Stepping out of the busyness, stopping our endless pursuit of getting somewhere else, is perhaps the most beautiful offering we can make to our spirit.
~ Tara Brach, True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart
As you probably already know, I have not been doing a good job of keeping up with ya’all lately. I know I do not need to apologize for it, and will likely get comments telling me that it’s okay not to keep up. I appreciate that, very much, and I would give the same advice to anyone else apologizing for not having the time to visit as often as they used to. I have done so often in the past. So many blogs, so little time. I know we all struggle with finding some kind of balance here in the blogosphere.
One of the reasons I am not keeping up is not entirely a matter of time, but rather a matter of doing what I need to do for me. I’ve been very self-focused. After the surgery, followed by the bout of diverticulitis, and now a particularly nasty version of the common cold, I realize that I need to start practicing some self-care that begins with self-centering. The problem, at first, was that it felt selfish, and most of us are taught that being selfish is not the way to be.
Illness sometimes brings with it the message to slow down. I don’t think I need to slow down. I am at turtle speed most of the time, and that is a good speed for me. What I need is to pay more attention to the cues and signals my body sends me. I have spent too much of my life ignoring the little aches and pains, the twinges here and there, because I was taught denial. If you ignore it, it will go away. Or, when I was a gymnast, I was told to shake it off. (Uh oh, now I’ve got that Taylor Swift song in my head again.)
There are doctrines that teach this in a roundabout way. It’s one of the reasons The Secret never appealed to me. Here’s an example:
You cannot “catch” anything unless you think you can, and thinking you can is inviting it to you with your thought. You are also inviting illness if you are listening to people talking about their illness. As you listen, you are giving all your thought and focus to illness, and when you give all of your thought to something, you are asking for it.
~ Rhonda Byrne, The Secret
Bah, humbug. What if you are giving all your thought and focus to listening to someone who needs to talk about their illness because you are being compassionate and caring? Never mind. This will take me on an off-topic tangent.
Then there are Goals. We all seem to have them. I’ve had goals for as long as I can remember. Even as a child, there were goals to meet in school and in gymnastics and in all manner of things.
Lately I’ve been wondering what life would be like without goals. What would it be like to quit striving? What would it be like to live and be? To move from moment to moment without thinking about some future moment when all the goals are met?
All the goals will never be met, of course, because there is always another goal. Or the same old rusted-out goal(s) I’ve been working on for decades. And even if all the goals were achieved, what then? More goals and challenges?
Often coinciding with goals are the To-Do Lists. Ugh. I am the Mistress of To-Do Lists. Long, impossible to-do lists that at the end of the day make me feel like there is so much to be done and I’ll never get to it all. Maybe not an epic fail, but a fail all the same.
A friend once suggested I start making Already Done lists so I could see how much I accomplish throughout the day instead of concentrating on how much didn’t get done. If you’ve never tried it, you should. It can be enlightening. An Already Done list is also a good way to go from feeling like you’ve failed to feeling like a ninja who has conquered the world. Or at least a small part of the world. Your part.
I am going to experiment. For a few weeks, maybe a month or more, depending on how it goes, I am putting aside the goals and to-do lists, and approaching my days moment by moment. Of course, one could say THAT is a goal in and of itself. There’s no getting around that, I suppose, but at least it’s lacking the form and specificity of my usual goals, to-do lists, and challenges.
When I go for my morning walks, I don’t plan where I’m going. I step out the door and follow my feet. Or my heart. Or my soul. Maybe my days can be like my walks. I’ll let you know how it goes.
I’m going to enjoy every second, and I’m going to know I’m enjoying it while I’m enjoying it. Most people don’t live; they just race. They are trying to reach some goal far away on the horizon, and in the heat of the going they get so breathless and panting that they lose sight of the beautiful, tranquil country they are passing through; and then the first thing they know, they are old and worn out, and it doesn’t make any difference whether they’ve reached the goal or not.
~ Jean Webster (1876-1916)
As for blogging, next week, on Monday, I will shut off the comments on my blog except for the coffee chats because they really do feel like chats and it seems a shame to miss out on that. It’s not that I don’t enjoy your comments. I truly do. But I think if I spend less time responding to comments here, I can spend more time visiting you and commenting on your blog. Yay! I think that sounds fab.
Thank you for stopping by today, and joining me on another ramble. It is so pretty outside today. Warm, sunny, with wispy clouds painted across the sky. It is greening up quickly, and loads of plants and trees are flowering, budding, or leafing out. I think I’ll head down to the Point for sunset this evening. You’re welcome to join me. Sunset is now at 7:39 PM. We might be able to catch the laughing gulls in the fields on the way.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂