Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Pulling Weeds and Clearing out space in my mind

I have begone working at home again.  Working for my self appears to be the path of least resistance right now.  I have been fighting that.  It is time to give up and give in!  I work for myself as a consultant (writing this to convince myself).  Something may present itself that changes my path in the future but I need to stop searching and focus on being a good consultant.  Like the saying, "You find true love when you stop looking".

But the transition is difficult.   Being productive with out all the buzz of the office stimulation is hard.  Without that, my mind wanders and then wanders again.  Allowing stream of consciousness is good for the soul but this does not fill contracts which ultimately pay the bills.  So I am actively, creating ritual in my day to help me.  Get up, get dress, work at desk not on the coach with the TV on, ....  I also believe that a key to being productive is giving yourself regular small breaks to relieve yourself of what ever is slowing or blocking your progress.  So for breaks lately, I have been pulling weeds.

I could pull weeds/garden all day.  So I want to limit myself to a certain amount of time.  I have settled on 20 minutes for now.  But I also want to clear my mind of everything except the task at hand.  Basically a task based mantra meditation.  So on my way out the door I set an alarm on my phone and put it in my pocket.  This way I don't have to think about the time and if I am taking too long.  Second the phone in my pocket allows me to be reachable as I am still on the job.

I have planted a new patch of native prairie.  This is my second patch.  The first patch is rocking!!!  But the new patch is flushing with weeds.  I expected this and even looked forward to pulling those weeds when they did come.  They are primarily of just 3 types right now.  I am purposely focusing on only one type.  This allows me to only have one search image (less processing (thinking)).  And this allows me to work efficiently.

Letting the timer tell me when I am finished allows me to let go of this perfectionist mentality that drives me to be complete and finish weeding the entire bed or even yard.  Weeding is never finish.  Meditation is never finished.

Photo by Tatsuro Kiuchi
My weeding philosophy is rooted in the roots.  Meaning if you don't get the root you have done more harm then good.  With out the root the weed usually returns with more branching stronger than before.  When weeding focus on the following: 
  • one species at a time
  • get the root
  • you don't have to finish
I am finding myself much happier and productive with just two 20 minute sessions of weeding a day.  Like I said earlier, I could garden all day so I have to find that balance between time spent gardening and  being productive, filling my contracts.  If I listen closely enough to myself I will naturally find this balance.  But right now my mind is busy (driving 85 in a 65 speed zone) so some self imposed traditions or rituals, I hate the word rule, will help me slow down.

Get out side!  Even if just for a few minutes.  The vitamin D will make you feel better and more productive.

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