Sunday, August 12, 2007

Do it Now!

This post is mainly directed at myself: I'm standing in front of my mirror and talking to the person I see there, because the topic of this post is something I need reminding of time and again, more than once a day.

I read this quote somewhere in the numerous emails I receive from various quote-places. (My name is Karen and I've got a thing about quotes!) I read it, and even though I've been trying really hard to ignore the impact it had on me, it didn't work all that well to postpone something yet again.

"There are those of us who are always about to live. We are waiting until things change, until there is more time, until we are less tired, until we get a promotion, until we settle down -- until, until, until. It always seems as if there is some major event that must occur in our lives before we begin living." George Sheehan

All that quote needs is the following sentence: "until I have a child of my own".

I waited so long for my life to start in the way I imagined it to be, I forgot to live the life I had. And I wasted one of the most precious things imaginable: TIME.

This realization shook me awake a few months ago already, but the problem I have is this: I forgot how to live while I was waiting. You see, I'm really good at waiting, I've practiced my patience to perfection and by now I'm a champion at facing those demons I never dreamed I'd had to encounter in my lifetime.

Waiting and patience does NOT equal living. I know I have to kick-start my life in this new direction I know I WANT to take, the longer I wait the more time I'll waste. But it's super easy to slide back into hibernation, and play the waiting game again. It's safe doing that, being in that "I'm patient and calm"-zone. And I'm only fooling myself by going there again AND trying to justify it.

It's a mind-thing, I know that, but it's so incredibly hard to unlearn something you've been doing for many, many years. So right now I'm searching for that spark I need to get going with this "To-do" list in my mind. It need not start a bonfire, but it has to be strong enough to get things going.

I've got a few ideas I'm contemplating, but I'd love to hear what you guys think would do the "spark"-trick!


Lori said...

I, too, am a lifelong sufferer of the "I'll be happy whens."

Another way to look at this:

Doing is the masculine energy. Being is the feminine energy.
Most of us are more comfortable with the former.

How about a To-Be list instead?

Be an artist, an athlete, a musician, a writer, a meditator, a chef, etc, etc. Be mindful in whatever you are/do. It's the intention that makes the difference in being present.

Not sure if I'm making sense.

Yours is a post that speaks to everyone, I think. I'll be interested to see ideas for Spark.

Have you read any Eckhardt Tolle? I also enjoyed "The Laughing Jesus" by Timothy Freke.

Of course, reading about conscious living is nothing like actually doing it, much as I'd like to believe otherwise :-).

Fertilize Me said...

HERE HERE Sista- I am guilty of living while waiting also. I am trying to find balance of waiting and living in the same. I toast to you. I like the "to be" list idea also. But sometime "Being" doesn't always involve "Doing" So I say make 1 list and combine them.

Pamela Jeanne said...

As the wise poet/philosopher Bonnie Raitt says, "life gets mighty precious when there's less of it to waste."

Choosing to start living again is the first step to doing so -- and clearly you want that.

I'm right there with you my friend as are the other readers of your blog who want nothing but the best for you.

Changing Expectations said...

I think that you have already taken the first step (the hardest one). Remember things that you enjoy and start there.

Zee said...

Wow, KarenO. Thank you for writing this. Do you know the saying, "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear"? Well, your blog (and its many quotes) has frequently been the "teacher" for me these past few months.

Your quote eerily echoes something my mother said to me not too long ago: "Zee, you've been waiting your whole life for your life to start." And it's true. The past three years of being on hold because of VB needing to finish school and because of wanting a baby is just part of a larger theme. However, as you mention, the problem is that I've become so accustomed to waiting, I don't know how to start taking action. I don't know HOW to start living. (And, as you get older, the sad truth is that so much of your life is entangled with other parts--financially, socially, etc--that changing one thing threatens to bring down the whole house of cards!)

Anyway, a whole lot of writing, but no solution, I'm afraid. In my longwinded way, I just wanted you to know that I am puzzling this one out along with you, my friend. If I'm hit with any brilliant brainwaves, I'll be sure to share. I hope you will too!

Irish Girl said...

Reading this post reminds me of one of my favorite quotes - "We must let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us." I read it in the 0prah magazine years ago and it has remained a constant reminder of how to live while waiting. It's something I struggle with too.

Sarah said...

oh man, let me know if you figure it out because there are so many people who need that spark, for a million different reasons. i can hardly think of anyone i know who hasn't fallen into this trap at least part of the time (most of us, most of the time).

Furrow said...

True, all true. I've been a victim of the waiting game. But I'm also a victim of the "got to do everything now" game. Sometimes I wonder if my mantra shouldn't be "live as though you'll live to 95." You know, like there's still time. No pressure.

I guess the trick is being content, whether you're doing or being (echoing Lori). That's what I really need to work on.

lady macleod said...

It is a day after day thing. You must get up each day and live your life.

Here's my favorite quote for you, other than CoCo's of course:

The mind is the world,
One should purify it strenuously.
One assumes the form of that which is one's mind.
This is the eternal secret.

I keep this as my email signature so that I read it daily, and I have it pasted on the back of my computer along with 'what to do with people who have pissed you off'.

You are doing fine, just keep doing it. The very fact you know you must keep at it, is the "trick".