Stick the kettle on, and let’s have a chat whilst it boils. Today I’d like to tell you about ‘The Cup of Tea Point’. Got any biscuits?
What’s ‘The Cup of Tea Point’?
Well it describes that point in time when the thing you were occupied with or interacting with starts to become uncomfortable. Y’know the type, It’s the kind of discomfort that niggles, and you can’t quite put your finger on why you are suddenly tetchy. In the context of this post it accompanies a task that is not strictly necessary to complete, so your brain gives you permission to look elsewhere for stimuli. You tidy up, fold the washing, make a cup of tea. All of these activities can be classed as ‘useful’ and therefore more ‘necessary’ than the one that was occurring when your hackles started to get all fluffed up.
Oftentimes the overwhelming requirement for a warm beverage occurs when the initial task requires you to stick with something that will ultimately be fruitful but in this very moment is doing your nut in. For example, during meditation or whilst having a stretch, or doing your taxes.
Generally if you are in the market to care for yourself more consistently and considerately, knowing where your cup of tea point is can be vital. It may be the difference between completion and self flagellation (I know I ought to be doing this, I must be *insert self depreciation here* stupid/dumb/an idiot…etc) and between a feeling of satisfaction and perpetuating doom.
The key point here is to recognise your personal ‘cup of tea point’ – it’s different for each and every one of us, one person’s glee is another one’s gloom. Comparison is not conducive to growth – it doesn’t matter if Ali has more willpower to keep their foot on a spikey ball for longer – their ability to stand discomfort will make not one jot of change to your plantar fasciatis. And if Ev has consistently journaled for 739 days straight, well good for them, however it won’t detract from the insights you gain about yourself by journaling more than 2 paragraphs a day.
Here’s the up side of not having that cup of tea. When you stick with ‘it’, whatever ‘it’ is that you’ve been evading, you’ll be surprised by a couple of things. Firstly, your leg didn’t fall off in the process of staying the course (congratulations!). Secondly, it’s suprisingly satisfying huh? I bet, as you emerged the other side, that you had a sense of relief, and if the task involved stretching (have we talked about the wonders of fascial stretching?) it probably also brought a sense of release too. And third most – it was easy – at least 70% easier and more energy efficient that the amount of huffing and puffing that’s been consumed whilst not doing the task. (I love a random statistic!) Procrastination is certainly the thief of time and enjoyment.
It’s almost as though this mythical barrier is a tactic employed by your Ego. So terrified by the potential of what ‘might happen’ if the status quo changes, all stops are pulled out to ensure it can’t – fear, anxiety, discomfort- even pain if the urge is strong enough. Whatever it takes to keep you within your perceived comfort zone.
Next time you reach your ‘cup of tea point’ and feel like walking away from potential progress, take a moment to check in with yourself. Ask yourself some questions such as these:
- Are the feelings I’m feeling rational?
- Are they based in any kind of experience or truth?
- Will my walking away help me move towards the goals in the long term?
- Will my walking away help me feel safe at this very moment in time? And is that really what I want?
- What would I really like to see happen?
- Can I sing/hum/breathe my way through this?
- How can I make seeing this through easier for myself?
All of us experience discomfort at some time, it’s a natural stepping stone on the path to being more of who we would like to be. Keep in mind the advice above and show yourself compassion for the feelings you’re feeling. Talk to a trusted friend, mentor or some one who understands and remember that any step forward is a step towards your desire, no matter how big or small it feels.
Congratulations if you’ve read this far. Reward yourself with a cup of tea!