I get asked a lot how I do it all, being a mom of three, maintaining a house, teaching, doing a podcast, running a non-profit, etc. The answer is I don’t. Not really. Whenever one thing gets attention, the others aren’t getting enough, so life is a constant juggle of priorities. These past couple months (years?) have been even more off-kilter as sickness and some other outside situations have derailed the whole train, and I’m just in the process now of picking through the wreckage. You should see my laundry pile. But recently, I had a shift in how I prioritize that has completely revolutionized my life, and that is putting the “most urgent” things last.
It seems at best counterintuitive and at worst downright crazy. But let me explain. By putting the most urgent tasks last, I have moved the most important tasks first. This is where it gets interesting as these are in fact, two different categories. If I were to list right now what is “most important” in my life, it would include things like: feeling happy, good health, magical experiences with my kids, a healthy and playful relationship, helping others, living in a pleasant environment. However, the tasks that create this, like yoga, going on a date with my husband, playing with the kids and most importantly, meditation are often relegated to the back of the line.
What gets the most attention? The to-do list. Our “goals.” What we forget is all these goals we have are worth nothing if they are at the expense of our inner experience and that of those around us. If we’re going to be goal-oriented, then let that goal be to create a joyful atmosphere in our homes and to radiate life for all to enjoy. When we’re living that, then all the rest is just details.
What else inadvertently gets our attention? Our stress. The distorted consciousness in our minds is very time costly. It creates redundant thoughts, repetitive and irrelevant actions that eat up our days. The trajectory from Being to thought to action is muddled and more like Being to thought to some other thoughts to let’s look at the phone for a bit to distract ourselves to “what was I supposed to be doing?” to some more thoughts about what I should do to action. With meditation, action comes straight from Being and our flow of attention is at its most efficient.
So how do we get that? How do we live in a way where we are radiating Being and moving through life like a shark cuts through water? By making sure we start with those things that are so easy to skip, especially meditation. Those “need to happen” items will get done because they are urgent. It’s the so very important, but not so urgent ones, that have a habit of never making it to the top of the pile. Try it out and see what happens. Now, I’m off to work on that laundry pile, just as soon as I’ve meditated of course.