Preparation as Procrastination

I’ll admit it:  This week was a struggle for me.  I sat everyday after going through bouts of preparing to sit.

My meditation procrastination was disguised as preparation.  I’d need to clean the table or wash the dishes or read that editorial in the Times, before I could sit.  This incentivizing before my practice became my way of putting it off…although at the time, it seemed like logical preparation.  The value of this blog is being able to step back – out of the waters of habit – and just notice…or at least strive to notice and not judge.

Yesterday in the process of putting items on the hangers in my closet as I made sure my room was “clean enough to meditate,” I stopped.  It had been a long day beginning at 6:30am for an event at work and here I was powering through more work in order to give myself an excuse to sit.  So I stopped and I lay down on the wooden floor at the base of my closet and I just looked up at the racks of clothing – noticing the colors, the textures, the generally new perspective.  I had never actually looked at my closet like this before!

This new perspective exercise became a meditation.  As I lay on the floor I put my hands on my stomach and felt my breath, my eyes more softly focusing on the clothing above me.

Sharon writes that “when we procrastinate, we act against our own self-interests, satisfying the desire for immediate gratification by sacrificing our own longer-term goals and well-being” (54).  This is a rather grand idea to have in the moment of those tasks of procrastination, but taking a moment to think about it now, perhaps I can come up with a short mantra that will bring me back when I’m putting the act of sitting off.  “This can wait” – I’m going to use this as a way to bring me back to a different priority that ultimately will make my work life/home life to-dos more productive when they get done…and they can always get done later.

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