The past few days during my meditation I have all but given up on it. The mental chatter is at it’s finest with my lizard running giddy circles in my mind trying to remind me that I will not get it all done. I’m stuck in full on analysis paralysis. My mind is so busy sorting out the “how,” that I’m stuck in no action at all. How did I get here?
It goes back to the end of the school year. During different times of the year I step back to re-evaluate my priorities and check in on the intentions I set for myself. In other words, hitting refresh on my WOY, I asked myself what I was willing to do for the summer break.
The answer was two fold. The first being I wanted to spend quite a bit of time playing with my son. Our school year is usually scheduled and routined and I really envisioned him and I spending time at the pool, picking out new books at the library and going to afternoon movies. On the other hand, he is at an age where he is more into independent play and I wanted to spend some of that time working on work projects that I’d been putting off for a few years. I created an entire list of projects to be completed by…wait for it…August! Never mind that summer is the BUSIEST time of year for my family due to the fact that we run two very full time companies - the machine shop and a fireworks superstore - I may have been a little overzealous on my planning. In addition, between running the two companies, having fun with my son, and getting coaching work done, I’m still actively working on the year of the 40!
Back to meditation. The advantage here, to being a coach, is that I know how to stop this. I don’t need to give up on meditation, I just need to ask why. Why is my mind going ninety to nothing? What are the thoughts that keep repeating? Is there a pattern?
When the mind is in overdrive it’s a very clear sign that something needs your attention. It didn’t take me long to figure out that I set my expectations for myself too high this summer. I set myself up to fail and my body knew it. The overload started to affect me mentally, as in a constant state of anxiety about getting it all done, which in turn started to affect me physically. I wasn’t able to sit in stillness and I could barely get through my workouts without a feeling of exhaustion. Yes, mental gymnastics can make your body feel like you’ve been doing physical gymnastics!
To get out of my analysis paralysis, I devoted an hour to planning. I went old school with the post-it’s and put all the work projects on a post-it and then turtle stepped it by breaking down every step into manageable pieces. Then I assessed when the work really needed to be done, determined which were priorities, and put a timeline on each one.
Next, I looked at my weekly schedule and marked off the reasonable time slots I could get work done. I gave each month a focus and then each week a focus so when I showed up to a work period on the calendar I wouldn’t stall wondering what I needed to do first. This allowed work time with an equal amount of summer play.
I can finally breathe again and now I’m fully present with P when it is play time because I’m not focused on all that needs to be done that isn’t getting done. I have a plan and I’m working the plan. Joy is found in the present.
If your mind is doing this too, stop and ask yourself why? What is the root cause? Keeping asking why until you come up with the answer. Then make a plan to resolve the issue, and if you don’t know how, ask me for help! Monkey mind is not indigo living. It robs us of the richness, abundance and especially the wildness this life has to offer us.