As I move through my days, I am constantly keeping a to-do list in my head. Sometimes it is even written down. I feel that it's a productive day if I get most or all of these things done. Being busy has come to be very respected in our society. When I see people and ask how they are doing, they often respond that they've been busy. I feel compelled to respond that I am busy as well. Then we discuss all of the things that we have done or need to do. Usually, one of us has proven that they are busier, and is then congratulated.
If, by chance, I've spent the day relaxing my mind and body, I would be very reluctant to tell someone about this, as I may then feel lazy or irresponsible, or like I'm not pulling my weight in the world. This is my own projection, not necessarily brought on by the people with whom I interact.
Why do I feel this way, and why does it bother me to have these conversations over and over? I've realized that I routinely fall into the game of glorifying busyness. So, I have begun to shift my focus.
Lately my focus has been more on being, rather than doing. Sadly, this doesn't make all the the things to do go away. It does help me to remember why I am here. I believe that we don't actually have to do anything in particular in this life. I think that we are here to experience life, in order to come closer to our Source. In sadness, we are able to fully experience joy. In poverty, we become able to fully experience wealth. In discomfort, we learn to truly feel comfortable as we are. In all of this Being, we are fulfilling our purpose here.
This is hard for me to fully grasp and even harder to really live, but I've come to believe that my financial life will be stable and my needs will be met if I am staying present and true to my nature. I get easily overwhelmed by too much busyness. I tend to under schedule, knowing that things will come up and I'll have plenty to do each day. I leave unfilled gaps in my day and I don't let people know that I am available at that time. This is just my nature. Others thrive on keeping a packed schedule and seem to stay well balanced within that schedule. However, I believe that even this type of person also needs to slow down and just be on a regular basis, to stay connected to Being.
One practice that helps me to stay connected to Being is to start my day with my yoga practice, along with other rituals that Ayurveda has brought into my life (much more on that later). I cannot stress enough how helpful my yoga practice has been through all of the years of change. Yoga practice, including meditation (even if brief) is the best way by for me to begin my day, even though it means waking up long before my kids awaken. Truthfully, it doesn't happen every day. But on the days that it does, there is a marked difference in my connection with Being.
I feel like I should also mention that my morning yoga routine is sometimes as short as 30 minutes but usually 45 minutes. It doesn't take an hour and a half to benefit.
On the days that I am able to care for my health and soul first, it becomes natural to draw away from busyness and move into presence and Being as the day moves on. If I find myself with an empty time slot it is often a good chance to get projects done around my house and there is nothing wrong with that. But, sometimes I feel my soul calling me just to be. As I age, I'm getting better at recognizing that urge of the soul.
I'll stare at a tree for a bit or take a walk, with no agenda. I will water my flowers and notice their beauty as I do. If it's cold outside, I go outside anyway. The fresh air and connection with nature is the quickest way to let go and connect. If it's extremely cold outside, I light a candle and look out the window, feeling grateful to have a warm home.
Of course, these things can be called Meditation. Or we can call it Being. It re-centers my mind and body and spirit like nothing else.