This is a comfortable period of time in my life. Chemo is over, I am not traveling too much, work is rewarding, our family is healthy, and we will all be together soon when our oldest son arrives home from college. It is nice to have periods like this in life. And, I find it helpful to acknowledge that change is inevitable. I don’t know what’s around the corner, and that’s okay.
Periods of comfort – ease, health, prosperity – can be incredibly clarifying. If we take some time to be quiet and still, comfort can tell us a lot about what we value. And yet, we can habitually cling to comfort by busying ourselves and trying to control the uncontrollable.
Periods of discomfort – disappointment, upset, loss – can be incredibly clarifying. If we take some time to be quiet and still, discomfort can tell us a lot about what we value. And yet, we can habitually avoid discomfort by busying ourselves and trying to control the uncontrollable.
I have been experimenting the last two weeks with being as purposeful as possible. Here is what I have been practicing:
• Making a schedule based on four priorities – well-being, relationships, financial stability, learning and growth.
• Sticking with the schedule even when I don’t feel like it.
• When there are unscheduled times, referring to my four priorities to see if there is a purposeful way to spend my time.
• If nothing purposeful comes to mind, then choosing to sit quietly and see what is going on.
• If there is an urge to do something where the only outcome would be comfort or the avoidance of discomfort, then choosing to sit quietly and see what is going on.
• If I become aware that I am mindlessly doing something where the only outcome is comfort or the avoidance of discomfort, then simply stopping, being quiet, and seeing what is going on.
It is hard to express how peaceful, enjoyable, and productive this practice has been. It is so different from what I have practiced at other times in my life.
Do you have a practice for being purposeful? I would love to hear it in the comments below.