I have lived much of my life around three things: lists, should's, and guilt. Yet I know life is happening in between these. I'm pretty disciplined, I get a lot done, and I've accomplished some cool things. BUT I rush around because I have that list in my head of what I should get done, and if I don't, I'll feel guilty. In all my busyness, I'm not in the flow of life. I miss a lot; often I don't notice things: nature, beauty, people.
I have no idea where this mentality came from, and it doesn't matter. What matters is that I know I need to change my thinking. Because even though I may accomplish a lot more than the average bear, I am missing out on life right now.
I was doing so well before the pandemic; I was more present and aware. Then so many stressful things happened one after another. Stress can get me off track. The irony is when I have a lot of stress that's exactly when I need to be more present, let go of should's and guilt and be gentle with myself - like I'm my own best friend. Pema Chodron says, "Gentleness is a sense of good heartedness toward ourselves."
Recently, my stress has wrapped around losing my dog who was my best friend. I injured myself and had surgery. I lost a loved one to Covid. I've been in a lot of pain, and I felt completely drained physically, emotionally, mentally, and financially. I need to take time to heal.
"Your calm mind is the ultimate weapon against challenges. So, relax." said Bryant McGill.
This is a perfect time for me to let go of my lists, should's, and guilt. This is a perfect time to notice the beauty all around me and in me. This is the perfect time to be gentle on myself and treat myself like I would a friend.
Even as I write this I hear a voice in my head saying, "What should I really be doing right now?" That's funny, and it's great I can notice that voice!
Lately, I'm replacing the lists, should's, and guilt with: slow, soft, and steady.
Slowly, I am softening to the steady flow of life - just being in the flow - I sit more and listen. It's good but takes practice.