Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Planning on Not Planning on Anything

I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.
Walt Whitman

...too sluggish-in-the-membrane to come up with original subject matter, I stole this from Anthroyogini’s blog:

I’ve learned that taking it easy and following your natural rhythms is much more important than productivity. What matters most is how much joy you’re currently experiencing in the present moment. If you’re putting off your happiness until you accomplish something, you’re failing at life.
Jonathon Mead

...where it was part of a post about her incredible shrinking yoga practice...which made me feel better about my own kinda falling apart in recent weeks...particularly the more-and-more-occasional at-home every-morning end of it...especially if one considers that lighting up the incense and putting on Miles Davis’ In a Silent Way or Alice Coltrane’s Journey in Satchidinanda to sit in a sloppy lotus pose and do a neck stretching routine for five minutes, all the while thinking shit, there’s so much stuff I should be doing now instead of self-indulgently sitting here fits only the most liberal definitions of yoga practice in the first place...does wonders for preventing tension headaches, though...

...then, as those who’ve read this blog for a while have no doubt picked up, I’m all about the liberal definitions...

...and, alas, the morning yoga practice is far from the only aspect of life where I’ve been sluggish and unproductive...which is probably a major reason for the anxiety about shit-that-needs-to-be-done while I’m trying to do that at-peace-with-myself thing...

...overall, I’ve been inclined to think that the key is finding a balance between setting goals and not beating yourself up for failing to meet them...though that’s a balance that makes that eagle pose thing look like child’s play...

...anyway, this Jonathon Mead dude seems to take things a good deal further than that...suggesting that doing away with goals altogether might be the way to go...as long as you don’t make a goal of that, presumably....when I first read it, I thought hell, my natural rhythm is to just fuck around all day...but, perhaps, it just seems that way because I've got so many conflicting goals, plans, expectations slamming around in my head, entangling themselves in desires and fears...leaving me, yes, fuckin’ around all day...

...might be interesting to see what would happen if I could just open the brain and let all that out for a while...might get a lot more done if I stopped yelling at myself to get stuff done...which can leave me too mentally exhausted to do much of anything...

...at this point, I’m thinking that, late tonight, I’m gonna get in my car and drive a couple hours to get to the seashore, and wake there the next three mornings...just to see what happens...


Lea said...

It seems you're not alone in trying to muster motivation. Most who I've talked to lately are experiencing the same lack of motivation and indecision. My advice to them has been to follow the flow, relax, reflect and do what they enjoy.

That doesn't mean ignore one's responsibilities, but stop beating yourself up for feeling the need to relax and play for a little while.

All your goals, etc., will be still waiting when you're fully charged up to take them on.

Wishing you Love, Harmony & Prosperity

Melinda said...

Hi Jay,

I've been a little sluggish myself--I've been a little sick with a cold (the SW?) and so it's been hard for me to get into the swing of anything.

It's interesting that you wrote that balance is key in setting goals and not becoming too obsessed with them. I have a hard time finding balance in anything--and this is true even in recovery. Whatever I have ever been involved with, I've gone full tilt (where IS that happy medium).

I still find myself beating myself up about not doing this or falling behind on that. But then, it is really about progress and not perfection--and the progress has still been pretty awesome.

I hope you aren't still bothered by the flu--I know this has wiped me out this past week.



Anonymous said...

Well, I say go for it. Don't knock it until you've tried it.

Rhiannon said...


I could relate to all those thoughts going on in your head putting so much pressure on ourselves..spinning around..and the things to be done or that "we think" we need to do or whatever..while we try to relax our bodies and mind. I do the meditation and try to relax more and be "in the moment" as my mind starts to wonder and "worry" about all I have to do. My "Brain" is full or all this "Crap" I feel I have do so many responsibilities.

I've come up with this strange weird thing I do...you might try it or not..:o)or you might think I'm nuts..but it works..for me.

I imagine I'm inside my brain, my head, sitting in a chair with all those thoughts worries, things to do, "clutter" in my brain, paperwork, people, places, all around me in my "head"..so there I sit. So, I look out at the front of my brain and it has these sliding doors which I somehow telepathically tell to open..I am small sitting there inside my brain..my brain is a huge cave like setting and those huge sliding doors open to the universe, the stars, the planets,etc..it's so beautiful. Then suddenly a large worldwind comes in through this open sliding door in my brain and all of those worries, thoughts, things to do, the "Clutter" and people I have on my mind, yes all that "stuff" that is all crammed in my big brain, while little me sits there in a chair watching that huge worldwind blow all of these things out into the universe in amazing fast force very quickly. I sit there watching all those things blow out of my mind out into the "kosmos" as they get smaller and smaller and further away until they are "gone" and disappear. I feel very peaceful.

Then the large glass sliding door of my brain closes very quietly, and as I sit in that chair I look all around me (my brain room if you will) and there is nothing else there, it's empty, silent, peaceful, all the worries and clutter gone and I feel a very spiritual deal going on as I sit in that chair and look out through those glass doors out at the beautiful universe...what I call the "ancient universal of "knowing".

Yes, I suppose I am a space case..but in this "case" it is "Space"...the universal kind.



earthtoholly said...

Geesh, drjay, you've been in my head again!How cool it would be if we could make time stand still...just to get some of the more unpalatable stuff out of the way. Then let the clock resume to just, ahhh, do whatever...with some peace of mind.

An excellent post despite your sluggishness...and I,too, hope you're feeling better...and reading this at the shore...

Amanda said...

Hi Dr Jay,

Thanks for visiting my blog and finding the 'Kill Your Home Practice' post useful.

I'm pleased to say that the little twist I added at the end of the post is working really well. The yoga practice has happened everyday since in a form that is mine and mine alone.

And I'm fighting off a cold, too.

Hope you have a good time by the sea. Might head out into the desert this weekend for some camping - my equivalent of a seas side trip.


the walking man said...

spending time thinking about how to use time is a waste of time...enjoy the salt air.

Seeing Eye Chick said...

Is it possible, that what you have mistaken as sluggish loafing is in fact--the ever important act of *Rumination?

Sometimes things have to cook a little inside your brain or your soul before they are ready to be seen, ready to be mulled and put out into the world.

RB said...

Anxiety never yields productivity. And yet always seems like it will. Discuss.

Deborah Godin said...

I really enjoyed all this, and I'm glad I visited here instead of shutting down the computer and doing the housework like I was telling myself I should. In fact, the heck with the dishes, I'm going to go do Tai Chi on the lawn. Have a nice dawn by the sea.

Rhiannon said...


There is a program on PBS titled "Parallel Universe, Parallel Lives" that I watched last night. It's about Mark Everette, the son of Hugh Everette and Mark "going into his fathers past to learn more about him". I thought of a few blog friends that might really enjoy and get something out of this documentary show..you were one of them.

It will be on again on Saturday night at 10:00pm my "pacific" time..so you might want to check my new post out to read the info at the end of the post to find out when PBS will be airing it other nites also..or as they say "check your local listings".


Lana Gramlich said...

I hear this post, totally. Unfortunately I just got back from a less-than-satisfying vacation, wherein my batteries weren't really recharged in any way. I've been thinking about quitting art for a month or more now, to turn my attention toward accomplishing more cohesive things (housework, perhaps working out again.) I've gone the way of no goals in the past--it left me little reason to even bother getting up in the morning.
I hope the shore helps you out.