I was in a conflicted state this morning. I have a snow day and didn't have to go to class, which is A+ awesome. But I didn't/don't want the whole day to go to waste but I also wanted to relax and enjoy this opportunity.
For me that conflict is the worst. It leads me to do nothing. I get overwhelmed and can't start anything. Then I feel guilty for not doing anything but instead of fully embracing relaxing I spend the whole day thinking about what I should be really doing and feeling anxious.
Then I took peter up on his offer to run me a bath and started reading Flow magazine by chance. I found an article that I just perfectly needed to hear. I am making the conscious decision to share it with you and then I will decide on my next move after this.
Taken from an interview with Mark Williams in Flow Issue 1.
WHY DO WE NEED MINDFULNESS SO BADLY THESE DAYS?
...We have created a society which is very hectic and where everything rushes by. We live in a culture of achievement and targets. The trouble with targets is that you can't really be happy when you have achieved them, you can only be relieved. If you're a a carpenter and you make beautiful furniture, you will enjoy your job. But it's different when someone shows up and says, 'I want you to make twenty of these and if you don't finish on time, you won't get paid.' Once you have completed your twentieth, you are no longer happy, you're just relieved.
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO BE QUIET AND CALM?
I think that being busy isn't much of a problem in itself. It only becomes a problem when the bustle becomes permanent. all types of technological advances have made life constantly busy. It's getting harder and harder to take a break, we just jump from one thing to the next.
The danger is that we don't 'feed' ourselves enough. When you are stressed, you have a tendency to give up stuff so you can focus on the tast at hand. But that doesn't reduce stress. So you give up other stuff as well. And then some more. But the things you are likely to give up first are exactly the things that feed you, that give you energy. So you stop singing, you stop playing your musical instrument, you don't invite people round for dinner anymore. And you hear yourself say I'll do it next month, or next year. But in fact you are postponing your life. We never realize that today is the future we promised ourselves last month. But it is. This is life, and it's happening right now. So if this is the future we promised ourselves, why not take a moment and realize that, to wake up?
ps after I got out of the bath I made it my misson to find his book Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World but it isn't available through the public library or chapters. Or even Amazon! But I did find this, and bought it.