The Struggle to Productively Produce and Be Happily Happy


Among other things, a lot of times I think about where this blog is headed. You know, things like developing a personal branding, putting forth a unique voice, creating content, creating regular content…the list goes on and on.

To be honest it’s a stressful quicksand that I don’t enjoy diving into. Yet, in the back of my head, a devilish little voice screams: But, but, you gotta be productive or you’re going nowhere!

Productive. What an immensely annoying word, like holy fucking shit. If I’m not productive–if I don’t have a plan–if I don’t set goals for myself, fulfill those goals and hold myself to a future vision or some kind of inspirational purpose–then I am not doing anything with my life. I am therefore not successful and/or wasting time. The other side of “not productive” is really a shitty place to be. It makes me feel fucking awful. Basically:

The massive lump of meanings that constitute the word “unproductive” = a downward spiral of diabolical self-criticism, negative self-talk, self-bullying, self-loathing, feelings of unworthiness and laziness….these little demons go in a loop and beat me senseless. Always punching me in the gut. And oh, don’t bring up the stress elephant that is always sitting on my shoulder, snickering and laughing at my misery, weighing me down…

The truth is the way we define productivity is incredibly and painstakingly linear. To-do lists. Short-term goals. Long-term goals. Future vision. I am exhausted by this timeline that I have yet to live. It’s just a straight line of things I haven’t done and a life that I have yet to accomplish. Trying to be productive in a linear fashion may work in the first two weeks, but it really glitches my system and screws up several of my internal organs. Most of all it drains my spirit. And the worst part of it is that I get burned out, then I take a long break, then I beat myself up for not trying hard enough or remaining “productive”.

Ugh!!! I WANT A CHANGE! (Do you?)

Personally, I don’t believe in long term goals (don’t shoot me yet). I don’t believe in working hard towards a future that I don’t yet exist in. What’s the point if you don’t get to enjoy the fruits of your labour right now? What’s the point if you’re not present in your own workings?

Of course, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t just completely disregard the idea of working hard towards something. After all, some things take time. What I mean is that what we are working towards should not make us lose sight of the now and fall out of alignment. What we choose to align ourselves with is super important when it comes to being mindful and living in the moment. For me, I want my life to be an authentic + creative expression and manifestation of my innermost desires.

a fulfilling life = authentic expression + creative manifestation of spirit

What is the creative manifestation of my spirit? I know what makes one fulfilling is incredibly individual–ultimately, it is up to me to decide what I want in my life and discover what makes me happy. Rest assured, I know what makes me happy. Tarot makes me happy. Journaling makes me happy. Cultivating better relationships (be it my fam, my friends, and my cat) makes me happy. And of course being around the people I love makes me happy. Reading new age and wellness books makes me happy. Becoming exposed to new spiritual ideas and productivity systems makes me happy. Video gaming also makes me happy (yes I am a gamer. #shameless).

A lot of things make me happy. But I have yet to find my true groove when it comes to establishing and maintaining a lifestyle that brings me continuous satisfaction. Like I feel like I have yet to find a “core mode” of living that I approve of and feel passionate about–something that works, something that brings out the best of me and something that allows me to be productive and manifest my creative potential. At this point in my life, I feel like I am still looking for the final picture and slotting the pieces together.

I don’t mean that I want to establish a picturesque life in which everything is perfect and monotonous. Of course not. But I really, really, really feel like I want to get closer and closer to that “core”. I admit, I grew up a relatively sheltered child and I wasn’t confronted by the need to fully manage my own affairs until much later. It was only the end of last year that I consciously decided that I am finally going to rock at being self-employed. (I’ve always thought I would eventually get a full-time job teaching, but the idea of having a fixed timbletable handed to me by others just doesn’t jam with me) That was a big shift in my mentality and a major life transition. Once I decided that I am going to be the centre and solo creatrix of my life, there are, all of a sudden, so many things I need to sort out for myself.

One of them is, as the title suggests, how to be productive and cultivate a productive mode that is an authentic expression of I am. I really want something that honours my own creative rhythms and sense of pace. I know that. I know that I’m in a phase of my life where I am trying to create a new lifestyle and there are many things to figure out so it’s okay to give myself time and be patient with myself. Yet I get impatient. I grow frustrated when there doesn’t seem to be any movement or progress. I blame myself for being too comfortable in my own bubble and not trying hard enough.

I ask myself: Why am I doing this again? So I can live a life that is creative and a life that is my own. I must tattoo that somewhere on my body–seriously. I need to keep my desires close to my heart. The “why”. The ever powerful, juicy, and empowering why.

This is why I am doing what I’m doing. The journey can be confusing and frustrating and shitty as hell at times, but here’s why I am doing it. So I can live a life that is creative and a life that is my own. A life that is free and a true expression of who I am.

As I am writing this, this actually brings me comfort. Boy have I been repeatedly (and knowingly!) harsh in bringing myself down. Always “Kim you’re not good at this” or “Kim omg why on earth did you fail? So much resistance and self-bullying. Then guess what I say to myself? “Omg Kim why are you such a bully to yourself, stop it! You’re doing it wrong! You’re supposed to be self-loving!”

A double-bully trap. I just can’t win, can I!? Alright, so I can totally suck at this sometimes. But I suppose, suckage is just an opportunity for you to review what’s not working in your life so you can make improvements. And when it comes to self-love, it’s not a spiritual light switch that you can just switch on/off whenever you feel like it. There is no final boss level when it comes to the self-love journey–such is the nature of a journey. It is endless and it just lasts. Wait, it never ends!? Then what’s the point in trying? But that’s precisely the point. Trying. Striving. Surviving. Living. Being.

Strangely, at this juncture, I am remembering the glass half-empty and half-full analogy. So you’re either glass half-empty or half-full, right? It’s a matter of perspective. More importantly, it is a matter of choice. You can choose to view your reality through a shit lens and basically, everything sucks eternally. Or, you can choose to view your journey towards self-love or productivity or whatever in a positive manner: you’re always learning and growing and becoming better.

But hey, either way, you should just add some more hot water in it, add a delicious apple caramel black tea bag, stir it with some sweetener and top it with whipped cream. Now it’s the best fucking thing ever. I always try to be positive and I am generally a glass half-full type of girl. But why stop there? You can’t possibly be satisfied with only half a glass of water.

What you do with it is infinitely more meaningful and productive than trying to dissect it and find the best way to look at it. I mean, self-reflections are amazeballs. Of course you need to understand yourself better. But shine shine shine once you have found your light.

I want to leave you with this (but more like, a note to Dear Self).

Dear World (Self),

You are worthy.

You are a fire-breathing magic-brimming ass-kicking human wonder with the capacity of a thousand miracles. You are the grand centre of your universe, your own spirit-anchor.

Change the world with one toothy grin, one flamboyant teasing gaze, one burst of blossoming laughter.

Everything you want is just a dream away.

You can do it.

You know you can.

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