I found myself planning every spare minute last week.
Having just returned from London, and with a quick turnaround, returning in a couple of days, I “had” to “maximize” my free time.
There’s a lot going on right now – personally and professionally – and I felt myself returning to the familiar habits of grasping and controlling and planning (incidentally, had an interesting chat with my friend about scheduling so much: do we do it because we really are busy, or is it to fill some sort of void?)
The universe had other plans for me: the train was late, the chain on my bike broke on the way to work, one of my students couldn’t make it in the evening…etc…etc…
But, I realized my reaction to unplanned inconveniences has softened immensely.
Instead of getting angry or frustrated, my new response is close to a joyful one.
I found myself laughing at the ridiculousness of having to turn my bike over and fix the chain in a dress. And I have a new relationship with the train: I plan for it, but I don’t ever believe it will actually be there for me.
When the unexpected happens, it wakes me up to the trance I’m in when I try to control every second; and it reminds me that isn’t how life works.
Synchronicity reared its head again (as it’s been doing so much lately) when one of my favorite podcasts, Tara Brach, featured a talk about this exact subject this week.
“How do we wake up out of the trance of our thoughts? If we look at our day and ask “where was I?” – we realize we were planning or cycling through our own thoughts for huge swaths of the day–a large percentage of these thoughts, unnecessary.
As soon as we start thinking, we disconnect from our bodies. We rush through our days in such stress and intensity as if we were here to stay and the serious project of the world depended on us.
This moment matters as much as any other moment in the world.”