures. By stepping out I could see what was happening. Now I can step back in and make a change.