On being overwhelmed by free-time

Yep.  I’m on a break from school.  So that means I have no homework to do today.  I have a day off.  No work.  No homework.  Just a day to do what I want.  Oh my God, that is so much pressure!!!

I have this big, long list of things I would do, if I ever had free time.  For example – paint, draw, write, learn to play the ukulele, go to a group exercise class, re-read ALL the things I have already read because I would understand them so much better now, finish one (or many) of the on-line classes I purchased, watch one of the youtube videos open in one of my 10 browser tabs, book a Disney trip for our anniversary, etc.  But, when I get a free day like this, I get a bit overwhelmed by all the options, and it’s also difficult to figure out what I “FEEL” like doing.

So what do I usually end up doing?  Looking at Facebook, shopping on Amazon, going out for lunch, having a drink, watching TV.  Well, at least that is pretty much what I did Saturday and Sunday.  But today.  Today will be different.  Today I meditated. I went for a walk and listened to Katy Bowman.  I am making a slow-roasted garlic pork roast.  And I’m writing a blog post.  It’s a whole new Hlo today.  It’s a breezy day – I can feel a hint of autumn in the air, even down here in Florida.  I think it’s blowing in a good change.

I really do feel a change occurring lately, despite my weekend of semi-non-productiveness.  I have been meditating every day since mid-June.  While I often feel as if I am not really FOCUSED on my primordial sound mantra while I am meditating, as my teacher promised, I think that the daily practice works magic, even if I get lost in thought while doing the practice.

My teacher told me that “every meditation is perfect,” which has really helped me be OK with the rampaging monkey mind that I experience every day while trying to focus on my mantra.  I will realize that I am miles away from my mantra and pull myself back to it, but instead of getting super annoyed and frustrated, I tell myself, “This is perfect” and feel gratitude that I recognized that my mind took off and that I could bring it back to what I WANT to focus on.

Between the meditation and reading “Everything is here to help you” by Matthew Kahn, my perspective on life outside of meditation has changed as well.  While I still feel annoyance, anger, frustration when things don’t go the way that is convenient and comfortable to me, these entrees of emotions are experienced with a  complementary side of observation.  I can watch the emotion bubble up and pair it with the thought, “Everything is perfect.  Everything happens the way it’s supposed to happen.  This is all happening because it’s supposed to happen. What is this teaching me?”  Sometimes I ignore the voice (and get annoyed with it!! ha!!!) and let myself revel in the energy of the emotion, and sometimes I can detach a bit and watch and choose.

This is the path I am traveling down right now.  It’s a practice and a process.  Hopefully as I keep putting energy into approaching life this way, I will get better at it and will have more clarity, confidence, and focus and will be less distracted by the easy path of numbing and procrastinating.


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