By: ADD Aleks
Hey guys, welcome tot this new website, new language of this blog (yes, adhd Masters is going internationalk!), new year basically 😊. I find it the perfect moment to discuss the plans for this year. Now that all the Christmas/New Year fuss and obligations are over. And we now that we are fully aware that some resolutions might not be as easy as they seemed on paper on december 31st. Yes, now, exactly now. Let’t get down to business on this plannig “thing”!
Fot a person (like me😊) who recognises herself in some AD(H)D symptoms, planning used to a challenge (and that’s an understatement of the year!). Fot years I was able to cover it up nicely by working longer hours for instance. Having a partner suddenly made me realise that my time at work was not unlimited. And coming back to work after my parental leave made it painfully opbvious: I need help with planning and prioritising!! I mean my husbands saw already some symptomes when we were packing for holidays for instance (what a drag!) but i always thought it was just “travel stress”. In my last job however I was really forced to face the truth, that I sucked at planning and that there were others (even with less degrees) simply much better at it.
I hated it and tried my best to fix the problem in all possible ways: I followed time-management courses, learned how my colleagues worked, read books about planning, made various schedules/systems to help myself plan my day and activities. And finally when nothing worked and I was alsmost hitting the fan of my second burn out I asked for help. Because planning is everywhere! How was I supposed to reload after a stressful day at work if planning a nice activity costed me just more stress? Hoe was I supposed to plan my day and manage my energy if planning itself was a drag for me? How was I supposed to plan relaxing moments (like holidays) and organise budget for it if I really hated it and didn’t have any energy left for it? It felt like a vicious circle down… My head was exploding… I felt so empty and tired… Planning and prioritising was actually the last straw, that led me to seek help. And thanks to that I discovered the fascinating world of ADHD for which I am still gratefull.
So how dit the ADHD world help me with planning? First of all I enjoyed knowing that I was not alone. That there were others struggeling with the same issues. And that there were people who overcame their challenges and wrre thriving, even though first diagnosed with ADHD. It gave me hope. So I couldn’t wait to discover the solution to my “planning problem”. I still wanted to have things planned and organised. I started therapy and ADHD coaching hoping to find “the” answer. ANd the answer my adhd coach gave me was a bit dissapointing at first but turned out to be the the best advice ever. She said that I will not find teh answer copying other adhd’ers. Yes, it is nice and gratyfying to find other peers, struggeling with similar issues. But at the same time there are no two identical; ADHD’ers and so I needed to figure out what works for me. Find out what my instruction manual is. How I work and what i need to work properly. No shortcuts from books etc. But self-observation and reflections. Phef… And I just wanted so desperetly for find that one thing, that one secret… And what she said ment more work… Real work… No shurtcuts…
Anyways, some months later, I must confess that it has been a wonderful experience to get to know myself better and better. In various situations I doscoiver, this works for me, this doesnt, With ups downs. Because some things really do not work for me. But with more and more compassion and understanding and appreciation for me trying. I can really better and better learn from my mistakes. And not torture myself in a spartanic way afterwards (like I used to do for years!). I know I am on my way, I know the goal (to know myself and create life around me that fits me😊) and so each day offers some valuable lessons.
On my way to getting myself better somewhere in the back of my mind I still had this goal to “learn how to plan”. End of last year two interesting moments happened. First I was sitting in the library (by the way: a great place to focus/shut down from time to time- tip from my adhd coach that really works for me) and saw this quote of Antoine de Saint-Exupery:
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to years fort he vast and endlsess sea”.
Some days later I spoke to a wise ADHD coach (thanks Bas 😉) who said something similar, namely: that i should not make planning my goal (because let be honest, what a boring goal it is!!!) but instead make it a means to achieve my goals (and I have so many 😊). It worked for him he said. And if one person can overcome even such a stubborn ADHD-feature, than maybe I can too! And with this intention I started 2023. Plans, yes, but they start with ideas that make me smile and I canot wait to see realise so sometimes even without noticing that i am planning, I am actually realising them.
At this point you might wonder “what this has to do with Wu ji in the title?”. And “what the hack is wu ji anyways?”. Wu ji is a body position practiced in some chinees martial arts and health studies, for example Tai-Chi or Qigong. It is a posture of “absolute nothingness” where men frees up their body of all unnessesary tensions and remains open to all possibilities. Blood and enegry flow freely. While standing in wu-ji stance, we do not move yet, but all kinds of moves are possible.
When I stand in this position (qigong was yet another tip from my adhd-coach which works for me), I let go of all the tensions in my body, I let go of all the negative thoughts and feelings I might have at a certain moment, I let go of all the blockades that might still be somewhere in my system. I might or might not follow with a bruce-lee-like sequence of movement. It Does not matter. What matters is that all movements are possible from the wu ji stance.
I like to think of this year as my wu-ji year. Whenever I can, I checke what’s there I can release, how I can open myself to possibilities. Even though I might not yet know how I reach a certain goal, I open to the possiblity that it is possible. I open myself to the unlimited possibiltiies of the world. And let the energy flow.
And that io for me a perfect starting point for making plans 😊.
So when you relax your body and mind, and open up tot he infinitie possibilities of the world, what makes you smile?
I wish you a wu-ji year full of plans that make your hart sing!
Cheers to 2023!
With warm regards from west Netherlands,