Two thoughts bounced around in my head as I read my morning inspirations today.
First, productivity is defined as much by what I don’t do as by what I do.
Second, the truest moments are those when I share my heart with yours.
The first thought is quite an ah-ha. You see, I am a doer. I am a fixer. Putting pieces together to complete a picture–whether in work or community or in my home–is where I am most comfortable.
I like ties that are tied, links that are linked, packages that are neatly wrapped.
Loose ends and unfinished business make me uncomfortable.
Are you like me?
If so, God bless you! Do you also have a committee of squirrels constantly running in your head? Do the myriad of tasks on your to-do list leave you crazy and frazzled?
Me too! I swear that sometimes I think chaos should be my middle name! I’m definitely not present and not winning in those moments.
Until I stop. Just stop.
Does stopping when you’re used to barreling forward seem uncomfortable, even unnatural?
I remember as a kid, my grandpa would take me fishing. While I jumped and bounded all around him, he patiently mixed up his bait, fixed his hook and bobber, cast the line and set his pole up in the holder he’d pushed into the ground.
Then he’d lay back on the bank and prop his hat over one eye.
“What do we do now, Grandpa,” I would eagerly ask.
“Nothin’ else to do except wait on the fish,” he’d say.
Inactivity doesn’t feel purposeful to me. I heard a fellow 12-stepper say her sponsor’s words to her are, “Don’t just do something. Sit there.”
The big kid in me wants to respond, “And do what?”
For starters, Galen Pearl prescribes deep, belly breaths.
Those can be followed by silently expressing gratitude and letting your senses rest in right now.
After a couple hundred years of practice, I’m hoping to be amazed at how productive doing nothing is.
As for my second thought . . .
I run so fast sometimes, stay so focused on my task list and its damnable boxes to check, that I forget what’s most important as a member of the human race.
I forget that heart touches are what make the world go ’round.
When you’re deep into your goal of checking boxes on your list, is there a part of you that feels like something is missing?
Remember that elderly gentleman in the grocery check-out line? Could you have taken a moment to connect with him?
What about the bank teller when you stopped to deposit your paycheck?
How about the UPS driver, the cab driver or the bus driver? When was the last time you left your mobile device in your pocket, purse or briefcase and had a few minutes of inquiring conversation?
Do you ignore moments when sharing a few seconds of humanity could lighten not one, but two loads?
I know I do, or at least I used to. Now, as often as I can remember, I ask anyone I encounter how they are. In Texas, we ask, “You doin’ alright?”
Believe me, asking that question of harried NYC commuters or lunch counter workers is a blast!
Give it a try and let me know how it goes. I’ll bet that being present to someone else will make you feel like a winner!