Have you had your fill of holidays yet? I have just had two gloriously quiet days without travel or parties, and I begin to feel like my normal, calm self for the first time.
Here's how it went for me between Dec 20 and 27: tired and stressed after a week of Christmas parties, travelling to join 20 family members, cooking, shopping and going to bed past midnight with liberal amounts of imbibing, I lay in my darkened room two days ago and tried to summon the energy to envision my goals for 2014. I was thinking about the book I need to promote, classes to prepare, lectures and retreats to imagine, but nothing new or creative was coming to me. It felt like I had lost my mojo.
I always forget in times like these that the simplest solution is close at hand – what restores me is usually not anywhere far away, but right here. So I lit a candle, put on some soothing music, drew a hot bath, and afterwards got out my drawing pad and coloured crayons. Voila! The mood switched from lost mojo to finding jomo. (I just learned this little acronym for Joy of Missing Out.) You too can find the joy of withdrawing from too-much activity (and not feeling like you're missing out) especially if it’s still a holiday for you, by exploring the power of doing nothing.
Doing nothing in my case, usually means doing something simple like stretching into a yoga pose, listening to Zen flute music, getting out my journal to write; in other words, it’s not nothing, but it’s no thing that serves any other purpose than just fine tuning my soul. It isn’t productive in the normal sense of serving others or getting ‘things’ on my list done. So it feels like I’m doing nothing.
Really what I am accomplishing is very valuable and healing. I am resetting my inner compass. I am setting my inner clock to my body’s rhythm, my need for quiet and peace after a hectic week. I purposefully create some sacred space to muse in, to reconnect with my heart, which has become unplugged due to over activity and the extreme sport of mothering (meaning, Overarching Boss of Everything just took over). This usually happens when my grown kids arrive back home for the holidays, or when the house is full of family and friends and I'm busy preparing meals. I begin to see a pattern….
I am not indispensable, however, and so I told my husband (who was at home that day too), that the bedroom was becoming my retreat space and out of bounds for a few hours. He took the hint and ran himself a hot bath. Ah, my good intentions are rubbing off on him too. I also knew my 20-somethings could fend for themselves in the kitchen, and no one would starve for one day.
Speaking of good intentions, part of my conundrum and lost mojo was thinking that since it’s the new year I should be stating some goals, envisioning a plan, putting action items on my year’s to do list. But this felt too heavy to even contemplate. I was tired, burned-out from all that ‘doing’, and my brain felt too sore to envision anything beyond a nap.
So I did take a long nap just before dusk, and put off the envisioning to another day. Later, while on Facebook, I discovered a quote that reaffirmed the power of listening in gently to where life leads us (plus I threw my own SoulCollage card reading, and the message was, Surrender to a Higher power, trust and let go….so I decided to follow that sage advice).
"It's far more creative to work with the idea of mindfulness rather than the idea of will. Too often people try to change their lives by using the will as a kind of hammer to beat their life into proper shape. The intellect identifies the goal of the program, and the will accordingly forces the life into that shape. This way of approaching the sacredness of one's own presence is externalist and violent. It brings you falsely outside yourself, and you can spend years lost in the wilderness of your own mechanical, spiritual programs. You can perish in a famine of
your own making.
If you work with a different rhythm you will come easily and naturally home to yourself. The soul knows the geography of your destiny. Your soul alone has the map of your future, therefore you can trust this indirect, oblique side of yourself. If you do, it will take you where you need to go, but more important it will teach you a kindness of rhythm in your journey." by John O'Donohue, Anam Cara
SoulCollage card: Mercy and Compassion
Let yourself enter 2014 gently, without forcing your life into some preconceived shape. Allow your soul to guide you with its inner GPS. In other words, listen in to your wise inner self.
Happy End of 2013, and beginning of 2014, Year of the Compassionate Horse. May it bring kindness and contentment to you.