The Weekly Vlog

The Ebb and Flow of Work

Jul 19, 2023

As we eat Bright and simplify our food, the world opens up to us. As we say, “We keep our food black and white so we can live our lives in full color.” As we walk this journey, our relationship to certain areas of our lives starts to shift. I wanted to talk this week about my relationship to work. 

Sometimes if I feel down, depressed, emotional, lackluster, I find myself not wanting to work and questioning, “Do I need to work? Does this work need to get done?” Back when I was young, before I had a BLE program to lean into, meditation and other tools at my disposal, I had a binge / purge / perfectionist tendencies with my school work. I would start each semester swearing that I would be the most diligent student, read every textbook, go above and beyond. But then I wouldn’t do that. And at the end of the semester, I would cram study and do well on the test. Wash, rinse, repeat. I always got good grades but in a really unhealthy way. 

I developed a taskmaster part. This is the part that doesn’t want you to sit on the couch and relax. If you do, it starts insisting that you should be doing laundry or dishes or some other chore or task. It doesn’t think you need or deserve rest.

It’s been twenty years now that I have been following this Bright way of eating. And I’ve learned two big lessons that I want to share.

One lesson I’ve learned is that it doesn’t behoove me to push through with my work. I’ve noticed that the effectiveness and output of my work is a full 100 times greater if I’m feeling motivated, sharp, and ready to go. I can get into a flow, and it goes smoothly. But if I’m feeling logy or resistant, I can spend hours doing everything BUT that email, even if I’m sitting there at the computer the whole time. The issue is whether I’m hanging that over my head thinking, “I’ve gotta get this done, I’ve gotta get this done.” It’s better to just recognize that I need to rest instead and trust that the work will get done later. The lesson I’ve learned is that the motivation to work will come back. If I wait until I have a full tank and a focused mind, I’ll get the work done and it will get done more efficiently and effectively.

The other lesson is that there’s a flip side to this coin. Sometimes when I’m feeling down or logy, I have realized that I need to take action. It might not be getting into work, but what I might need is to get out of bed and take a hot shower, go grocery shopping, make a phone call… just DO something. For me, there’s a subtle difference between the down feeling of needing rest and a down mood that could be improved by getting into action and doing something. I need to be sensitive to that difference.

One final thought. I’ve learned that if I don’t feel good, I want to scan the tools of my Bright Line Eating program. If I don’t feel good, is it because I’m not making use of my tools? Have I been meditating in the morning? Have I been making phone calls? Have I been doing my food prep and writing down my food? I take notice of this. If I haven’t been using these tools, I can take those actions, start doing those things again, and get myself back on track. Likewise, if I find that I AM using these tools and I still don’t feel good, that’s useful information too. It means that, probably, my mood will soon catch up on its own. If I’m doing the right things, the feel-good will follow. It’s all about getting into action.

Click here to listen to this episode on Bright Line Living™ - The Official Bright Line Eating Podcast.

Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D. is a New York Times bestselling author and an expert in the psychology and neuroscience of eating.  Susan is the Founder and CEO of Bright Line Eating®, a scientifically grounded program that teaches you a simple process for getting your brain on board so you can finally find freedom from food.

Learn More

Start Your Bright Transformation Today!