From Houdini Tribute
In India, they believe in something called the muhurat, or the auspicious time to begin a task. People trying to ensure success in their marriages, or their new businesses, or any other endeavor, ask a pundit to check their astrological chart to find the right day and time to start.
If only I could confine myself to the right day and time. Instead, I tie my desires to so many other variables that I can’t seem to tease out what I originally WANTED to do from all of the newly created barriers.
Take my new desire to start meditating on a regular basis. I’ve read that it’s very beneficial to mediate first thing in the morning—that it helps you set a positive intention for the rest of the day. So I’ve gotten it in my head that I shouldn’t start until I can find a morning.
You see where this is going, don’t you?
We co-sleep with Madam, and I usually don’t wake up until she wakes me up. The few times I have managed to get out of bed without waking her, it does not take her long to realize that I am gone, and to register her displeasure. Loudly.
I could, theoretically, wake up MUCH earlier, in the wee hours of the morning, and hope that having TEG in the bed will fool her into continuing her slumber. But then…I’d be SO tired the rest of the day, and thus irritable with her, and…
And then I feel so bound by all of these plans and conditions that I feel immobile, trapped in fly paper. I spend the whole rest of the day feeling vaguely as though I’ve betrayed myself.
I’m doing the same thing with returning to my novel. The other day, while Madam napped, I took a deep breath and started leafing through the planning notebook I set up back in October. Unfortunately, my notes are SO voluminous (can someone please point me to a good outlining resource? Because I ALWAYS get stuck at this stage!) that I immediately started feeling dizzy and overwhelmed. So I thought, “Well, once I start meditating, I’ll have the presence of mind to go through all of this material and hopefully pick up the trail of my old ideas.” The saner part of my mind was trying to remind me that when I finished the first half of the novel in November, I’d been planning to firm up my plot for the second half. In another words, nothing had been fixed. Yet, I still feel that if I don’t decipher my complicated notes and follow THAT plan, I will be failing my novel.
And then I spent that rest of that day feeling as though I’d betrayed myself.
I believe I tie my REAL goals to all of the ancillary goals for the same reason some Indians seek help from the pundits—to try and ensure success, to ensure that I won’t fail, or worse, to ensure that I don’t succeed a LITTLE and THEN fail, thus getting a glimpse of the realization of my better self only to have it snatched away.
But the more hoops I set up for myself, the less chance I’ll have to getting through ALL of them at the same time.
Which, come to think of it, might be the plan my Fear has had all along.
Well, tonight I took a chance and meditated at night, after I put Madam down. Maybe it’s not right after all. Maybe I’m cheating myself of the TRUE experience, available only to those who meditate in dawn’s early light. Maybe going back to my novel based on ideas I dream up now instead of the original plan will result in a vastly inferior work. But I'd rather know that through the actual experience, instead through my fearful, inertial imaginings.
Hopefully my imperfect experience will help me loosen some of the threads that bind, and help me remember that having the auspicious time is only a part of the accomplishing the goal. The bulk of the effort still has to be...effort.
And I think even the pundits would agree.
Labels: navel gazing