I think I got lost along the way….
It was recently pointed out to me that what I thought was slowing down was really just checking things off of my mental list.
- meditate everyday–check!
- exercise everyday–check!
- pause–yep, done that
- breathe–yep, that too.
Check, check, check!
I realize that once I have checked it off the list, I move on…not really realizing that I was really focusing on the result…not the “journey”.
It’s like another saying goes…quality versus quantity.
Mindfulness was supposed to be a huge part of that journey. Made me rethink whether I was practicing mindfulness correctly or not…or was I merely checking it off my mental list?
….but it shouldn’t matter, should it? My practice is what it is. I once complained to my first mindfulness teacher that I was trying to find the “perfect” posture when I meditate and I spent most of my time thinking about my posture instead of my breath.
He had told me that we are on a “Path of Non-Striving”…. at that moment, there is nothing to fix, nothing is broken…it is what it is. Of course, at that time, the “perfectionist” part of me was rebelling at the thought of not doing anything! However, I remember thinking…”Okay, I’ll play along…let’s see what happens.”
Somehow, over time, I realized that he was right. The critical part was to be in the “moment”. Noticing this moment, and the moment after that, and after that, IS the journey.
For instance, at this moment, as I am sitting in my kitchen and typing these words…I hear the clinking of the keys as I type, I notice smoothness of my computer keys and the breaks and the pauses when I stop. The birds are singing and sunshine is trying to break though the blinds. I can still smell a whiff of the cinnamon that I used last night when I baked Peter a paleo apple pie. At this moment, it is what it is.
There is nothing to change–I will not change my computer even though it struggles to keep up when I type too fast, or fix the blinds as the air conditioner has to work a little harder, or clean the kitchen. Nor will I focus on the result of finishing this post so I can move on to do other errands of the day….
At any rate, this is my “journey” as I finish writing on this sunny Wednesday morning….
As for that mental list, yeah, I still have it in my head, being updated each new day…sometimes is it short, sometimes it is long …but always there. However, this time, I know that noticing the “journey ” in getting the list done is just as important as getting to the finish line.
Maybe I was not lost after all…..just taking a little detour.
Now, I just have to make sure that I don’t end up putting “#5 Notice the Journey” on my mental list….