An evening with a friend with no plans. Plenty to do outside of this “bubble” situation, but nothing else to do in the present moment, but chat, drink tea, and live through moments of silence.
This kind of situation would have driven me up the wall a few months ago, and even partly led to the demise of a romantic relationship. I couldn’t for the life of me simply “be present”. I would be thinking of the work I had to do, my upcoming schedule changes, my studies, my meals for the following day, dreams of biking down to Brazil and putting up a few more pins on my “Countries I’ve travelled to” map, just to name a few. All, of course, could not be dealt with in those present moments. I couldn’t enjoy the present moments because I was too focused on things of the future, things I couldn’t do anything about.
I don’t know when it happened, but a few weeks ago or so, I noticed that I was reacting more calmly to the present moment. I wasn’t worrying so much about what “Had To Be Done!”. I knew that it would happen on its own time, and its own terms. My muscles weren’t as tense, the knot in my stomach became less tangled, I guess I didN’t have anything to prove anymore.
All this being said, I like to discover the world, work on my goals, learn new skills (writing being one of them), help others, grow spiritually and emotionally, ride my motorbike, work on either one of the 2 businesses I just started (this blog potentially being a third), and I work a regular 9 to 5, play sports on teams that I am committed to, and spend time with my friends. All of these get tangled up, but I can appreciate them all a lot more now by being mindful and present.
Now, to get back to the title of this post, I am no longer on a quest for constant productivity. I made myself a victim of society, change, and the omnipresent “If I am constantly doing things, I must be a good person! Right? People will like me more.”, and although sometimes those thoughts still happen. They do not dominate and drown the rest of my thoughts or more importantly my feelings.
So, as we were sitting there, the dog went crazy, and started to get frightened by the thunderstorm brewing. He came closer, we opened the window, the warm summer air rushed in along with some stray raindrops, and my friend said: “I love this! I could sit here and do nothing at all, but just listen and smell the rain.” To which my first thought: “Oh sweet Jesus, what’s up with these Carpe Diem freaks?”, or something along those lines.
That’s when I caught myself. I heard the thought, noticed how I felt, angry, and let it sit there. This takes practice, most of it involuntary on a day to day basis, but it is practice none the less. I could hear the joy in my friend’s voice, the gleam in their eye as they spoke those words, and I knew that my thinking was wrong. It just didn’t sit right. I didn’t need to think about how I was going to advertise, or launch my business officially. I didn’t need to worry about the emails from potential clients. I didn’t need to worry that I had left my car windows open and it was pouring outside, because there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.
I was falling into an old pattern. I felt unaccomplished, like a loser, like people wouldn’t like me, people would be mad at me. I felt like I didn’t deserve to appreciate the storm raging outside, like I didn’t have the right to enjoy it because I had to be productive in order to be a “good person”, and that just simply isn’t true.
Originally posted 2016-07-24 14:20:46.