It seems like such an easy concept, ‘doing what you want to do’. But ‘want’ often gets confused with ‘should’ and ‘should’ wins the ensuing battle of thoughts.
Picture yourself waking up to dappled sunlight, fresh morning air and a day free of plans, work or appointments. Yes! You then go to the bathroom and notice the dirty laundry, you go to the kitchen and notice that the floor needs sweeping, you pull the curtains across to open a smudgy window and notice that the grass needs mowing. No!
You think, “well, if I get all of this done now, I should be able to relax this afternoon.” Then, your friend calls and asks if you can help them move house after lunch. When you finally get home, you’re exhausted, so you flop on the couch and watch whatever happens to be on TV, until you fall asleep.
Millions of scenarios can be substituted for the above ‘shoulds’, and the ‘shoulds’, inevitably, do need to be completed, swept, helped and mowed. This isn’t about avoidance of the mundane, it’s about choosing to use our time in the way we want, rather than feeling guilty about doing so, thereby actually favouring the mundane.
It’s about following our initial inspirations, which, in the above scenario, may have been, “I’m going to the beach because the weather is so gorgeous,” before the loud clang of impending chores drowned the sweet rhythm of deliberately choosing to enjoy the day – above all else. When we begin to do this, we find there’s always time to complete the mundane tasks, because the more joyful we feel, the more productive we become.
As with almost any topic we could possibly discuss, it’s all about intention. If our awareness and focus is, more often than not, placed on enjoying ourselves and feeling at peace and at ease rather than tangled, irritated and busy, our perception changes.
The windows don’t look quite so detrimentally dirty.
After a fun, joyful day, our increased energy and motivation makes the lawn a breeze to mow and, without the forethought, the desire to act is quick and it’s done before we even realise it’s a mundane chore.
Or, to reverse the scenario, we can make a pact with ourselves to go fishing or start reading that new novel or catch up with a friend, at a certain time, say 10:00am for this example. Excitement for the upcoming happy time can tip us over the edge into inspiration and we may actually feel like getting all the chores done before we go – because we’re motivated. So, from 9:00am to 10:00am we do what we can, knowing anything left over can be done later, and we move on, guilt free, to our bliss.
I know people who love mowing the lawn and who love to do domestic chores (I’ve never understood it…but I’m often very grateful that they do!). If that’s you, substitute these particular chores with your own version of what ‘chore’ means. The same technique works for anything. Give to yourself first, always, let your vibration rise and, as it does, the motivation to complete the chores (without the irritation, frustration and unnecessary busyness), will arrive.
How much we dislike the actions we must take, when we must, depends on whether we’ve been planting roses in the gardens of our minds, or allowing toxic chemicals to kill all the growth.
It’s the pre-thinking about chores that make them ‘chores’. When things need to be done, we are nudged into action in present time. We’ll be nudged into action if we’re maintaining focus on fun things we desire to do, just the same as when we’re maintaining focus on awful things we may have to do.
If we feel guilty or unworthy of giving to ourselves, or if we’re trying to escape ourselves, we’ll deliberately make ourselves ultra busy with tasks we feel are critical to everything, but that actually make very little difference, externally. Internally, however, this type of behaviour is critical – to our health – as it creates sticky webs of complicated, festering issues that make us zero in on our individual lives in a very narrow way. This behaviour makes us forget about the bigger picture, in favour of the mundane. Very often, this is because the ‘mundane’ is the safer option. There’s no messy growth in ‘mundane’.
After pondering this information, we may begin to make the following arguments, “but I can’t say no to anyone who asks me to do something for them”, “but I can’t just leave the house in a mess”, “but I can’t just go out when I want, because of the kids”.
They are all statements inviting the word ‘should’ and they are all statements that can be responded to by the very freeing sentence, “Yes, I can.” The more we say to ourselves, “Yes, I can”, the more life will respond to the ‘Yes’ rather than the ‘No’ of our external experiences.
The earth will keep spinning while we experience fun and peace instead of work and busyness.
In fact, the earth will spin much more beautifully in time to the rhythm of our joy.