Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sukshma

(SYLC 15 & 16)

Time.

Precious precious time.

It's a joy to have you back in my life. I know I keep saying it. People are probably sick of hearing it, but it really is so wonderful to be reacquainted with you again.

I'm a seasoned efficience. Every moment in my life in the past eight years has been squeezed. I'd multi-task while multi-tasking, necessary I thought if I was going to 'do it all'. I'd do something while on the way to doing something else. Efficiency I reasoned. I didn't have time to assess whether I was attending to the highest priority things first. I didn't stop and smell any roses. I didn't finish one thing properly before starting another. I just ran and ran and ran.

Around me, in the final years, I got sent some very pointed warning signs that perhaps my priorities were a little bit skewed, that time was precious and that the now, not the later is the time of utmost importance. One of my good friends, just a year older than me, died in his sleep of a heart attack. Another who'd already had two years of struggle with some huge challenges was diagnosed with breast cancer. All the while I was reading that my dear friend was struggling and I just didn't have time to reach out. I wanted to, but I couldn't.

And then I got sick, some health scares that really rocked me. I was exhausted, I was unhealthy and I wasn't much fun to be around.

I'm not going to beat myself up about this period of my life. I was making my way after a divorce, I completed two post-grad degrees while holding down a full-time job, a freelance design business and a part-time job as a children's film reviewer. On top of this I did some professional development that at the time was too good an opportunity to turn down. But it was not sustainable in any way. It fed my life and my head but didn't feed my soul. It had to come to an end.

A spring Sunday evening in Toulouse
Which of course it did. Here I am, four months from that end now rested after a month's amazing holiday that inspired me to a point where I'm bursting with more energy and ideas than I have been in so many years.

And what will I do with this new new found sense?

I'll stop. I'll focus. I'll take slow steps.

I'll admit I'm not good at doing any of these things. After years of conditioning myself to do seven things at once poorly and be on the run, it will take conscious effort every day.

This week I read in Sarah Wilson's blog about Sukshma - "meaning 'subtle', to touch life 'innocently, faintly and effortlessly'. It softens. It allows compassion. Like when a child touches your arm when they come out at night to tell you they can’t sleep."

I love this concept. As I read it, it really resonated with me. For me it's about doing things gently and with care. Taking the time to do things properly, like when you're with a person to be with them wholly (not sit there thinking about other things that need doing).

So I put myself on the mission this weekend to live sukshma and do one thing at a time. Gently. With focus. Without rush, franticness, stress, or pressure.

Guess what? To my amazement, I was astoundingly productive. It wasn't easy - it was like a meditation session where I was reminding myself to not run away with my thoughts (or other tasks), but focus, yes focus, for a whole weekend. Exhausting! But each time was tempted by distractions I stopped and refocused on what I was doing. It was a battle to fight off those distractions, but I gently reminded myself that everything else would wait.

So it's Sunday evening and I have completed nearly everything I set out to do (except go to Ikea, but hey, who wants to go there on a weekend anyway). I even managed to watch a film on Saturday night and go to pilates and meditation this morning. Some time out for me.

And it felt great. It really did.

1 comment:

  1. That is just wonderful to read! It definitely is hard work to slow down if our instinct is to multi-task, but isn't it amazing how you fit it all in with less stress too! I also think the finishing things wholly reduces the stress attached to getting back to it or worrying about it any more.

    Sorry had a difficult path to this point - so sorry about your friends xx

    Deb @ home life simplified

    ReplyDelete

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