I really am a worker-bee. The longer I live inside my own experience, the older I get, the more I see how driven I am by external tasks.
I’m surely not saying that I don’t get credit for what I do. Actually, more and more, I receive acknowledgement and credit for my actions. But/and, despite that acknowledgement, I continue to do more; I continue to look to tasks outside myself into which I can lend my energy.
Guess what? There are always next things to do. The list of cosmic to do’s is eternal and never-ending.
This month my work schedule has radically slowed. I have no teaching, nowhere really “to go”. This blessed freedom and wild slowdown has opened up a Pandora’s Box of self-awareness.
Who am I if I am not teaching?
How can I live a “beneficial” life if I am alone and not doing?
Where can I mindfully lend my energy in house-tasks, to move us into spring?
What if I can no longer write; what if I have nothing to say?
How can I take actions, while surrendering into that place of non-doing, in the midst of the task at hand?
After a week of wild erranding throughout the width and breath of Berkshire County, I made a pledge to “stay home” yesterday. I did stay home, not counting car-pooling the dog to and fro to doggie day care (he does not yet have his driver’s license).
I “stayed home”.
I wandered about.
And then I noticed: the oven. Oh, the oven. When was the last time anyone cleaned that poor oven? How many ovens have I cleaned, in my sixty-five years on earth? Zero? Two? Unclear.
So I cleaned the oven. As an experiment in non-doing, an inquiry in being centered and quiet in the midst of the action (spray, wipe off, reach into those unreachable places), I breathed and relaxed. It was—okay. It was—several hours. And the over got cleaned.
And I practiced. Wholly imperfectly. But I practiced.
Maybe it’s okay to not have a lot of words.
Maybe it’s okay to not write.
Maybe it’s age appropriate to be tired.
Maybe it’s developmentally timely to struggle into pausing.
Maybe the silence is a deeper doorway home.
I really don’t know.
I am just practicing.