Monday, May 5, 2008

Throwing out the list

You know that feeling when you're aware of what you probably should be doing but you seem to be incapable of doing it? Suddenly anything and everything else feels super important, whether it's unloading the dishwasher or picking a piece of lint off your sweater. I suspect that's something we've all experienced at one time or another. For me, anyway, it manifests as a form of beating myself up, as even the presence of the word "should" suggests in my first sentence.

One of the challenges of having the appearance of so much free time in my life is that all of those things that I always wanted to do have now moved to the level of "things I should be doing" in my head. I have a list of "daily goals," which is really more like a daily task list. I swear, even if all I did was finish off this list everyday I'd probably feel overwhelmed. My morning practice alone has bloomed to the point where it takes a minimum of two hours to finish everything. Then there's three meals a day to cook and clean up after. I'm training for my Avon Walk, so there's walking or cross-training to be done, plus stretching and icing. I have a category for "coursework" that includes things like the Prosperity Game from Ask and It Is Given, the Attracting Genuine Abundance course I signed up for from DailyOM, and finishing up my A New Earth reading, watching, and writing. As I mentioned in my last post, I've started a Chinese medicine regimen, so I need to make sure I allow time to prepare the herbs in the morning and then remember to drink them after each meal, not to mention carving out time for my acupuncture and massage appointments. There is, of course, writing my daily blog post. And oh yeah, I'm also freelancing, so somewhere in there I should find time to both do my work and drum up new business. Phew.

While these are all worthy objectives for any given day, the problem lies in my being overwhelmed from the start. I'm practically already behind schedule when my feet hit the floor in the morning, and there's a voice at the back of my head that is telling me that if I'm not going to get it all done anyway, I might as well take my time. So instead of having a purposeful, flowing day filled with joy at the prospect of getting to live my life the way I always wanted to, I can end up experiencing a day full of stress, with never enough time to get anything done, and overflowing with distractions that I allow to take up my time instead of recognizing them as the unnecessary derailment that they really are.

So my goal for this week is to throw out the list, but perhaps more importantly to also throw out the distractions. I've shut all of my browser windows, streamlined my "to do list" to just those things I need reminders to complete, and shifted my focus to the present moment. Right now is the only moment that matters. And when I live this moment to its fullest, there is always plenty of time to get everything done. Care to join me in this adventure this week? Choose a new practice with me whereby you allow the universe to find its flow in your life, bringing your attention to where it is needed in each moment, allowing those daily tasks to unfold effortlessly. Experience what it is like to live from the place of awareness that is your true self, being truly present where you are, starting right here, right now, in this very moment. Namaste.

Photo: "let's dance!," originally uploaded by Tinou Bao

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