Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher

Birthday gratitude and other things


I had a beautiful birthday.

I worked from home, finished off an article I’ve been procrastinating on, sent it off to the editor and it is done.

A sigh of relief, of gratitude for getting it done, of satisfaction for a task completed, moves joyfully through my body.

That’s the thing about things that sit on ‘the pile’ waiting to get done. They don’t actually go away until I transform the energy I waste avoiding them, into the action of doing them.

Avoidance strengthens fear.

Avoidance not only adds to stress levels, it also creates a chemical reaction that, with every time we avoid a particular thing, sends tiny little messages to the brain that says, “See! Avoiding it actually felt good. Let’s get better at avoiding it so we keep getting that tiny fissure of relief in the immediacy of our avoidance!”

In actual fact, while that tiny fissure of relief is  momentary, it can create giant waves of discord when activated too often.

Those waves of discord are created from the worry, shame, fear, excuses, blame… whatever emotions we encounter when avoiding doing something we know is good for us, or we need to do, or we have to do because…

In the case of the article I finished editing yesterday, it was a commitment made in the summer to a magazine for an article on the challenges of housing formerly homeless individuals in community. My former boss had asked if I would do it, and it seemed like a good idea at the time.

And it was. It’s just, between the original draft and the final, there have been many revisions, and many other items, (not to mention excuses) that got in the path of completing the article.

Yesterday, I worked from home and got it done. It is gone. Off my desk. Finished. Final.

And while the fissure of relief from avoiding it repeatedly was kind of intoxicating in a sick and cyclical way, the relief from having it finished, never to be thought of again, never to be shoved aside or discounted or procrastinated over, is even greater!

Once done, I had time to review a document I need to work on this week — and the benefit is, I can work on it without thoughts of what I ‘should’ be finishing clouding my thinking.

It is easy to convince ourselves that not doing what needs doing is okay – at least until tomorrow.

Challenge is, tomorrow will arrive and the not doing will begin to take up more and more of our mindspace as we spend more and more time rationalizing why we’re avoiding doing what is there to do.

If avoidance strengthens fear, doing it creates peace.

And I like peace of mind and heart. I like the peace of knowing that I am right with my world and all is right within me.

I finished a task yesterday I’ve been putting off for awhile. Now that it’s done, I wonder what I was putting off for so long. Perhaps it truly was just the addiction to those tiny fissures of relief that were getting in the way of my seeing how easy it was to strengthen what I want more of in my life, just by doing what I feared!


And thank you for the Birthday wishes!  It was a grand day.


Thank you 1


Author: Louise Gallagher

I believe in wonder. I believe we are all magnificent beings of divine beauty. I believe we can make a difference in this world, through every act, word, thought. I believe we create ripples with everything we do and say and want to inspire everyone to use their ripple to create a better world for everyone. I'm grateful you're here.

18 thoughts on “Birthday gratitude and other things

  1. Love that line- Avoidance strengthens fear. I have a new play idea that I’ve done a bit of scratching on.. and not much more. For all those reasons! Fear! Somehow I find so many things that need to be done when I think I’ve carved out some writing time. A friend of mine related how when once he was writing a screenplay, his apartment never was cleaner. Glad you had a lovely, productive day!


    • Fear can be so insidious! I have the book I started 3 years ago on stories from the street — and I’m still avoiding it! 🙂 Time to listen to my own knowing and get to it!

      And, like your friend, my toilet is never cleaner than when I’m writing. 🙂


  2. Happiest of Birthdays to you! I wish you a year of wishes fulfilled and much joy to every single day! Continue to shine brightly Louise! You are loved! ♥


  3. Glad you got that article off your plate and had a wonderful birthday Louise! ❤
    Diana xo


  4. Ah, procrastination. An annoying and a relief all at once. Thanks for inspiration, Louise. Happy Belated Birthday wishes to you!


  5. The only bad thing about procrastination is the spiraling thinking and energy drain it causes…
    I call it waiting for everything to be in alignment… including clarity of mind and readiness for action. So its last minute … So what. I bet it was fabulous!
    Happy Birthday Louise 🙂
    Val x


  6. Birthdays are wonderful we should all embrace our birthday as having a birthday doesn’t mean you are getting older it means you are still alive


  7. Sorry I missed the birthday. Belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY So glad you had a great day!


  8. Happy birthday Louise and thanks for this great post about avoidance. I am just tackling a pile of paperwork that I have been putting off for weeks and I am already feeling energised instead of blahish!


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