The Act of Contemplation

Am I addicted to contemplation? Have I watched too many movies where the actor stares out into the abyss with a look of longing while music plays in the background? If I give up contemplation then what takes place? This I contemplate while staring at the waters of the Mississippi.

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I think I know the answers—yes, yes and action toward all those things I long for when I contemplate. And, if neither happen—the action or the contemplation—then anxiety and depression settles in.

The lesson: I need to be more active toward what I long for to restore balance and inner harmony.

The Soul Reporter

Are You Having An Affair With WANT?

Today’s Soul Report: WANT

Giving up want brings us home.

I had an affair with want. It didn’t last long, but long enough to do damage, and enough to learn A LOT. In truth, the affair may not be completely over. But, today I caught a glimpse, a rather extended glimpse of what happens when the affair is over.

Giving up want brings us home. 

This past week, I have been catching glimpses of my home in Minnesota- streets and neighborhoods, favorite places I’d visit, and homes I’d lived in. One in particular haunts me, and I’ve been feeling a pull to return to that home. I even wrote my old neighbor, and said, ‘Let me know when our house goes up for sale.’

I caught another glimpse today.  It was of Descanso Gardens. It is a beautiful sanctuary of nature near our home now. I followed the glimpse and spent the day.

I did not particularly WANT anything from my day spent there. I just simply caught a glimpse of it in my mind, and followed. Before heading home, I sat on a bench near a stream. I opened up my journal, and began writing.

I wrote of our home, the one that’s been haunting me. The one we left in pursuit of something MORE. I wrote: ‘I don’t care about that big life I wanted, that life I left my house for.’ In that moment, I felt that pursuit of MORE as over.

I had a similar feeling the other day. I knew all the things I’ve wanted would come and when they did, they would not matter. What matters is what I’ve gained inside, and now return to because of that journey. What matters are the relationships I still have and how much more they matter now. But, what I left my old life for doesn’t seem to matter anymore. In this moment, the wanting is over. It’s a relief to feel this. To give up want leads us home.

We live in a culture where it is perfectly acceptable to WANT more. To get more. To do more. I’m not dismissing more. But, I am questioning WANT. In Psalm 23: I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.

In Wizard of Oz– there’s no place like home, after an adventure. Home is where we come when we no longer want. Does it mean we no longer live? We give up desire? We don’t pursue dreams? We just lie down in green pastures and suck on a piece of grass all day? No. It does not.

It means we have more moments without the constant pull from WANT, and we hear more of our Soul. Our heart. We catch glimpses from inside, and we follow them. It is more of a nudge, and less of a grab and go, go, go. It feels softer, and even more real. Simply, we move from a deeper place.

As, I leave the gardens, I write: ‘WANT, I forgive you. I see what you have done. You took me from a home designed by the hopes of a new husband and wife, a new life. When I gave this up for “greener pastures” you had me, and you knew it. Look at what I gave up for you. And now I receive glimpses of where I was before, all the places I left, and I return to look. All the images in my mind are the same, and I have no more regret. This time, when I look you are no longer there taunting me. Pulling me. And without you all I see is home. All I feel is home. Home, and more home.’

To return now, I know this is all there would be. But, I’ve left that home. My children, one grown, the other growing. I don’t know where I will be, but I know home is the continual theme. I know home is the lesson. I know home will continue to expand and awaken within me, especially when WANT is not walking along the side of me.

Namaste,

Nikki

>Investigating Procrastination

>I know why I procrastinate. The reason came through this morning while folding laundry, and made me smile of how witty, and innovative I really am. It turns out I am not self-sabotaging and being irresponsible after all.

In July, a woman contacted me who runs a mom’s group of about 65 woman. She had read an article of mine in momtalk.com magazine and asked me to speak- in October. I thought, why sure I have plenty of time to prepare. I am off work the month of August and will put it together then. August came, and I spent it clearing out my home, and having a garage sale. Then September rolled in, and I started back to work. About mid-to-late September I began putting it together. This entire time it was this huge thing out there that I knew I had to do, but wasn’t. However, I will give myself credit I was taking notes.
This weekend, I have devoted to finishing the presentation, power point with guided meditations and all. Today I woke up an hour later than intended, did my usual morning routine, went downstairs to fold and put in another load of laundry- while thinking about the presentation. For the first time since I began this process I didn’t check in with my feeling space to see if I felt like working on it. When the investigation tried to happen, very quickly I thought- It doesn’t matter if I feel like it or not, it is going to get done. And then I understood.
Prior to this a-ha folding laundry moment, I had been curious why I put off working on something until right before it is due, hardly giving myself enough time to even finish, although I always seem to. This putting off has been a long standing habit of mine. I wondered, is it because I was born late, and just can’t help it? Or was there a way I could actually finish a project before it is due, and have that time to unwind, relax and prepare for the presentation of it? And if so, how? All I knew is I had a subtle desire not to be confined by this is what I do, so this is who I am, so this is what I do- wait until the last minute- mindset. Again, I wanted freedom, which allowed for this:
I “procrastinate” because the pressure, which builds after waiting so long provides a deep focus and resiliance I don’t have when I still think I have enough time. When I still think I have the luxury of- do I feel like working on this today? This focus and resilience is what I like to see in myself, and apparently don’t give myself permission to use it unless it is absolutely needed. What if I told focus and resilience, I need them more than I don’t (especially in light of all I want to do)? What if I made space for them to show up, and allowed for the pressure and anxiety to dissipate? How might I create, as Cicero suggested: The pursuit, of even the best things ought to be calm and tranquil.”
The good news is I have never procrastinated for so long, the project never gets done. If this is the case, I think there are deeper issues, which I will not take time to investigate now. I have a presentation due on Wednesday, and my focus and resilience is strong.
What are you putting off what you could choose to do today? What are you telling yourself about yourself putting it off? Are you calling yourself names, or are you being forgiving? Are you curious about this behavior, and do you want freedom from it?
Insight into ourself, and our mysterious, and sometimes annoying ways, always provides freedom, if we listen and take heed.

Namaste,
The Soul Reporter, who will report again after presenting her finished product.