Obsessive Thought Pattern #13: Why do I need a reason to relax?

 In Self Love, Wisdom Blog, Year Ends and New Years

As I sit here the day before the new year, I am committed to releasing all the old patterns that no longer serve me – or at least the ones I can manage to get out of my system in the next 24 hours before the apple hits midnight!

I’ve already released 12 in the time between solstice and today, New Years Eve, yet here I sit, recovering achievement junkie just having completed a dance with yet another obsessive thought pattern that from what I can tell does me no good, at least not now at the age of 38. I’d like to leave this old pattern, let’s call it Obsessive Thought Pattern #13 in 2009. Maybe you can relate? Or maybe you have an obsessive thought pattern of your own you’d like to throw off the cliff of 2009 before you give your first New Years Kiss.

My Obsessive Thought Pattern #13: It’s the pattern tied to my inability to relax without having a good reason — and it goes like this.

I wake up on this particular morning and I feel tired. I know that I have lots of things ‘to do’ but my gas tank feels empty. I’ve been working non stop for three days on a deadline, writing and creating to bring inspiration to the world, a noble but exhausting cause. But really no different than the energy any of us women exude on a day when we are taking care of everyone and everything else.

When I wake up with this feeling, I know that I need the morning ‘off.’ That it would be for my best good to not even look at my email til after noon and just take the morning to BE. I am beat tired and I need to refuel. So I say, “Ok, you worked hard these last three days so you deserve the morning off.” And that starts the entire chain reaction of needing to have a reason to relax.

The Chain Reaction of the Obsessive Thoughts
of An Achievement Junkie Who Wants to Relax

Thought #1:
I feel so tired. But WHY am I tired?  (why is often a warning sign for an obsessive thought pattern emerging!)
Followed by:  What did I do wrong to be so tired? Did I work too hard? Not get enough rest? Should I have meditated more? What did I do wrong to make myself tired?

(sane note: it is insane that i need a reason to be tired, as if I can’t just be tired because i am? as if our bodies don’t have natural cycles of high energy and low energy. Am I supposed to be at vibration 100% every day 24/7?)

Then once that circus has finished in my head, the next thought forms…

Thought #2 forms:  Well I am tired, but should I relax or should I do something to charge my energy. Maybe I should go for a walk in the woods? Chant? Breathe? Do Something!
Followed by:  What if just relaxed? After all I am tired, and since I am tired, relaxing would be a good thing to do. Because then once I  recharge, I can do more.

(sane note:  Why is it that in order to relax, I have to be tired? That I need a reason to relax as if my wanting to take care of myself wasn’t a good enough reason? And that I only see relaxing as a means to getting to do more later?)

This is an obsessive thought pattern that I’ve probably had forever, and I didnt really get it until today when I was talking to my friend Catherine  who came over while I was in this circus of my mind, and she said to me something like, “Sometimes I just lay on the floor or in my bed for a whole day or a few hours and watch out the window or listen to the sounds.” Wow, I thought. Really? That sounds nice. My achiever would however go into convulsive spasms if I tried to do that! And yet, her words struck me into a middle ground that led me to the place where I could let go of this obsessive thought pattern…

While I won’t be laying still for hours anytime soon, if I am tired, I am just tired. Don’t need a reason. Just need to ask my body what she needs and do that thing. And while I may be able to do more after I am done relaxing, the reason for relaxing is not just to recharge to do more…. I am relaxing because I am taking care of ME, and taking care of means I am loving ME. And self-love is a good thing that requires no reasoning, even for an achiever like me 🙂


What’s Your Obsessive Thought Pattern #13…
the big one of 2009

that You Are Ready to Let  Go? 

What’s the obsessive thought pattern that has been running you ragged or upside down for years? The one that keeps you out of taking care of yourself and into depletion, guilt, exhaustion, shame, berating, or any other self-love dumpster behavior? And are you willing to let it go, drop it off the cliff in 2009 so you can be free of it in 2010?Here’s a few steps for finding a pattern and letting it go…

1.  What are the scenarios in which you find yourself having thoughts that lead back into themselves.  Where you find yourself asking ‘Why’ more than once. Or you find yourself going down the rabbit hole making yourself feel worse about yourself. Or you try to find reasons to validate something that doesn’t need reasons. Or you find yourself thinking about something all the time, or when something specific happens it triggers that thought and you can’t stop it.

2. Articulate the thought pattern by writing down the thoughts that go through your head, just like i did above.

3. Bring in the voice of sanity – either you or someone else, if you can’t be that sane voice. And write down what that sane voice, the one full of self-love has to say. And keep writing until he or she makes more sense than you than your obsessive thought pattern.

4. Claim this new thought pattern as your thought pattern for 2010 by saying it out loud and proud!



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Showing 6 comments
  • Mindy

    Great post Christine! I totally relate to this thought pattern and I love the idea of letting it go once and for all! Happy New Year 🙂

  • Diane Corriette

    Oh my goodness you are me. Only I am in England and am a black woman – and yet we are the same!
    I gave up being a “do it junkie” for 2010. I opened an email from you (not sure when I even signed up!) and it lead me to your blog.
    I am you – only a few months behind 🙂
    Turning away from life force in 2007 to do it “my way” was the biggest mistake I ever made. When I was tired and ready to drop Sept 08 and I turned back to God and said “HELP ME!!!!” everything changed.
    It was the best thing I could have now. Since then I have been learning to work around my ego (that tells me to work harder, faster, stronger) and listening to my soul who wants me to release and work with the flow of greatness!
    It is so great to be back in focus, on purpose, and most importantly connected to Source.
    Thank you for sharing your own journey

  • Elaine Cass

    “Someone needed to write about this overachiever pattern”. The “how to relax is actually part of mine”. Unfortunately I am most relaxed when working.
    But, I must say that a breakthrough came this holiday season when I really had fun with my children and forgot everything else. How wonderful it was! Cheers, Elaine

  • Christine Arylo

    Elaine – thanks for the reminder on how children can really put us right into relaxing and being present mode! When i spend time with my godchildren its like I can feel my body in a totally different way… like i am actually in it vs. being in my head overachieving at something 🙂 And when I am with those kids, none of those achievements matter. All that matters is the love.

  • Christine Arylo

    Diane – hello sister recovering doer 🙂 My head was nodding and my heart expanding as I read through all of your blog post. And then at the end the word SOURCE jumped out at me. This is the word that I have been using as I step into 2010 too! Instead of thinking of the universe giving me what I need, I am thinking of SOURCE giving me what I need. Going to SOURCE vs. going to my will power and ego to make it happen. Almost like thinking of myself as a lamp and the universe as the source or the outlet I plug into. Here is to living 2010 in the flow, letting the flow run through us vs. being power generators ourselves 🙂

  • Christine Arylo

    Yay! As one acheiver lets go of the obsessive thought pattern, so do the rest of us get to let go. One step of self love for us all!!! Thanks Mindy!

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