For our weekly calligraphy challenge the prompt was to use pressure by creating a hand made stamp. I heard the word pressure and knew I wanted to do something different. I used bleach to mark a piece of black paper utilizing different pressure levels. Once the paper was dry I wrote the words with different levels of pressure using a gel pen. I added the arrows as a reminder that pressure comes from all directions.
Pressure comes from all directions, no kidding. We can feel it from family, friends, work, our community, the news, any media outlet and our phone all too often chimes in as well. Everyone has expectations, some are part of our role and others are superimposed upon us by the source. I have had conversations recently with three different women who are hearing, “When am I going to have grandchildren?” Guess the source of that one?
Pressure comes when expectations are set and not met. Reminders, questions, deadlines, or even self-imposed goals all come with their own ability to create anxiety and stress. Some of it is good stress, happy stress, life changing for the better stress. Some of it creates fear, anxiety, nervousness, unwanted or even pressure that is not our own. What if any of those women do not want to have children, what then? How do they express that desire while creating more stress and strife within their family?
All too often we are the source of someone else’s stress without realizing it. We say or do things that we think are helpful when in reality we are simply injecting ourselves or our own want, need, or desire into someone else’s life. Not everyone wants the same thing we do. Not everyone plans to live their life the same way we think they should. Our best course of action is to listen more than we speak which allows us to better understand what they want BEFORE we ram our own expectations into their lives.
There are also times when we are the source of our own self-imposed pressure. We think we should be doing “X” because everyone else is, we should be farther along by now, we have a plan and need things to get moving, or even though things may have drastically changed we want “X” no matter what. We let things like age, weight, money, peer pressure, advancement and even what we think the world expects of us to grind our soul into dust. What we really need to understand and embrace is what we want AND who we want to be. Who cares what everyone else thinks, wants, expects? When we give ourselves the freedom to be our true, honest, and talented selves we can then release the pressure valves and live our best life.
So take a deep breath, hold it, let it our slowly. Now dare to think about and write down exactly what you want from your life. Only then will you be able to live each day full of joy and peace without the unnecessary pressures superimposed by others. Let yourself be you and live that life fully. People in your life need to see you being your best self, it gives them license to do the same.