I don't like schedules. They deny spontaneity and stifle flexibility if you stick to them, and if you don't, what’s the point of having one? The other problem I have with schedules is that it's rare that life, the universe in particular, rarely respects the orderly progression of tasks that you’ve so carefully laid out so that everything gets done in a timely manner. This can manifest in things not working out the way you intended, or other people asking things of you that mean adjustments be made, and if you’re anything like me you’ll put whatever it is that has been asked of you ahead of your schedule, ahead of the things you’ve planned (read want) to do after you’re done with the chores on your list of things that must be done.
Inevitably, those desired activities/tasks remain unfulfilled, initiating a stress response, leading into a spiral of negativity and resentment - unless you’re able to embrace true selflessness… a fully enlightened state of being that few of us, myself included, reach in our lifetime.
So what’s the solution? What are the answers or the steps to strive for at the beginning of our golden solar path? I believe it’s a matter of learning how and when to say, “no” or, “not right now,” and not being afraid to take care of self while adhering to the schedule you made; recognizing when you need a moment of and for you, and not feeling guilty for doing so.
Day before yesterday was the Winter Solstice. Mir and I were travelling on that day, back from New York City where we'd been visiting with good friends, and stopped in on the National Museum of the Marine Corp on the way back to visit the statue of Sergeant Reckless. We were surprised also to see a piece of the WTC that we'd seen transported to the museum along the New Jersey Turnpike a long while past now… and remembered the Firefighters on the bridges paying their respects as it passed. To lay my hand upon the concrete and steel was a profound moment… one right for the introspection the Solstice and winter season invokes into a life.
Perhaps that's where my coming journey begins… like a seed, buried in the dark earth, sheltered from the cold and the wet and the external pressures latent in the unfolding year, held together by the protective pressures of my own internal thoughts, like the arms of Mother, holding Her child, who has wandered.
If you can’t cross over alive,
How can you cross when you’re dead?
-Center yourself and meditate on a chasm of your own making. It might be a trench of stubbornness or pride that no one can cross, or the echo of your own pain that isolates you, or the vastness that builds when you are afraid to tell someone the truth of your heart, or the absence of belief that you deserve what waits on the other side.
-Lean into your chasm gently until the fear subsides.
(From April 17th)
By the time Sunday came around I was getting pretty neurotic. It was stupid really. My mind was latching onto all the things that could get in the way of a successful trip - I know it was all that I was driven by fear - by the scars that had been left from Thursday - but rationalising it didn't help.
First of all there was the scrapyard fire that closed the M1 motoray from junction 1 to junction 4... I obsessed about it, watching the travel report; refreshing it every hour or so, even though I knew - and had remarked to several people that asked - that the coach actually leaves the M1 well before that junction to head onto the M25.
Secondly, while looking at the news report of the closure, I spotted another traffic update that had another slowdown on the M1 this one caused by a coach that had broken down. Of course, that immediately started me off worrying, what if my coach broke down again?
What if my alarm didn't wake me up in time? What if the cab didn't come to pick me up and take me to the bus station in the morning? What if the coach was late? what if, what if what if...
In the end some part of me stepped in and said ENOUGH! It would be all right. I would get there and I had to stop obsessing. I closed down the browser, set my alarm and went to bed, only around a half hour later than I had intended. I had to be up early the next morning, so I needed the sleep.
In the end I got about 4 hours.