Sunday, March 17, 2013
Doing What You Are Doing, Step Into Being Who You Are
When turning clear energy toward a task, there is a sense of flow to it. This could be organizing a meeting, in a cooking or writing project, teaching or taking a yoga class, working through a tax filing, accompanying someone on a task they must do, anything really. This attribute of engagement is not judgmental, this is not a conflicted state.
If I am not resisting what I am doing, there is very little separation between what I am doing and who I am. Quite a difference when there is resistance. The mind chatters about all that is not as it should be, makes constant recommendations about this task, other tasks, other people's actions or choices, what else I could be doing, should be doing, cannot be doing, and generally gets in the way of feeling satisfied with how the time was spent or with the task itself. This takes energy too, and just like physical friction from resistance, it burns up some of the energy turned toward the task itself. Wastes energy. Pulls the action in other directions, and in a very real way separates you from who you are by spinning a web of illusion around your action.
"I did the best I could," is a statement that reflects whatever judgment is in your mind about the task. It can be said with derision, with humility, with sorrow, with pride, with any kind of emotion, really. The statement is infused with judgment. There could be an unspoken sense of "under the circumstances" that holds a form of apology, or excuse, or blame, or self-judgment. There might be a subtext that describes a wish to have accomplished more, or the idea that someone else would have done more or better.
When you put your undivided attention into a task it isn't about "best" of anything, it is what it is. It can be a big shift to be comfortable with doing what you are doing, and not ranking what you are doing.
This is authentic action, what could be called, "right action." Full on engagement with an open mind, not a judging mind. The way this feels is not compromised by mixed internal messages and scattered judgments of the self or others now or in the past tense. This is being present in the moment, as Thich Nhat Hahn says so simply, "wash the dishes to wash the dishes."
Doing what you are doing without internal conflict releases energy towards the task that otherwise gets subverted into judgments and resistance. Doing what you are doing builds the muscles of mindfulness that keep you present in the moment in which you are actually living. Doing what you are doing literally turns everyday life into a moving meditation, of focused attention and open possibilities of being who you are.