Despite my very best efforts and intentions I did not get to bed by 10, but instead by midnight, and then flipped out with a rant about the insanity I am living right now with scheduling, and this morning I am making a conscious decision to put the rant and the upset aside and focus on enjoying today. I tried something I learned about a long time ago, when I was studying transpersonal psychology: I deliberately invoked the quality of joy and enjoyment. I don’t know if that will make a difference or not, but that’s what came out of my mouth as I was lying there deciding to ditch the story about how screwed up everything is and go for a less discordant one. (I make up spontaneous prayers lots of times, and one of my secret wishes is to write a book of prayers that are not religious, since I am not religious.)
After my rant, my partner asked what made me start a project like this in the summer, anyway. This brought me up short and astounded me, because I thought it was obvious that this project entailed zero planning and 100% impulse. I didn’t think about how it would impact my life for the next 30 days at all (I was more focused on the benefit beyond the 30 days, actually), and I think that’s one reason why it worked. I gave absolutely no consideration to all those things that one usually considers and, I’m guessing, generally contribute to a project never getting off the ground.
There is also, of course, an argument to be made for planning enough to ensure a project’s success. And maybe now that I’m into it a ways I could look and see what needs to be tweaked in order to make sure it works out both in terms of posting to the blog every day, and in terms of me being supported in being functional.
Take the radical notion, for instance, of making it the number one priority of the day right after my customary ablutions, instead of waiting until the end of the day to start. The posts haven’t turned out to be chronicles of my days exclusively, anyway. They’re just essays about whatever is percolating.
Let’s face it. My life is disorderly and full, full of commitments to things I’ve traded for with my time, and full of good things and wonderful people.
But the funny thing is, even in my downtime, I tend to fill the spaces with something. Internet surfing is a major time suck. I don’t need as much passive entertainment as I think I do. Cleaning and straightening is also a big filler activity. Chores and errands, tasks and to-dos. I return to Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and remember the stellar exercise she calls Reading Deprivation: a week of no reading. Yikes! A week of no lighted screens and no books, mags, newspapers, flyers, pamphlets…Think about it!
When I did this exercise before, at first I went nuts trying to find new ways to avoid my creativity. Then I just gave up and did it. I was amazed at how much time I had that I hadn’t had access to consciously. I’ve read in several places in the past couple of days the notion of taking a few moments each day to just do nothing. The idea is to clear a space to just be, in the midst of a full to capacity life. I’ve got my teachers right here in the house, of course. Our two kitties, Hawk and Koko, and to some extent, Honey-Bear, do this thing called staring off into space. They follow this by curling up and falling asleep. Here’s what I like to think about: Is there a cosmic energy against which I would be lounging and drawing comfort, if I let myself just stop and settle, like Hawk is doing in this photo?
Well, I am going to try making my blog post my first priority. I don’t know how much earlier in the day I’ll have to get up, what other tasks will go undone, or whether my joy quotient will go up or come down, but I’m fairly sure more deep shifting and sorting is about to happen. As for today, I have enjoyed sitting in my p.j.’s on the other side of midnight with a day ahead of me, tap-tap-tapping. It feels like an excellent way to begin.