Take note…none of the great sages, prophets, and saviors ever became enlightened by being busy. They renounced their worldly possessions, headed out into the desert, sat under trees, and retreated to caves high up in the mountains. They fasted, prayed, and meditated- basically doing nothing for extended periods. In this solitary, inward experience they became one with themselves, nature, God, and ultimately fulfilled.
In contrast, our culture encourages productivity. The more we achieve, the more we are valued even to ourselves. We are always heading towards something -graduation, career, children, children leaving home, retirement, and acquiring more stuff. We were never encouraged to just BE and Be with our be-ness. Therefore a great deal of our society thinks happiness is always beyond the next bend. For example- “When I______________(fill in the blank), I will be happy.
Being a victim of this frame of mind, I started my sheltering in place journey with a “Super- think of all the things I can get DONE!- writing art, gardening, fitness, etc.”. Then I started to go crazy with all these added expectations.
I concluded that productivity is overrated. You get something accomplished and then 3 more things go in the queue. The carrot remains out of reach. What I needed to do was slow down and find a nice cave to curl up in with no paper to write a to do list on. Savoring the moment is where it’s at. It’s likely we won’t get this type of “opportunity” again.
Now I have granted myself a time to go “fallow.” I haven’t gone off the rails, nor am I enlightened, but I have lowered my expectations. Oddly, this takes a bit of mindfulness. Old habits die hard, but overall, I am happier and enjoying the ride alot more…
and it is such a relief!
Small Acts of Rebellion
Not flossing before bed
Saying no to the news
Watching a movie first thing in the morning
Staring off into space
Making bad art
Writing bad poetry
Using BAD two times in a row
Refusing to give up
Alanna also blogs at One Sweet Earth
Doodle by the author