Wow. Started out this week with all sorts of posting intentions – but there have been no extra minutes between my last class, exercise, playing a show, meditating, working, dinner with friends and so on – and now it’s Friday and I am pushing to get more work done so that I have something to show for this rather chaotic week. It’s been interesting too, because often when I am so scheduled I get overwhelmed…. but as I learn to let go of what I “should do” and accept what I “am doing” it has been less stressful to go from one thing to the next. I am seeing the wisdom in the Ghandian quote “action expresses priorities” and recognizing that what I choose to actually do is the priority, the way I am subconsciously (or actively) arranging things. Right now I seem to be prioritizing social interaction, exercise, health-focused activities – and not spending so much time on sewing or crochet projects. The garden has a priority spot only because it’s the season and a now or never type of thing – or else I expect it would be something different outside (hiking!) not more time spent inside wrestling with an extra-curricular activity that doesn’t give me a lot of pleasure at the moment.
These are all just ways that we choose to spend time, none of them life or death requirements, but it’s amazing how in-knots I can be about how I judge the arrangement of activities in my head. No one else judges how I live my life – what I spend my time on, who I spend it with – except me (though I often project onto others like my husband, it is again – entirely in my head). In part, I credit my meditation practice, with the recent ability to actually listen to what I am telling myself over and over and then bringing a close to some of those persistent and distracting thought modes. On Wednesday night, for example, when the show I played went later than expected (much later), I observed myself worrying about how tired I was going to be “tomorrow” which was pulling me away from enjoying the music of a friend who was on stage. Once I gave up on my projection of how I might feel the next morning, I was able to focus fully and breathe out the “what if” of worry. (As it was, the next day I slept in a little later and had to skip meditation, but still managed to walk to work and do a killer weight routine in the afternoon – it wasn’t like a later bedtime incapacitated me for work or anything).
It’s not that I don’t believe in planning, or intentionally prioritizing one thing over another – but when I just experience what falls into place as I organize my days – I can see that there are clear patterns which emerge over time (often in sync with the seasons or other cyclical events) and that it’s perfectly acceptable to simply be in the flow of things rather than trying to push against it with an idea of myself (and who I could be if only I had more time).