Things have been humming along for me. Coaching six to ten clients a week. Publishing some, although not as much as I’d like. Meditating, although more would be beneficial. Assistants helping me catch up on office work. New technology acquired to support greater efficiency. Eating healthy, working out six days a week, listening to good books via audible.com on my Blackberry. Utilizing Nook and Kindle to help me process and manage content. An amazing online library system via www.librarything.com to organize all of my favorite inspirational resources for clients. Less clutter in the office. Making art becoming a staple of my diet again. Sounds lovely, yes?
So how could all of that good ever result in me weeping with hands pressed over my heart this morning?
Here’s my handle on the chain of events. I was cranking along, getting more organized and productive. Not realizing I was at risk for becoming seduced again by the Gremlin of “Productivity=Purpose.” Not even noticing her whispering and hissing in my ear, “See, now you’re remembering how this works. Work, work, work, work, and more work. Look at how much more you accomplish when you take yourself more seriously. Using all those organizational tools again. Schedules, lists, software, how-to-books. You used to raise multi-tasking to an art form. For heaven’s sake, you taught others how to be more productive. I knew you couldn’t have forgotten everything I taught you. All you needed was a little subtle prodding from me. You know how much better it feels to be you when you’re doing and accomplishing more.”
No, I had no idea she’d been playing that sinister tape in my head again. I knew that my work could benefit from a little more intention and organization. Setting priorities, making some lists, filing more regularly, scheduling more tightly. There is nothing wrong with being organized or productive. The problem arises when we conclude our value is in any way related to our performance. That’s when things get wacky.
So I sat there, sobbing and a bit clueless as to why. I’d been up for hours and had nothing but a cup of decaf cappuccino. Knew I needed to back away from the laptop, put some distance between me and my office, go upstairs and eat so my head and heart actually had some healthy fuel to function optimally. Maybe add some sitting meditation to center myself and attain clarity. So upstairs to break the fast I went, beginning on the spot meditation by chanting my personal version of the Shambhala Buddhist Four Limitless Ones Affirmations which are a way of life. At least I thought they were a way of life, until I couldn’t for the life of me remember one of the four.
I remembered the peace one because peace was so clearly eluding me at that moment. And I had the compassion one, steeped in misery of my own making as I was. And I remembered the joy one, probably because I was experiencing none. What the heck was the fourth one??? I taxed my brain. Tried writing them down to trigger muscle memory. No dice. It had become the Three, not Four, Limitless Affirmations. I had lost my WAY.
I knew in my HEART it had to be significant that I couldn’t remember the fourth. That maybe the root of my misery was that I quite literally couldn’t remember and wasn’t living the fourth. I couldn’t stand it any longer. Aborting breakfast prep, I returned to my office for the sole purpose of looking up the fourth affirmation on my laptop (no other work I swear). Here’s what I found:
- LOVE: We delight in our purpose – always discovering and living our greatest potential.
- COMPASSION: Misery holds no power over us – we neither foster nor lose ourselves in it.
- JOY: We rejoice in all things.
- PEACE: We abide in peaceful balance – at one and in harmony with all – free from addiction, aggression and indifference.
Imagine my astonishment – the missing ingredient was love. LOVE. And it’s not fourth, it’s first. How could I have forgotten about love? I’m the Love and Curiosity chick. How had I forgotten about LOVE and how had it led to me weeping at the laptop? Simple. Driven by my old task mistress the Gremlin of Productivity=Purpose (aka, Cruella), in the process of becoming more organized and productive, I started to forget that the only reason to do so was to further my ability to ALWAYS DELIGHT IN MY PURPOSE:
I approach life with Love, Respect, Curiosity and Compassion –every being, encounter and experience–revealing and advancing the Highest Good. My Gratitude for Universal Abundance anchors each moment in generous, effortless, joy-filled Flow.
Always delighting in my purpose by discovering and living my greatest potential – LOVE. Not fussing and making myself crazy about having to be PERFECT at it RIGHT NOW. Not going nuts trying to figure out how I can read 8,000 self-improvement books this week to embody my purpose perfectly ’cause clearly I’M NOT ENOUGH as I am.
OH DEBORAH, LISTEN TO YOURSELF! LOOK AT LITTLE BEE. YOU’RE SCARING HER TO DEATH BY PUSHING HER WAY TOO HARD. LOOK AT HER, YOU’VE MADE HER CRY AND HOLD HER HANDS OVER HER HEART TO PROTECT HERSELF FROM WHAT YOU’RE DOING TO HER. SHE’S AFRAID SHE HAS NO WORTH TO YOU AGAIN BECAUSE SHE’S NOT PERFECT AND CAN’T DO IT ALL. DOESN’T WANT TO DO IT ALL. SHE’S WORKED HARD ALL WEEK. SHE HAD HER HEART SET ON PLAYING SOME TODAY. FOR LOVE’S SAKE, STOP THIS INSANITY!
Just like that, remembering that love is my purpose, my greatest potential, I found the compassion, joy and peace I had misplaced. Remembering that when I approach everyone – especially myself – every encounter and every experience with Love, Respect, Curiosity and Compassion, I always have deep peace, lasting joy and meaningful relationships.
Dear Ones, you are worthy. You ARE worthy. YOU ARE WORTHY. Just as you are. With your delightful blend of gifts and annoying little quirks. In all of time, You are the only You in the entire Universe. You are enough – perfect just as you are in this moment.
You are loved and loving. You are blessed and a blessing. Namaste.
© Copyright 2012 DJW Life Coach LLC. All rights reserved.
THANK YOU for bringing reality back to those of us who listen to ‘Cruella’ – just work a bit harder, etc. and THEN you can play ! HA!.. not easy to remember that we can play WHEN we want and not carry the gremlin of guilt AND still get work done!
Well, isn’t that most interesting…. Although you talked about this posting on Sunday, the picture of the little girl is very touching indeed, esp. since she is a blond, as are you. Oftentimes I forget in the heat of the day what my purpose/mantra/affirmation for that day was in the morning. Then, in the evening I go back to my journal and take note of how I was or was not able to follow it, of course, Ms. perfectionist always ready with the whip in the back ground, darling trait that she is….
Andrew Paschetti said to me to always be gentle with yourself, esp. in meditation and things spiritual. Or, as you so aptly described it: a time to swim and a time to float.
I say my serenity prayer at least 2x/day – for me, the middle part is the hardest @ this point in my journey. Sometimes I think we have to imbue fresh meaning into our rituals so they do not become commonplace, or is that the prerogative of rituals? So much still to learn!!!!
So, do be gentle with yourself, dear friend.
First of all I would like to say excellent blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your thoughts prior to writing. I have had trouble clearing my mind in getting my ideas out. I do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or tips? Many thanks!
I’m so happy you found the blog encouraging. Thanks for investing the time to let me know. As for centering to write, I have a number of thoughts. I practice a form of written meditation each morning. I read from a variety of inspirational daily readings books and just write in my journal. The focus isn’t to produce writing for publishing in my blog or book but to connect deeply with what is most true for me in the moment. A happy byproduct is that I find inspiration often comes through me when I’m not focused on a mistaken belief that I have to create something publishable in that moment. Julia Cameron talks about this a lot. Thinking of yourself as the conduit not the creator. Her book “The Right to Write” is lots of thoughts on the power of this concept. I trust and follow my energy and so, whenever an idea comes to me, I try to honor it right away and not put it off for when I’ll be writing officially. My own energy is the best fuel to produce the most meaningful writing. And it can be 15 minutes (or 5) here and there. Not necessarily 3 hours at a time. I take it in Baby Steps, often telling myself I will only write the first sentence and then I can go do something else if nothing else comes. Or I’ll just edit one previously drafted sentence or paragraph. Invariably once the creative juices get flowing, they keep flowing. Hope that offers you some additional possibilities. With Love and Light, Deborah Jane Wells