Recently, I was talking to a friend. We were trying to find a time to get together. After much back and forth with calendars and work schedules, we finally found some time in a couple of weeks that we both may be available at the same time. Everyone is so busy…..all of the time.
It made me think about the first summer I worked in the day job that I currently still hold. Just before I started the job, my soon to be employer had said, “Don’t worry you will have plenty of time to learn. Summers are slow.” I raced all summer long….trying to learn….trying to catch up….trying to catch my breath. I laugh about it now but that was the busiest summer in her office in over ten years.
It is so hard sometimes dealing with our schedules and commitments. I have my art and creative practices. I have a day job. I take a yoga class. I have my family and friends. I have events and activities that I want to participate in. I have my health and wellness goals. Sometimes it feels like I am so scheduled that I don’t have any time for myself. I know that I am not the only one who feels this way. It seems to me that with so much action and movement all the time, sometimes inaction is the action we need to take.
Trust me, I know how hard this can be. I am a goal oriented person. I like to accomplish things. Striving forward. Getting chores and tasks done. Taking care of projects. Forward momentum. I find if very hard for me to be still. Being still doesn’t get stuff crossed off the list. It’s hard to relax and just be.
I have several friends that practice meditation and another friend who leads a meditation group. I confess that I attempt to meditate but have difficulty being still. The best description I was given to help me in clearing my mind was to think of it as a ponds surface and reflection in this pond is myself.
I watched a documentary about the Theoretical Quantum Physicist Amit Goswami. He said that people in the West are very good at doing things. While people in the East are very good at being still. Dr. Goswami stated that we need to combine the philosophies and have a bit more Do-Be-Do-Be-Do…. To me he illustrates in a pleasant way the need many of us have to slow down.
One thing I do to be calm is to read. Another friend recently commented on the multiple stacks of books that are being read or waiting to be read. He stated that he thought it is because I can’t focus, and flit from book to book. But that isn’t the reason all of those books are sitting there. The reality is that I am so focused on things that require action, I am not taking any time for myself. Not even enough time to sit and enjoy reading a chapter or two of a book.
If you follow my blog you already know that I love challenging myself. And I am challenging myself to take some time for me. To be the reflection in the pond. To read a chapter or two and enjoy it. To relax. To just….be.
When life is so hectic that you can’t catch your breath, the best thing to do is to take a moment for reflection.