Beliefnet
The other day, someone asked me how I was managing with all the busy stuff I am involved with. Was it getting to be too much? Well no, it can’t really get to be too much because there are only so many hours in the day and days in the week, and all the time I am only doing what I am doing--no more and no less. Whatever I can do, I can do, and whatever I can’t do, I can’t do.

So I don’t do it. Maybe I’ll do it later. But maybe that later won’t come. Right now, I am doing what I can do, and that’s all that I can do. Whether my list of things to do is long or short, in fact it’s just the same. I am doing what I am doing the best I can do it.

It’s always like that.

There may be a long list of things to do, but really there is just one thing on the list at any time. If you think of it like that, the whole world looks different, and you can stay quite calm.

I remember how upset years ago I was when I found out we were having twins. I had for such a long time lived a very simple life--just a suitcase in my car and I was off. Now I had a wife and twins were on the way. It was a source of great anxiety for me until I realized that in the end it wasn’t so different. Before, I’d put one suitcase in the car and was off. Now, I’d do essentially the same thing: Put one suitcase in the car, put one suitcase in the car, put one suitcase in the car...however many there were, it was always just one suitcase. So it was more in a way, but if I looked at it in another way, it was just one thing. A kind of mental yoga. But it worked quite well and it still does.

So there may be a long list of things to do, but really there is just one thing on the list at any time. If you think of it like that, the whole world looks different and you can stay quite calm. Maybe everything will get done eventually and maybe not. You can always have hope. What more does anyone ever have than this anyway?

Besides, I know that all my many important projects ultimately will be left undone anyway, because I will have to leave this world one day and that day could be any day. It may sound morbid but it’s not; quite the contrary. It gives me a sense of added pleasure and ease in this day. Knowing that my days are limited, I might as well enjoy them while I can. Every day I remind myself of this, and it helps to put things in perspective. So I really have nothing to worry about. I just do my best, do all that I can. Where’s the pressure?

Of course, you do have to be willing to work hard, but there’s no problem with that. If you are alive, you have to be willing to work hard, which means being present in your life, doing all the things that have to be done to support a life. That means eating and cleaning the body and cleaning the house and filling it up with the things it takes to run the house, and also cleaning up the world and filling the world with all the things it takes to run the world, because you need the world to be there so the house can be there so the body can have a roof over its head. In other words, what else is there to do anyway but work all the time, because that’s being alive.

I’m always going to be doing something anyway.

To me, making the bed in the morning is work--or not. You manage your life--get some exercise, read a book to remind you that you are a reflective person, take a rest when you need to. Anyway, there are times when you are too tired to do anything, so you just might as well take a rest. And if you can’t take a rest, just go slow in what you are doing, take a rest while you are doing something.

 

The trick is to be attuned to your condition all the time. To know that you are tired when you are tired and energetic when you are energetic. And to release yourself to your condition rather than resist it. Not knowing your condition as it really is, or knowing it and resisting it: That is what’s difficult. This is where the pressure builds up. But when you know your condition and release yourself to it, then there’s no problem. You can negotiate yourself through your day that way and not have to worry.

Resistance means you don’t like it and you want it to be otherwise. I’m tired and I shouldn’t be tired and now I have to go to a meeting and I am expected to be cheery but I don’t feel cheery. If you can release yourself to being tired, then you just go to the meeting tired. A tired person can go to a meeting and get done there what needs to get done; I know, I’ve done it.

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