Continued from yesterday.
I took my “time out” on the patio. It was the wonderful week when Indian Summer sets in, so it was pleasant, but in truth... with enough layers, you can be comfortable outside almost every day.
Here are my steps to finding out the cause of my restlessness and agitation:
ONE: No Tech Time – No TV, telephone, texts, email, internet, or video game. Most of the time no music, either. These are easiest to avoid outside.
As I sat there, I felt antsy. My mind is quite a worker and she kicks in when I get quiet. I think of the book I haven't yet opened, the pans sitting in the sink to wash, my Bible study - which I'm 3 days behind in, letting the dogs out, doing laundry. Then my mouth kicks in – I want a snack or a drink. I start holding my stomach in, engaging my bandhas. Yoga is a demanding wench, reminding me to multitask... and yes, I know this means I'm doing it wrong. (My understanding of yoga is less than rudimentary, but I feel taller and less soft after a practice.)
And then... I hear the breeze washing through the leaves and sounding like ocean waves. A chipmunk chides me because he's afraid to run past me to the bird feeder. An airplane buzzes out of my view, and I take and release a deep breath. I begin to feel refreshed. And, it always happens... if I wait 10 minutes past the moment when I think, “This isn't working! I need to get something done!”
Then I reach for my pen and books.
TWO: Thinking time. This is when I study with my pen and notebook nearby, and here's what I get from that.
- Topics for studying or writing.
- Edification – I'm able to make decisions on the basis of what is truly in line with my values and priorities. When I starve that part of me, or tap it out through the decisions and situations I face, I begin to react out of emotion or exhaustion. Rather than confidently resting in my decisions, I second guess them.
- Clarity. There are aspects that my week will need and this time brings those into perfect clarity. No, I don't plan my entire week in 15 minute blocks, as I used to, trying to get every little thing scheduled in. Instead, I clearly see the handful of activities that need to be part of my week, and in doing them, I find a perpetual source of energy. Completion of those activities provide more energy than they consume.
THREE: I let it set.
My friend Robyn said her husband gave her those 3 words when she'd get anxious about a situation. “Let it sit.” Soak it in, let it set, add another day of this private time, soak it in, let it set. I find clarity not only in handling the 5 big things I need to do this week, but in who I am and what's important to God in my life is clearly revealed to me. Perhaps not His plan for my next 5 years, but for today. For this week. For the next step. I have a tendency to "run with it," so this requires some discipline and, yes - patience, on my part.
I develop an inner source of energy, with stamina for a long run. God's power is revealed in my life as I discover the tasks before me aren't as difficult or confusing when I let him direct me and provide what I need to complete them.