What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing? Can you eliminate it? (from Leo Babauta)
Once I read this question I went through a mental checklist of how I spend my days– looking for the time-wasters. I asked myself: Could I give up this? Is it even possible to give up that? And I didn’t come up with anything that seemed possible or likely…
Instead, what I’m discovering is e v e r y t h i n g I do contributes to my writing. I write from experience. Even when I am being (what I might judge as) unproductive, I get a chance to reflect on my own behavior. To explore what’s underneath…
What is my outer behavior reflecting?
What is my inner world trying to tell me?
If I find myself compulsively checking Facebook, for instance, I get the chance to ask myself: What am I needing? Am I feeling lonely or disconnected? Do I need to schedule a date with or call up a friend? Am I avoiding something?
What I am saying, essentially, is that everything I do– unproductive or not– can be transformed into a reflective piece of writing. I am learning that I don’t need to be perfect or only reveal my “best self” to contribute something meaningful.
Of course I could eliminate certain habits. But I wouldn’t eliminate Facebook, I like
stalking keeping in touch with friends and associates– it’s enjoyable to connect and share with folks. I wouldn’t eliminate my iPhone, it’s convenient to have internet access, since my employers don’t provide me with an office. Plus, I often need to research very important topics (I am the q u e e n of: Let’s Google it and find out!)
What has proven even more powerful than attempting to eliminate something is my conscious awareness of my attachment to it. For instance, committing to a “technology fast” helps me be more mindful and present. And this, in my experience, is more effective than making a promise to give up something entirely.
If there IS something I could eliminate it would be the doubt that I am not really a coach or writer. I’d eliminate the harsh self-judgment that makes me feel like an imposter. Instead I’d be more discerning about how I spend my time. I’d question what my behavior tells me about what my spirit is needing, what warrants attention, what I am longing for…
I want to eliminate the thought that when I am in the midst of living my life– struggling, learning, coping, growing, working, care-taking– that it somehow takes away from what I have to offer the world. What I am learning is that living and experiencing my life with its conflicts, distractions, irritations, joys, funny moments, and indulgences absolutely contribute to my writing. Being imperfect, vulnerable and passionate make my contributions meaningful and authentic. Being a self-care warrior, bozo, superstar, good enuf mom, wise woman require me to i n c l u d e i t a l l.