Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Wordy Wednesday 1: Accomplish
It feels like there are so many things to do. I feel pulled in many, many directions. Which way? Do, do, do - which ‘thing’ do I do? Go, go, go - which way do I go? ACCOMPLISH!! I feel, actually physically feel the PRESSURE (Isn’t it strange that we can physically feel an emotional/mental state of mind? We are multi-dimensionally experiencing machines.) I sometimes can’t figure out what to do - yard work, art, housework? Well, if I choose the yard, the next question becomes this....what do I do in the yard? THE WEEDS? What a daunting task that is! (My secret weapon against weeds is a nice drink of white vinegar on a hot day - the acid kills them dead, but don’t get it on your plants, it’ll kill them too.) Then the excuses roll in...it’s too hot, I don’t have any vinegar, it’s not sunny, etc. etc. Okay, so say I go with art - man, that’s the worst one to pick, there are so so many ‘things’ to do there...paintings to paint, the la-boratory to work on as always, videos to do, stories to write, pictures to take, blah, blah, blah - a mountain of projects that seems to always be growing, twisting it’s way so it hangs directly over my head. Finally, because I’ve already shot down two ideas, a really mousey voice comes out and says, “uh, how about house-work????” That actually sounds better than the other two choices right now - dishes, here I come. So, while doing the mindless work of the house, my mind gets bored and begins a conversation with its-self.
There’s so many things to do outside...the sticker bushes are taking over...there’s stuff I still haven’t planted yet and it’s June! I gotta do that....yeah, gotta do that.....and then there’s those two hills that are covered in weeds. Yeah, but what about the house? I need to finish painting the trim while the weather is nice, then I gotta paint the bathrooms, the kitchen cabinets....UGH! (feeling overwhelmed) I’ll never get it all done!! But I need to get it all done....right now so the yard and house can be nice and I can feel okay!!
That’s when I catch myself, when I realize that I’m freaking out, almost unconsciously. I take a deep breath and begin to have a more rational conversation with me. My friend Dee’s wise words about gardening come in handy. “It’ll take you 10 years to get it how you want it.” We’ve lived here almost 4 years and in that time there’s lots of projects we’ve done, lots of things we’ve changed. We built a path around the side of the house to the woods outback, put in an herb garden (which as this point is more like a lemon balm garden - that stuff is gonna take over the world), added another small garden with a trellis built from wood we found in the woods, covered the weed infested area out front around the lilies with homemade mulch from our wood chipper, and made a fire pit.
There have also been other projects that didn’t work out or we just couldn’t keep up with (3.5 acres is a lot, especially when you lived in an apartment before that) - for example: the trails we raked in the woods which are now totally covered by leaves again. It just didn’t make sense to keep up, we were way too scared of getting ticks to actually walk back there, but don’t want to spray ourselves with poison just to walk in the woods (seems ironic - walk in woods, healthy, poison, unhealthy). So, chalk that up to live and learn. The hubby always says, “Oooohhh, why can’t we learn it, why do we have to live it?”
As easy as these projects may seem, they’re hard work, they take lots of elbow grease and time, always much more time than we think they will. So, my friend’s words comfort me and return me to Earth, make me remember that everything takes time. That’s how it is. That’s how it’s meant to be - seed, time, harvest. The time comes in between the beginning and the end. The time isn’t important, it’s what we fill it with. Patience is required for a pleasant journey here on Earth. There are infinite opportunities to grow our ability to wait. That is directly related to how we wait, in other words how we feel while we’re waiting and how we act while we’re waiting (but don’t expect to wait well every time, we’re all allowed to be crabby on occasion). I have found that we can get ourselves into a fair amount of trouble by not waiting to have some “thing”, do some “thing”, be some “thing” - financial trouble, physical trouble, mental/emotional trouble....and for what? ACCOMPLISHMENT. Because that really means something...to have, to do, to be. That means you’re Accomplished. That means you’re somebody.....right???
Let’s dig up it’s roots and have a look-see with my 1969 Webster’s dictionary....1969 was before they started modernizing everything.
The word accomplishment is from the Latin ad - which means to or towards combined with the Latin complere - which means to fill up, complete.
There it is! That’s the whole problem! Did you catch it?
We look to accomplishment to fill up. To fill up what? To fill up time, to fill up space (Is it true that our bodies are full of space? I heard that somewhere.). Accomplishments provide meaning where otherwise there wouldn’t be any. Without doing something that society would approve of we have no meaning. Really? No, not really...that’s just a lie someone told us and many of us keep spreading it around, like a rumor, in order to keep the mouse wheel turning (the hubby would probably blame the rich people for this - they need us little people to keep their lifestyle).
Here’s a good question to start with: Are we full or are we empty? What is your underlying belief about yourself?
I believe we arrive full and complete to our Earth experience, needing nothing, but perhaps believing we do (that’s part of how Life is experienced - see suggested reading *). So, how can I fill up something that is already full? The answer is that I can’t. I can try to trade some of what’s already in there for what I want to put in - perhaps that’s where many of us go wrong. We replace what we were innately born with, with what the world provides. It’s like trading veggies and fruits for empty, sugary calories. Most people are actively doing that right now. What would make us want to trade the glorious treasures we posses inside for the fanfare of this world? (mainly love because we were in some way damaged in our past and have not healed our wounds -also acceptance, approval, money, power, material items, security, etc.)
When I try to fill up something that is already full with more, a pressure is created. Pressure is associated with accomplishment in our society. A coincidence? I think not. I believe this is one way the pressure we feel inside is created - I see it as a mental/emotional/physical manifestation of a physical/psychological/spiritual occurrence. Feeling empty is mostly just a lie we tell ourselves (it can also be a sign that something is “wrong” in your life - it takes emotional work to determine which is true for you).
We are constantly trying to validate our existence by doing something or being something more or other than what/who we are. The measurements we use come from outside “things” (actual things, people, money, popularity, comments, followers, visitors, stats, etc. - blogland is full of these traps). We are trained to use these measurements from the beginning from others who are using these measurements. It is only when we see that they hold no merit whatsoever that we are able to begin to break away.
The only, singular, and true measure of us is our own belief that WE (period). ARE (period). WORTHY (period). That is all. Everything else is malarkey. Inside we know this (you can lie to your outer self, but never to your inner self - it knows all). Maybe this is another place from which that pressure we feel arises - our own uncomfortable’ness with what we are doing.
If I never made another piece of art, I would still be a valid human soul, not an artist anymore, but being an artist doesn’t mean anything more than that. Artist is something I choose to do with my life. If I sat on the couch until I died, would I still be a valid human soul? Absolutely. Perhaps I wouldn’t have used my opportunity at “the game of Life” to the best of my ability, but still valid and worthy. Making art doesn’t make me better, it helps me feel better than if I hadn’t done anything at all. I’m here, I might as well do something instead of nothing. There is a balance between accomplishing for the sake of using and sharing our gifts, for the experience in Life, for the enjoyment it brings us and accomplishing in order to gain some kind of imaginary or real Earthy status. We all have things we need to accomplish for varied reasons. The hubby would lose his Earthy status with me if he stopped taking the trash out, but he’d still be valid as a spiritual being. Becoming aware of our motives for doing something - inner reason versus outer reason - can help us win any battles we face in this arena.
I am constantly learning about this inner versus outer balance. It feels like a lesson I am constantly being exposed to and then promptly forgetting.
Does it really matter if I ever get rid of all those weeds? As far as who I am? No. In terms of my yard being beautiful to me? Yeah. So, that’s the difference. I deal with the weeds because I want to. (This is how you check your own motives - question Your Self.)
Having time to watch the birds or feel a warm breeze is important to me, so I need to figure nurturing things like into my day. I never want to live a life where it’s go, go, go constantly accomplishing tasks. That’s just not for me. No matter what I did in life, if I couldn’t watch a chipmunk eat for 2 minutes because I was too busy, I’d feel like I was missing out on something great.
I long to stop finding myself under the pressure of accomplishment. I long to stop putting myself there. I long to stop allowing the outside to change my mind or to alter my path, even if only momentarily. I long to know my path, to believe in my path, to know it is divinely ordered, and then to have the determination stick to it no matter what.
You are valid and worthy period regardless of what you accomplished or didn’t accomplish today. The sooner you believe that, the sooner you can stop fooling around with all this nonsense and be the awesome You that You are!
Seed, time, harvest - what are you filling the middle time with? Always do what you want to do with YOUR time. You can want to do the dishes, you know.
Set your own measurement for the word Accomplished. Define your life by your terms and by what’s important to you.
Ask yourself - why am I doing this? Make sure it’s YOU answering and not the pretend you.
Become aware of your mind chatter. Choose to have conscious, rational conversations with yourself instead of unconscious, unmonitored ranting sessions.
There will always be “wasted” or misspent time on projects that don’t work out. We can limit this by being thoughtful about our actions, but we cannot completely avoid it. My best advice - laugh at your own stupidity or at least laugh at your husband’s.
Joyce Meyer says, “Patience is a fruit of the spirit that is born only under trial.” Meaning: patience is only developed by having to wait.....so you might as well develop it because it is a fact that we will all wait (period).....sometimes for a really long time.
And by the way, I didn’t touch on this part of the word, but - Nothing, NOTHING (and no one) completes us! Please, PLEASE people, stop believing that other people or things complete you! We are works in process that are whole in every single moment of Now. How can something be in process and whole you ask? That is the wonder of Life - isn’t nothing still something?
* Conversations with God series by Neale Donald Walsch
SARK’s early works
I'd love to hear your thoughts - I'll leave the comment section open until my next post (Friday). I hope you make a really great day for yourself!