I live on Kaua’i, a veritable Paradise. Surrounded and stimulated by scents, sounds, and views which defy description. It is so far beyond what we can grasp, or absorb, let alone define.
And yet we do. Reduce the Infinite to tiny slices of words, then try to fit it inside the limits of our thinking. As a writer, the words flow through me in a river, and I attempt to catch them with a sieve, though most escape.
This morning, I, who love to make lists, schedule and organize, had a remarkable break though. While I oscillate between being highly structured and organized, I also have periods of total disorder, multitasking and diving into multiple projects. I usually love to resist and resent my lists and schedules.
As a health care provider, I mastered information and order, but I never loved the timing. I loved my patients but I couldn’t fit them neatly into the 15 minute or 30 minute boxes my schedule allowed. Their problems were complex, and I listened when they spoke.
They would get the time, and I would take the hit, usually in the form of stress. My staff were frustrated. I grew to dread schedules. I loved my time, “off the clock.”
My pattern of order and chaos owes credit to a rigorous upbringing imprinted on a child who started school a year too early. Ever the hurried child, I resisted moving on before I was ready. Inwardly, I stifled the natural creativity of a child who wants to play and explore, and just run amok. I wanted to be GOOD.
Why did being Good feel so … Bad?
The breakthrough this morning was simply creating a new distinction for my relationship with my schedule. It required a shift my perception of the world. And in particular, after scheduling what seemed way too much for a Monday, I noticed a rich feeling of comfort and relief. A new feeling. As though the day had expanded to give me what I needed. It was so deeply satisfying that for the first time, ever, I experienced my schedule as a form of comfort, of security in my life.
On Kaua’I there is a different sense of time. It is perfect for me. A day is sunrise to sunset. A meal is when you run into friends or run out of energy. We have mango season, rainy season, avocado season, and gardenia season. Nature rules, and never runs out of time.
Each day the universe creates itself without your help. You don’t look the same or feel the same as yesterday, so why would you keep thinking the same thoughts or have the same feelings? Your body creates itself newly, trillions of cells at a time, so you can have the chance to play and experiment with your precious, unique life. With your thoughts. With your heart. A simple shift of attention and you are free.
Virginia Beck, NP, CTP, lives, writes, teaches, and counsels about peaceful, healthy living, from the Garden Island of Kaua'i. Wellness practices and skillful redesign of her clients lives, enable them to practice living in health and peace.
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