Someone asked me last night about procrastination and I was wondering what exactly to write about and there it was! Two famous childhood sayings come to mind “Procrastination is the thief of time” (Edward Young, The Complaint: Night Thoughts) and “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today” (Lord Chesterfield letter to his son). Paradoxically, I also found in the dictionary: deliberateness, unhurriedness, deliberation, absence of haste or hurry.
All of the above reminded me of a question I was taught to ask myself by a very wise friend as opposed to berating myself: IN THE MEANTIME? When I ask myself this question, I very often discover that my perceived procrastination is an intuitive process which is working at a subconscious level. I am waiting for a key element to click into place that will pull all the threads together. A little bit like this post in the sense that if I hadn’t delayed posting something, I would not have been able to think about this so clearly until I was unexpectedly asked the question last night!
When I am truly procrastinating, I am now actually aware of it and it is usually about not having the enthusiasm for doing something or feeling ill equipped to do it, lack of trust or faith that I can achieve what I need to. Or, more importantly, I am dancing to someone else’s tune or their perception of what I should be doing! So what helps me disentangle all these possibilities?
Reflection is a helpful tool, looking back at past achievements and how I got there.
Talking it through with people I can trust.
Looking at my fears, remembering that fear can stand for False Evidence Appearing Real.
What are my true priorities right now?
Trust the process. If it is meant to be, it will happen or it might not be exactly how I envisaged. It might be different and very possibly better!
Meditation. If it is something I truly feel in my heart and would like to do, meditate on it regularly and ask for guidance.
Finally, don’t be my worst critic but ask myself the question “In the meantime?” Another question I ask myself is what is in the compost heap?
So in January I had great plans create a Meditation E-Course, make a film on Life & Death and start a new book! Has any of this happened, NO and it is now May. In the meantime, we had to suddenly move house which is in a lovely setting and I have magically acquired a cabin I can convert into a workshop/studio space as well as a meadow with a great pond I have permission to go to. I did several E-courses myself which have all produced a very rich compost heap, inspiration and meaningful connections with new and old friends. I was able to get some film material in the can and, as I mentioned before sometimes there is a key element missing. In this case, it was fairly recently, facing as a family and individually, issues around life and death. There has been time to reflect on what exactly is the aim of the Meditation E-course – it will happen. As far as the book is concerned I received literally just now some missing information I need through some good people I have connected with in closed groups on Facebook. I have also learned more and more about social media and how it can work for the good.
My priority has been to spend quality time with my family as I have two new little granddaughters who have had a bumpy entry into this world as well as four little boys. Whilst I was with my family in Tokyo my daily meditation was to connect with the beauty of nature and symbols in the city. In fact this reflects an aspect of the E-course and the form of meditation which will underpin the intent of the course. As well as family, I have dear friendships I need to nurture and maintain my practice as a life coach/psychotherapist. Taking stock of my actual life is another tool, what is a realistic expectation and what isn’t. So I will continue to give time time and see where it takes me…