Our society is big on staying busy. Busy infers you are getting things done. If you are getting things done you are productive and everyone prefers a do’er over a catatonic slob. Being productive keeps food on the table and the electricity on. It keeps you from singing the “Ain’t Got No” song from the musical “Hair” which goes something like ain’t got no job, ain’t go home, ain’t got no shoes, ain’t got no underwear etc which ain’t got no happy ending and so we’re moving on.
But sometimes we over-schedule as a way to avoid things we’d rather not think about, big picture questions like: is this the right job/city/relationship (fill in blank) for me? In order to evaluate and set appropriate goals we need to get quiet. And that’s hard.
To get quiet, centered and recharged one needs space and time. It means saying no/sorry/can’t when friends and family try to make plans. Would you blow off a scheduled work meeting? I doubt it or you’d be singing the ain’t-got-no-job line (see above). Self-time is as important as a business meeting. I suggest you put actually put it on your calendar so when Julie calls you to go surfing, play volleyball or mushroom hunting you say, I would love to, but I can’t. I have a prior commitment. I have to meet with me.
So, you’ve carved out some self-time (congratulations). The phone is off. Now what?
Time to meditate.
Did I lose you? Hello? Please come back. I’m not done and it’s not what you think. Mediation is not just for cushion-sitters anymore.
I’ve tried meditating and I’m lousy at it. The whole sit-uncomfortably-on-a-cushion thing. Yeah no. And when I say, tried it I mean 7-months-at-a-Zen-Center-tried-it (so, it’s official). I have either become agitated waiting for the buzzer to go off or fallen asleep.
Imagine how grateful I was to hear Buddhist Jack Kornfield offer up the alternative of Eating Mediation and Walking Meditation? In other words, being present, mindful and aware during a chosen activity (and sleeping is not an activity). If you are eating an apple, be present to eating an apple (it tastes differently, I swear). When I am out walking, I am present to the walk—I appreciate the tree with the peeling bark, the scent of a Lincoln rose, the feeling of the ground beneath my feet (heel, toe, heel, toe).
Am I solving life’s giant hairballs when I do these things? Not directly, no, but I am teaching myself what it is to tune in. I am creating a platform from which solutions and answers can bubble up. When they do I can recognize them.
I call it: listening to the whispers. If you can hear them, they’ve got a lot to say. Chew softly.
In need of life, dating and relationship advice? If you liked this post drop me a line, post a comment, tell your friends and check out my latest book: “There’s a Pattern Here & It Ain’t Glen Plaid,”:
“. . . laugh-out-loud funny . . . great practical suggestions . . . A quirky, earnest guide to regaining self-esteem for the modern woman.” —Kirkus Review