It’s been an intense week. Lots of things happening around me, and I find myself getting drawn into this stream of external stimuli and events. Ironically this week was not just the week where I realized that there is time for everything. It’s also been the week where I skipped my morning ritual (writing and oil-pulling, meditating, a few sun salutations) a twice because I wanted to make time for other things.
I’m a person who loves/needs structure, planning ahead, to do lists. Deviating from my schedule usually scares me. I start worrying that making exceptions is just the beginning of a downward spiral into chaos. I told myself instead of writing and meditating before work, I could still fit that into the day somehow, which has proven true for writing more than meditating, although I try to remain/go back to being self-aware as much as I can. But I can still catch myself getting scared that that is a lie, and I’m just slacking off.
And that’s where the flipside of the coin becomes apparent:
When we’re abiding our schedule for fear of not being “good” otherwise, then it seems to me we’re kind of missing the point, and maybe we need to learn how to handle the “chaos” of not having a schedule and just going with our instincts?
This morning I sat in front of the fireplace for a few moments. That feeling that it somehow wasn’t right that I’d just get dressed and drive to work crept up on me. Interestingly, I thought I was being self-aware when I told myself:
“You know that that’s not true. Don’t let this thought take you over. Be in the present and you’ll see there is no problem.”
And I was fine. For about half a second. Then I thought:
“That’s weird, why is that feeling still there?”
In hindsight, my mistake is obvious: I was not taking measure to not let my thoughts steer – I was suppressing an emotion. Realizing this, I tried the opposite – going deep down into that feeling, allowing it to presenting its case, taking it all in, being interested in what it was.
“What if this is just a lame excuse? You said you could find time for everything, so why didn’t you get up earlier to make time for this? You’re slacking off, and this is the beginning of you neglecting the things that are important to you. Soon you’re days will be all work and no play, and you’ll be back to where you never wanted to be again! You’re on your way to the life you never wanted. Being a drone, working, eating, sleeping – nothing more until you die.”
All that sounds really dramatic and terrible – and the hardest exercise I find is not objecting to anything. But it’s like when your best friend is going through a rough time: she does not want you telling her that her feelings aren’t justified. She isn’t expecting you to fix her situation either. She just needs you to listen. It took me a long time to understand that when it comes to others. Seems like now is the time to learn to accept that the same applies to myself. Just allowing the feeling – however dramatic it is, which it always is because on some level it’s ultimately always about the fear of death – is all it takes.
Our feelings want one thing: to be acknowledged. If we fight them, they’ll just fight harder to get our attention. If we accept them and acknowledge their existence, they dissolve eventually.