I’ve been having the most creative time in my life this year. It’s been deeply inspiring and gratifying. However…isn’t there so often a ‘however.’
I have so much going on, the publication and marketing of my book, managing social media, managing my health which is no small thing given years of chronic fatigue and of course seeing clients – the stress of it all!
Be at Peace with Incompleteness.
So I woke up this morning feeling stressed by all of these things I need to do, some half done and some not even started and I had the thought: “To be at peace with incompleteness – with all the things half done and not done – is the greatest stress reliever imaginable.”
A softening started to emerge inside of me as I connected with the meaning of this really deeply.
You know what it’s like. There are the urgent emails to get to, projects not yet started or projects not yet complete, conversations unfinished or avoided. The to-do list avoided or postponed. The list is unending and it’s always, there looking accusingly like a spectre in the darkness over your shoulder.
Have you ever noticed how much energy is used up in the process of trying to make that which is incomplete, complete? It’s immensely draining and deeply distressing. And incompleteness is never ending, isn’t it?
Great Self-Esteem is internal love and power.
When we are pushing and straining against the natural timeframe in which things unfold there is no love or power inside of us. There is a stressed impatience that drives us insane, apart from what it does to our immune system and cardiovascular system and the entire functioning of our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual being.
One of the things I’ve been doing over the last week is preparing the ground on our sidewalk outside our home, for the seeding of some Bushveld grass. I planted the seeds and in watering them, which I can only really do at night with a hospipe, because we have water restrictions, I’ve noticed a contraction around trying to force the seeds to grow faster, to be sure that they germinate. If the ground dries out before they germinate…the seeds are toast!
How insane of me!
I translate my anxiety into, they must germinate faster to make me feel better.
Nature is such a beautiful teacher. Everything moves in its own time at its own pace, naturally, uncontrived, flowing and patient, oh so beautifully patient. Seeds will not germinate faster because I think they should. There is such division inside of us when we do this and such stress.
No Love…No Power.
The idea of course is that I will be happier if germination happens as I dictate and that delusion is outside of love and of course there’s no power. Why no power, because I do not have the power to make nature happen faster and trying to do so leaves me…well, powerless.
I have an image of myself which looks like this: I’m sitting by a gently flowing stream and I’m thinking that it should flow faster so I run desperately, contractedly, into the stream and start shovelling the water with my hands trying to make it flow go faster.
Are you doing that in your life?
“Life is about the next thing…”
Many years ago I remember discussing the meaning of life with some friends. One of them said, rather matter of factly: “Life is about what’s the next thing I’m going to do?” His words devastated me. I wondered how much of the time I was doing that. Never in the present, always pushing toward the next incomplete thing, having momentary relief when it was done and onto the next thing.
I call that ‘pro-depressant’ thinking. It causes depression because this moment is all there is. The next thing or the next moment is a virtual reality – in my head – it’s not real! It’s dis-tressing to live outside of all that there is.
Don’t Push the River.
Life moves at it’s own pace, in its own way. There is the most beautiful book title – don’t bother to read the book – Don’t push the river it flows by itself. Of course we always were and are powerless to change so much of what is going on around us but not seeing this is what creates the stress.
I remember many years ago my sister showing us slides of her trip to Tibet and telling us that above 10,000 feet above sea level, trees do not naturally grow. So above this altitude the Tibetans make houses out of stone.
It is a luxury to build them out of wood but difficult because trees don’t naturally grow there, so if they want to build a wooden house they plant poplar trees, wait 25 years for them to grow and then build their house!
This striving and driving and pushing to get our To Do list done, is desperate and agonizing. It runs contrary to the nature of things, the true nature of life.
As you sit here, can you feel the incessant driving toward getting the next thing to be done and the next thing and the next thing, this endless line of energy pulling toward the future, which never exists, except in your mind?
Meditate to Create Distance From the Panic.
And if just noticing this ‘driving’ energy doesn’t do anything for you, you can do what a friend of mine suggested. Just ask yourself the question: “Can I simply be at peace with the label that I have of a hectic life?”
The label starts to create a distance and you connect with your Spirit, with Pure Consciousness which says: “There is still and deep part of me that is not identified with this hectic driving pushing against the unending incompleteness of life.”
Having a meditative practice or a spiritual or religious connection is the place from which the sense of non-identification can begin to emerge. If you haven’t got one, you might want to think about getting one!
In Love & Power,