I want to do too much.
I feel like I want to do many different things at every moment and no matter what I pick, I am berating myself for not picking the other thing. No choice can make me happy because I am always NOT attending to something important. Sometimes I gossip to myself about myself and I am not nice.
Of course, this makes me uncomfortable in the present moment. I want to leave this place that is so critical of my choices.
I usually pick something productive yet easy, like doing the dishes, and then I tell myself that when this little chore is done, we will be in better shape to do all the other stuff. I might listen to a podcast so I can’t hear the negativity.
When I am done with that task, I am surprised to find I still feel freaked out about how much stuff needs to get done.
I am telling myself a lie over and over. The lie is this: You will be happy when all the things are done. Do you know what it’s called when all the things are done?
I am trying to stop doing this. I am trying to stop trying. I am experimenting with just being in the activity rather than accomplishing the activity. It’s really hard. That gossipy part of myself is always blathering on and distracting us. She is constantly narrating everything, categorizing everything, ranking everything and comparing everything. It’s so hard to shut her up. But if I succeed without the aid of someone else talking, there is a sense of relief.
A sense of just enough.
Walking in the woods is a treasure hunt and private thoughts are the treasure. They are nothing like the manic cacophony produced from multitasking nor the annoying hectoring of the inner critic nor the unconscious pop culture regurgitation that feeds monkey mind. They don’t happen until the entire mental frequency calms down into soft rolling waves of just being. The best way I know to get to this mental landscape is to go on a hike with the dogs.
Private thoughts are conversations with yourself. They are full of secrets and the wonderful thing is that they stay that way. Something all your own, only for you. It’s lovely to be seen and recognized in this world, but don’t skimp on being the first audience for this recognition. See yourself. Be your own best friend. Be your most trusted ally. It’s a great deal because you will be together all the way, the only one who for sure will be with you in the end.
I find that my private thoughts generally run in several wide terrains: gratitude towards the people in my life, new creative ideas and pleasure in observation.
How wonderful it is to have all the senses operating. I can smell and see and feel and hear the wind. My feet work. I can climb. I can see my beautiful dogs scampering ahead, no longer held back from their desires and curiosities by a leash, they can do as they please. So much pleasure for me in giving pleasure to them.
That brings me to gratitude. I am so grateful to all the people who love me and support me. I have time to think of them, to appreciate them, to miss them. Holding them and honoring them in my private thoughts brings us closer. I have time to feel their distinction and value. I want to be a better person for them. My thoughts of love repair the damage of the past week. Negativity seems stupid. Such a relief to unburden myself from my petty ruminations.
Slowly observation and gratitude give way to new ideas. I think about what I am working on and working towards. In this relaxed state I don’t feel overwhelmed, I feel excited. I don’t feel like I am creating tasks, I feel like I am creating fun.
It may not stay this way when I get back home. I know from experience it will not. These private thoughts are like watching a hummingbird drink nectar from a flower only inches way. It’s so beautiful I hold my breath and then, off it flies, out of sight. But at least the sense memory is there. I didn’t imagine it.