On The Days I Feel Like Giving Up

Some days I find myself asking the question, “What will happen if I don’t try so hard?”

Akilah Ivy
5 min readMar 25, 2023
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I’m someone who does all the things. Meditation, yoga, tai chi, sacred medicine retreats, taking workshops, writing in journals, listening to podcasts, dancing in ritual, you name it.

All these things have helped me immensely and turned me into a brand new person I’m so grateful to be. In changing my lifestyle, exploring and polishing myself through these practices I’ve helped my life glow from the inside out.

Although it sounds sparkly, like spiritual bliss, there are still days when I feel an overwhelming sense of dread and a lack of motivation to do anything. My mind swarms with thoughts of doubt and worries about the steps I’m taking. Are they the right ones? What does it even matter what I do? What would happen if I just stopped putting in so much effort to be heard, and noticed?

That Bitch Belinda

As I flow with the energy of the day, doing yard work in the morning, sitting down for a zoom meeting in the afternoon, putting my phone on a tripod to create some social media content, then spending time editing and posting, those pesky thoughts whip around like breezes in the wind telling me it may all be a colossal waste of time.

The thoughts remind me of that one bully in school who tells people they're stupid for even trying. I could give her a name so I could have the strength to shut her down. She’s awful. She says things like “Wow, you’re really trying so hard to get attention. You know nobody cares, right?” or “Who says your dreams will ever come true? They’re just pictures in your head. Get real!” or my favorite, “What makes you think you’ll ever be seen?”

It’s not easy to combat those thoughts and press post anyway. Just as I write this post, I am going back and forth with the belief that I can help someone with this confession and that my efforts will be rewarded through connection, and also, why bother?

Off the Beaten Path

This pool of doubt I’m swimming in is holding me down, like barbed wire wrapped along my bones that gets tighter as I walk forward on the path of the unknown. That’s just it. As an artist, I’m living a life with no guarantees and that’s terrifying. I’m figuring things out as I go along and casting a line in many different lakes, hoping to catch a bite somewhere.

Living on a prayer and the smallest slice of hope I can muster for the day is such a daring way to do this. There’s no structure. I can say that I’m absolutely the kind of person who’s fine without it, but it’s by no means easier. I’ve developed ways to stay grounded and progress on my own terms, within my own world.

These are the things that keep me from completely giving up on my efforts to build a dream life.

Things that Keep Me Sane:

  • Meditation this is not a fix-all solution that snaps me into being all zen and woo-woo spiritual. This is the tether I use to keep myself centered between what's above and below. It is a whole practice that takes daily application, and every time I come out feeling better than before if only just a teeny bit. My meditation rituals can be as short as 5 minutes of sitting on the floor and watching my breath, and as long as an hour-long session with candles, classical piano sonatas, and deep intuitive movement.
  • Diet- It’s true what they say, “You are what you eat” and I say that I’m either Jekyll or Hyde when I’m conscious of what I put into my body. If I’ve just had a sugar and junk food binge, I always feel like shit after. When I make an effort to snack on fruits and fit a smoothie into the day, it’s like I see the sun shining much brighter in the sky.
  • Alone Time/Rest — So, as a Human Design Reflector, I thrive on being able to recharge through rest and being alone in my own space. I’ve found that I am much more equipped to handle anything the world has for me when I retreat. When I accept a social invite after having filled my social cup already, I am drained super quickly. Most times I’ll even push through as if everything’s fine which takes a toll on me quite deeply and in turn, takes days to recover from. I feel best when I maintain strong boundaries and overcome the temptation to fit into any constructs.
  • Movement — I don’t want just to say exercise here, because I have an awkward relationship with exercise in general. Movement, however, is extremely important and absolutely necessary for my sanity. I like to practice a thing called intuitive movement which can be dancing any way that feels good to some good music, or dropping down into a few squats as I wash the dishes. My favorite area to work on is my hips because those are the problem children. They’ve been through a lot. I’m often caught sitting in a Shakti squat or rolling my hips in a big circle at random times throughout the day to loosen those bad boys up and strengthen my center. Just listening to the body can be a major source of transformation from defeating thoughts to more powerful ones at any time of the day. If I force myself to have time for movement before my day starts and before I go to bed, it’s usually a day I end up feeling great about.
  • My Dog — because, dogs! Yeah?

Apparently, these practices, (paired with taking action toward my dreams, taking classes to gain experience, reading books to gain knowledge, and traveling the world to expand my perception) as amazing and life-changing as they can be, are sometimes not enough.

Maybe I need a break from promoting my online presence. Just the thought of it scares me though, as I think “No, I need to keep pushing my brand. I might miss something” but this is the attachment talking, perhaps. The attachment to external validation or the high from being noticed by large amounts of people. I’ve taken a social media break before and survived. Perhaps it’s time to do it again.

It seems I’m being called to revisit the bigger picture of the efforts I’m taking and go deeper into answering the truth around my personal “Why”

Maybe, I need to connect more with the answers to why I do what I do when I get out of bed because they seem so distant at present. Right now it feels like the only reason I have for living is to spend time breathing and sharing my breath in auditions or on social media, which seems so shallow to me. If that is all there is, why try? I know there’s gotta be more to it. The only solution I really see is to just keep going.

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Akilah Ivy

A free spirit, learning and growing in the art of entertainment. Sharing my experiences and discoveries in spirituality, storytelling, and sexual liberation.