Un-productive?

Right now, I cannot surmise where I might be roaming when this is “published.” I may be away for Ocktoberfest or reeling towards the States for a conference and some friends and family time.  Given all this “crazy” rambling,  I wanted to share with you some of my favorite things of the moment while I am away.

We say our lives are “Crazy” when our behaviors or activities or responsibilities haphazardly prevent a persistent rhytm, where movements can be counted upon, surprises are minimized, and expectations usually come to fruition. During a recent conference aimed to inspire “resiliency” I tuned out and began reading The Places that Scare You, by Pema Chodron. A quote that got to me was:

Abandon all hope of fruition

The words wiggled their fingers deep down and clutched my heart, the beating essential-ness of me and burrowed their, clanking with relief. In a very calculated, “responsible” coping skill, I estimated that at one time less than a year ago, 90% of my time is spent on things I consider “good potential” I scramble around ensuring I eat right, sleep right, exercise, send that package, read that article, offer to serve, plan the birthday gift, the trip. So on. And many of those “planning”  sessions provided many fruits. I reaped what I sowed.

But I also somewhat suffered…and needlessly. Because when something didn’t flourish despite my efforts, I thought

this is a failure. i am a failure. this isn’t as good as it SHOULD be

whether it was a meal, an interaction with another, a nonpublished dissertation. and that thought then hardens me, and closes me down to whatever patch of courage, or persistence, or even unexpected pleasure, MIGHT BE HERE, NOW.

This quote doesn’t mean DON’T plan. It merely inspires me to ALLOW myself to love what I love in the moment, and detatch from shoulds, ideals, or the sense that a perfection exists. Life is perfect in its imperfections.

And all my travels and experiences away from home “the crazed life” in these different cultures give me practice over and over at abandoning the mentality of “constant fruition,” the constant pressure I think many American, especially women, face to be “perfect.” Anyway…I am CRAZED about Pema Chodron right now.

How can I stop trying to be so productive? It’s note so easy, is it?

The little sprout that couldn't

But then again…maybe, like everything thing else, all it takes is a little patient practice. and to confess…well, my attempts at Task #23 grow a garden of some sort…have not measured up quite to my hopes…nothing edible THUS far. I’ve planted kohlrabi, squash (have blossoms but no green logs), beans, tomatoes….all failed, failed failed (although I do have a bulb that resembles kohlrabi…

Good thing I’ve got until March to be “fruitful!

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2 thoughts on “Un-productive?

  1. If I am not productive at all times I start bouncing off the walls looking for things to do. I must be reading or writing or studying, but never just watching TV because there is nothing else to do. I like to plan. I wish I had space to plan out a garden, but I think that task will wait until we are back in the States, which I am hoping is not too soon. I hope you enjoyed the States and getting stuff from TJ’s and Whole Foods.

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