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Archive for March 7th, 2012

English: Solitary tree, Hafod Estate

“Being with the dying opens us to our own essential nature

 very quickly and often very directly.”

~~Frank Ostaseski in

Journeying East by Victoria Jean Dimidjian

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English: A stopwatch is a hand-held timepiece ...

Image via Wikipedia

This past weekend was pretty crazy for me.  Three and a half days of almost a retreat-like schedule of doing school work and working with an editor on a big project.

I did nothing but research, write, take breaks to eat meals, and try to get a good night sleep.

Then came Monday.  I still had the day off from my full-time job but I was utterly aware that my time was “running out” and that I had a lot to do.  I was feeling pressure to keep doing school work. . .

But I had to get to the post office, had to get laundry done (which meant this week taking stuff to be dried at the laundromat), get to Hallmark before a coupon expired to get some cards for upcoming events, make a 1 pm massage appt, and run to the local grocery store for some essentials like juice and organic eggs.

And I kept trying to figure out if I could find 4 hours to run to Whole Foods because it is so far away.

I think this could be classified as insanity.  Or at least, how I tried to approach the day in theory and in practice.

I was really insistent on getting “things done” since I had spent the weekend “doing nothing”… I had only clocked 36 hours of school work in 72 hours.  But I had nothing concrete to show for it.  So, I had to get things done before starting my work week.

But in reality, I could have gone to the post office Tuesday morning.  I could have gone to Hallmark on Wednesday or not worry about using the coupon.  The laundry could have waited a few days.

Or I could have washed it at home, hung some things and then run my blankets to the laundry.  That would have left the store before my massage and well, that would have been fine to do in the amount of time I had.

So, I realized all of this while I was working with the writing coach and made myself take deep breath.  And I decided that when we got off the phone, I would spend the rest of the night being mindful.

Monday reminded me of what I tried to do several years back… rush an hour and a half, twice a week, to meditate with a group.  After a few months, I realized that I was planting more seeds of aggression than if I had decided to sit at home at the same time as the sangha did.

The “full catastrophe of living” (to paraphrase Jon Kabat-Zinn‘s book title) was there but I did not take it as an opportunity to be present; I took it as a sign to speed up and pay little mind.

When I took that pressure off, look at things from a different perspective, I found that once again I was fostering compassion for myself and therefore those around me as well.

Maybe we have to have this lesson brought up every once in a while to remind us, we can choose the hectic chaotic life when we race the clock and at the end of the day, can’t remember what we had for breakfast. . .

Or we can slow down, enjoy the moment, taste our food, fold our clothes, or even be in our body during  a massage.

Maybe we can take a moment to take a deep breath and look at all we do in a day and that we don’t have to have things crossed off our to do list or have something concrete to “show” for our time…

I’d love to hear how you remember to take things slow. . . find a balance between doing and being in your every day life…

In peace and slow, mindfulness.
Jen

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