If you have retired or have ever taken a significant amount of time off from regular work, you may have experienced a weird phenomenon that I am presently living. Where does the time go? I think about periods of my life when I was really busy — a full-time student, with a full-time job, training for a century bike ride, volunteer fundraising for a non-profit, and being a wife and dog-mother. At the time I thought I was doing it all pretty well. I felt complete when I had “too much” on my plate. Yuck.
Now, I’m not working. I find it is a full-time job to take care of my body, mind and spirit. I have a lengthy morning ritual which includes coffee, journaling, reading from A Course in Miracles, writing in this blog, stretching or yoga. I can make that last 3 to 4 hours. Add to that an important partnership with a man I adore, friendships near and far, dog-sitting, managing probate to close out my father’s estate, travel, and various other odd jobs. When would I have time to work? Much less go back to school like I plan to do in a few months? Is my planning and squeezing in all that I feel I “must” do really taking care of my body, mind and spirit? Is it really any surprise that my body is responding with a bulging disc flare-up?
“Busy” was my art form in the past. I was a mad planner, multi-tasking away all the minutes of my day to what end? Before sleeping at night I could look back at what I had accomplished and feel productive? Woo hoo. Lucky me.
As I read from Lesson 135 in A Course in Miracles this morning I can see how “all [my] defenses have been aimed at not receiving what [I] will receive today.” The pressure I have chosen to put on myself to accomplish, get ‘er done, achieve, succeed, excel, be the best, win, look good … exhausts me this morning. Time is a meaningless concept our egos have created. I take a deep breath and let it go.
“The mind engaged in planning for itself is occupied in setting up control of future happenings. It does not think that it will be provided for, unless it makes provisions. Time becomes a future emphasis, to be controlled by learning and experience obtained from past events and previous beliefs. It overlooks the present, for it rests on the idea that the past has taught enough to let the mind direct its future course.”
“A healed mind is relieved of the belief that it must plan, although it cannot know the outcome which is best, the means by which it is achieved, nor how to recognize the problem that the plan is made to solve. It must misuse the body in its plans until it recognizes this is so. But when it has accepted this as true, then is it healed, and lets the body go.”
It’s only 8:25 am and look what I’ve accomplished – coffee, dog out, journaling, reading my lesson, blogging… The rest of the day, I will just be. I have one appointment. I will spend the day with my partner, in quiet appreciation of what is. I will let go of productivity without shirking responsibility. I will balance like the scales of my Virgo sign as I view today as a special day for learning.