Yesterday, as I have many times before in my life, I had a moment of Whelm.
The word whelm comes from middle English and means to submerge completely.
It’s a wonderfully watery oceanic word, certainly from people who lived on and near the sea.
I was washed with a wave of overwhelm for a moment, when someone who is already registered wrote to ask about lodging for the fall retreat. I suddenly realized it’s only two months away. October 17-21.
I should stop doing what I’m doing today, and focus on details for the retreat. Right?
I’ve shared often on having many things to do. Getting things done. Happiness being sure to happen when x happens or y is complete.
I really should cancel everything I’ve got going today and focus on a, b, c. No vacations. No rest. No free-time.
Stay on track.
And by the way….no time for The Work itself.
I had two hours scheduled with a good friend who’s a facilitator. There’s no time for The Work, just sitting and mulling over thoughts and seeing if they’re true or not!?!
Who has the time?
What was I thinking??!
Not only is there fall retreat, but there’s Year of Inquiry which starts in (yikes) a month! Orientation Sessions are Sept 4 and Sept 6th.
I really, really, really can’t do The Work right now!
(Did you hear the coiled boing spring noise go off? Kinda like Homer Simpson’s “DOH!” or The Gong Show “GONNNNGGG!”)
Because. Is it true The Work is a luxurious exercise? Is it really more important to “work” on my business or putting together schedules and announcements and web page updates?
Am I sure I don’t have the time to pause today, now, and question my thinking about what’s required for a happy day?
Like sleep, I have found quiet contemplation to be necessary for inner peace.
Isn’t this exactly why I created Year of Inquiry in the first place—for people gather together to question their thinking and reflect upon life and inquiry, including me? For doing The Work, and being with others telling the truth, no matter what my objections?
Isn’t the resistance, the thought that there isn’t enough time, one of the concepts I talk about in the Ten Barriers To Deepening The Work webinar (which is next week)?
So yesterday, in the middle of what I could call a huge list of Things To Do….I stopped for two hours and did The Work with another human being. I meditated.
As I was in that inquiry session, I suddenly remembered a wonderful old priest at the church I grew up in, when I met with him one-to-one as a very young adult filled with questions and some agony about God, religion, spirituality, love, life.
He said he himself always remembered something a kind priest had told him: When you have very little time, pray longer.
In other words, if you pray or meditate five or thirty minutes every morning, and it’s extra special busy this day and you feel stressed….double it. Meditate for an ten minutes, or an hour, instead.
Right in the middle of having a bazillion things to do, I went to my garage and sat quietly, talking to a companion in The Work, questioning just one thought each and sharing in the journey.
Now, I’m so much less concerned after questioning my beliefs about time, accomplishment, quitting, finishing everything, doing “stuff”.
I’m above water.
I’m still noticing the list, and yet trust that what gets finished will, and what doesn’t won’t.
What I see is when I’m believing thoughts about what needs to be accomplished, finished, or ready….when it is not “ready” yet….then I suffer.
When I don’t believe these thoughts, it’s way more fun.
Who would you be without the belief that anything NEEDS to get done today? Who would you be without the belief you’ll be better off if it’s marked “done”? Who would you be without the thought that resting is not an option, or relaxing, in whatever you’re doing today?
Who would I be without the thought I need to offer, format, create, plan anything at all, if it’s not a joy?
Turning the thought around: I DO have time for The Work. I have time for contemplation of my own life and my mind, and connecting with others. I have time for realization.
I don’t have time for my thinking a bazillion things “need” to get done. I don’t have time to argue with unfinished plans, or to argue with having a temporary or limited amount of time in a day, or a life.
As a way of considering our barriers to doing The Work, like “I don’t have enough time” and deepening our practice, which is really what Year of Inquiry is all about, I’m offering my online retreat for free: Ten Barriers to The Work and How To Dissolve Them. It’s two whole hours. At the end, I answer questions about Year of Inquiry. To save your seat, sign up HERE.
And as far as I’m concerned…no one needs to do anything. Not even one single one of these programs or offerings. It’s only if you’re drawn, and you love the idea of making and sharing time together to sit quietly and reflect on peace.
All I know is, if today was my last day on planet earth, I’d want most of to be peaceful within, not anxious and racing around worried about the things that aren’t done.
If I had a stressful thought, I’d want to pause and ask “is it really true?”
P.S. All About Year of Inquiry, a short info webinar, will be offered three times. Save this email and click on the date to be taken directly to the session at the time it begins. I’ll give a quick overview of YOI for those interested in signing up, and anyone can ask anything!