Monthly Archives: November 2015

Am I wasting time?

Now. Now. Now. Sometimes it feels like everything needs to be done right now. That I need a few more of me, so that I can just handle this one moment and all that’s in front of me. And in my head.

Only what if that’s not true?

What if there’s really nothing, or at least very little, that needs to be done right now? What if all of it could wait?

I need to meditate, so that I stay up with the new Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra meditation series. Only, will the world fall apart if I fall another day behind? (Although I do feel good when I meditate. Maybe that one I’ll do.)

I need to write more blog posts, so that I have one to post this afternoon, and more for when I need them. Only, will anyone really really be upset if I don’t post one this afternoon? (Although I do like having some already written, so I don’t feel pressured when I’m too busy to write.)

I need to catch up on some work, even though it’s Sunday. Only, do I really have to? Other than what I’ve promised to my partner, will it matter if I let any other stuff drop? Sure I’m “supposed” to reach out to clients to stay in touch, but if I put it off a day or two (or a week), will anyone but me notice? (This one I don’t really have an “although” about, although I do feel good when I’m caught up and even ahead.)

I need to find a place to stay for my trip to Madrid with my daughter. Okay, that one I really really do have to, and want to, do.

But so many of these are made-up pressures in my head. Or self-imposed deadlines and to-do lists. And I have a choice about whether or not I do them. And how I feel if I do, or don’t do, them.

Years ago, when my daughter was in middle school, she was caught in this internal pressure to always be doing something productive. It was as if she felt she couldn’t rest. That blowing things off, and taking time for nothing important, was wasting time.

She had an amazing teacher who caught her at this. He called out the constraints and stress she was forcing on herself (or that she was, maybe, learning from me). And he taught her a very simple question, and answer, to pose to herself, when she felt like she was doing something wrong.

As she sat on the ottoman in our living room, flipping through a catalog, and felt a wave of guilt, she could ask herself, “Am I wasting time?” and then answer, “No, I’m choosing to spend it like this.”

As she lay on her bed daydreaming, rather than doing her homework, or quilting, or reading a philosophical novel, she could ask herself, “Am I wasting time?” and then answer, “No, I’m choosing to spend it like this.”

I can remember that this afternoon. I can pick up a novel, just because I’m enjoying reading it. I can look out the window at the beautiful fall trees, just because they’re beautiful fall trees. I can ask myself, “Am I wasting time?” And then I can answer, “No, I’m choosing to enjoy this right now.”

And then I’ll go meditate, and write a few blogs so that I can feel ahead.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

Categories: My Story, , Tags:

The silly lies I tell myself

I tell myself very silly things. Sometimes subconsciously. Sometimes unconsciously. Sometimes, I hate to admit, while I’m completely aware of what I’m doing.

Really very silly things.

In my worst moments, when I get stuck in the grooves in my brain and come to my foregone conclusion that I’m not loved, or lovable, there is a split second where something in my mind agrees with this. But it is a very silly lie. Luckily I have the awareness and skill now to call that lie out, but what a silly thing to say to myself or to believe. Quite misinformed in fact.

I can still hear myself chide myself at times, for not getting something done or not getting it done right. Or sooner. That’s a silly lie as well. I can still catch myself pushing myself too hard, or questioning my opinion or my emotions, or getting upset with myself for “letting something get to me” and getting mad. Or sad.

All silly lies.

I’ve learned that my emotions happen…and it’s what I do with them that matters. Someone may do something and I may get hurt, but do I stay with the hurt? Do I lash out back at them? Or at myself? It’s a silly lie to tell myself I shouldn’t be hurt in the first place. It’s also a silly lie to tell myself that I should be “over” something, or better than I am at something.

In fact, pretty much anytime a sentence starts with “should”, chances are that it’s a silly lie. I should have known better. I should have done better. I should have been better.

There’s a time and a place for improving, and looking back at how we’ve reacted and choosing to go forward differently. But “shoulda, coulda, woulda” hasn’t helped me yet.

They’re all silly lies. And silly too-high expectations I hold myself, and others, to. And silly misinterpretations of the present based on misunderstandings of the past. Just because, in some ways, my childhood was tough doesn’t mean my today has to be tough. Or that I have to be tough. At least not tougher than I want to be, or that’s fun to be.

They’re all silly lies. I’m choosing to laugh at them even more and let them go.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

Categories: Resilience, , , , Tags:

The amazing impermanence of this moment

Why are we always rushing through this moment? Why do we feel the need to get to the next thing? The next task? The next experience?

What if we stopped – okay, what if I stopped – and took in this instant? Because, guess what? Whether or not I did, it’s already gone. And now this one’s gone too. And now this one.

It can be freeing to see this moment as fleeting. It can be freeing and exhilarating and joy-filling and mind-blowing.

It can also be scary.

Because it reminds me – it makes me aware – of how many moments I miss. How many moments I breeze right through.

So many that I’m thinking many, if not most, of my recent posts have been about this very thing.

I see myself sitting next to my daughter as we drove to her Hebrew class, oh so many years ago. The top is down on our convertible. It’s a beautiful, gorgeous, sunny day. And I’m intent on helping her ease up on herself and enjoy herself more.

“What do you notice?” I ask her. “What do you notice right, right now?”

“The breeze on my skin,” she answers.

“What else?”

“The sun on my face.”

“What else?”

“The trees passing us by. The wind blowing through my hair.” (That was when she had long hair.)

“What do I notice?” I ask myself. “What do I notice right, right now?”

“The music playing (as my husband and son make homemade pasta dough, which they’ll stuff with goat cheese and pureed beets later),” I answer. “The feel of my fingers on the keyboard. The pressure I feel to get “stuff” done. The excitement I feel because friends are coming over later to try this homemade pasta.”

This moment is fleeting. It’s the essence of impermanence. Whether it’s good or bad. Tough or easy. Frustrating or fun. It’s here, and then it’s over. Just like that.

This too shall pass. I might as well notice it now. Like the breeze on my daughter’s skin.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

Categories: Hope and Amazement, , , Tags: