I feel a little like I’m scaling a mountain. There is a reward to this challenge to be present and in blissful service, right? There had better be something REALLY good at the end of this. I’m expecting enlightenment and eternal bliss.
I’m joking, kind of. Today was the most challenging day yet. It was a happy day, but I found it so difficult to stay present. While I was in yoga class I was thinking of how I want to further my yoga training and become more flexible. While in the shower I was planning a deep cleaning of the house. Driving with my youngest son, I thought of the things that I will have to buy when he starts school NEXT YEAR. A walk with my daughter is usually a very easy place for me to stay preset, but I found myself imagining getting a puppy in a few years. UGH... Today was an endless exercise of returning back to the present moment over and over.
I’m not sure if it’s that I’m noticing the thoughts more, or if I’m actually having more thoughts. It’s hard to tell. All day I kept thinking that there must be an easier way. While I was driving back from the gym, I had an understanding of what the problem is. It’s the feeling of time pressure. Rushing and feeling even the slightest pressure of time guarantees that I am taken out of the present. I NEED TO SLOW DOWN. Tomorrow I will try to slow down and to do one thing at a time - deliberately, intentionally, mindfully.
I was on my phone a little bit, although I really wasn’t on it for social media. I kept returning to my phone again and again to look at my to-do list. It was constant and when I wasn’t looking at it I felt that I was missing something important. I felt pressured to get things done. Hmmm... can I live without a to-do list...?
Interestingly, I had a conversation this morning with my fiancé about my tendency to fill my day with busyness. Some of what I do seems important, and I suppose even these things are not truly important at all. Air is important, and breathing is one of my favorite things to do. Meditation, spending time with loved ones, exercise and serving. All of those things ARE actually service. I meditate and exercise to fill myself up, and that makes it easier to be kind.
Even knowing that most of what I do is fluff, the thought of giving up my to-do list is a still really scary. I’ve had a to-do list for many, MANY years. I am a list person. I like lists, a lot. They comfort me. Mmmm.. that‘s totally not true, actually. Having a to-do list stresses me out and puts needless pressure on me. I have a feeling of accomplishment for about a second when I check everything off, but mostly I just feel like I’m clinging to it. What would it be like to have no to do list? Whoa..
I haven’t listened to more podcasts, books, audiobooks, YouTube videos, and I haven’t read any books. I’m allowing myself 22 minutes of studying a program about surrender. That’s a huge leap from 10 hours of constant “education” (literally).
I am feeling pulled to ditch the to-do list, and it’s challenging my feeling of trust in life. I don’t know what will happen without a to-do list, and I kind of feel like the sun will explode and all hell will break loose. The thought of getting rid of my to-do list makes me feel so much resistance that I know for sure I have to drop it. Oh my God, this feels like the biggest risk I’ve taken since getting married. Hopefully this isn’t as disastrous.
As far as spiritual practices, I spent the morning blessing my body, the day, and my life and feeling grateful for everything for about fifteen minutes. I meditated for two hours, and once again I went incredibly deep. I did tai chi for the first time and I loved the feeling of moving through the air as if I were moving through water, it was so graceful. I’m about to do some breathing exercises.
I’m considering that, maybe this commitment is about more than Ananda presence (I don’t even know if that’s a real thing). Maybe it’s about removing all of the things that I’m resistant to, all of the things that I feel that I need (beyond true survival needs) and literally having no goals and no outcomes to get to. I do not even know where to begin with that.
So, today I have added to the list of guidelines, to move toward what I resist, let go of the things that I feel that I need, and let go of all goals. Oh my fucking God - I might die. Not really. I might become enlightened though. See you on the other side! Maybe 🤔
The “rules” or guidelines for a year of Ananda (See Ananda definition here)
* I will be as present as possible, grateful and loving what arises. I will focus on serving whatever is in front of me joyfully.
* No social media scrolling! I will only post my content and answer comments and questions that are on my content.
* No intake of external information. No more podcasts, books, audiobooks, YouTube videos or information of any kind. 😳 I will turn inwards for answers, guidance and information.
* I will trust life COMPLETELY. No more struggle, striving, controlling, wanting or trying to make something happen. I will trust and know that whatever is in my life is perfect, and I don’t need to fix or change it.
* I will engage in as many spiritual practices as possible every day.
* I will focus on GIVING and SERVING.