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Biased toward Productivity

January 30, 2016

Often I don’t even notice it. Just how biased toward productivity I am.

Once in a while I get a glimpse. And in those moments, once-in-a-once-in a while, I even catch it and say to all the possible productive possibilities, “Not that, not this, not that” until I find myself finally stopping. Like this morning. It’s rare. It’s precious. To the point of inspiring me to write about it in case it inspires you to stop, really stop, sometimes too.

I wake up. The house is quiet. It is Saturday morning, no rush of up and go. The house itself seems to be breathing quietly. Even the hum of the fridge seems softer. Here I am awake, sleep is done, early morning reflection and meditation too. What now? The list of to-do’s sails through my mind. Finish writing that webpage? Reviewing the article? Writing those emails? What about starting the day with some stretching? Or putting the desk together? Or folding the laundry? Or making pancakes for when the others wake up? None of them appeals. I can’t find the energy to engage, as great as it would be to get any of these or other ideas underway.

So I make a tea and curl up on the couch. With a few books cause, you know, if I’m not going to do anything I might as well do something. Useful. Like read from a couples’ therapy book to keep growing my capacity as counselor. After a few pages, I put it down. Not that. I pick up the tender, thoughtful novel I finished late last night, lingering with the acknowledgments at the end, milking the goodness of the book a little longer. But it’s done. Not that either. I pick up a little booklet that has been lying on our coffee table for months now, Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ – on care for our common home – with his reflections and call for action on climate change and the ecological crisis we face. It’s quite wonderful. He even speaks of ‘the full development of humanity and integral ecology’. Ten pages in I put it down again. Not this either.

What then?

What is it that I could do with this quiet time? This beginning of a new day. I look out the windows. Snow has fallen and is frosted on branches, lacing trees. Single droplets of melting ice shake a little branch each time one drops. I’d never noticed this before: that a droplet would make a whole little branch tremble and shake.

The morning invites me further. Still no one else is up. Plus my toe hurts from when I stubbed it yesterday, keeping me on the couch a little longer. Not sleep, not getting stuff done, not even reading. I feel choice, I follow, curious.

Hands around the curves of my warm teacup, knees pulled up, I close my eyes and within seconds, there I land.

This.

Stopping.

Stop doing.

There It is, that place of Hello God. I miss You. I miss making time for just This more often. For hanging out with and for Us.

And there I stay. Here I am. Time evaporates.

After I don’t know how long it was – that evaporated and deliciously sunken-into time~space – I remerge gently, grateful for the tug that kept telling me, “not this, not that”. I notice how easy it would have been to overlook, how biased I am to getting something, anything done. How sad that makes me, in a thin layer tucked between skin and soul. So that when I finally stop and land at the bottom of the U, in that place of cozying up with God, the first thing that happens is tears. Not about anything in particular. Or perhaps just relief, release. The tears an expression of breathing out and stopping.

Didn’t get a thing done. Did cradle my soul in the breath of God. Re-sourced myself.

Sharing this in case it may nudge you to stop too. With your version of teacup and God and you, together. Just that.

Remembering it is from being re-Sourced that we do our best relating and loving, our most inspired creative anything, the kind of parenting we wish for our kids, the true kind of productivity, the kind that matters. The kind that may even help get us out of the ecological crisis we find ourselves in.

My wish for you, for me, for us: to enter the day, the project, the work, from a rested soul-place within ourselves. May it be so.

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