Remember when we were kids anticipating Christmas - whether it was shopping and wrapping gifts for others or sitting on Santa's knee and trying to remember all the things we'd written on the list that was mailed to him - we were counting actual minutes between now and Christmas morning. And if we were traveling to visit relatives for the holidays it was really, really hard not to again say, "When will we get there?"
As adults we may be hearing those same questions from our own little ones. And as exasperating as it may seem to us now - they just asked that same question ten minutes ago! - we find ourselves reviewing our own "to-do" list and wondering how we can manage to cram it all in before "we're there."
Surprise! We are "there" already!
The only way to manage that list of things is to realize where we are this moment.
We are in our "here and now" -- So, breathe that in and pause to feel it fill you full inside and wrap around you. Awake and aware of this "now-ness" is where we find ourselves.
One step at a time - is another way of saying if. The only way to handle the list of things to do is to begin with one item at a time. Don't put a time limit on the items unless there really is one. And if you don't want to start at the top, don't. Find something on the list that fits with how you feel right now - accomplish it and strike it off the list.
If you have twenty minutes before dinner will be ready and you have nothing else to do until then - maybe there is one item somewhere on your list that you can accomplish in twenty minutes. So often we flop into the lounge chair in front of the TV and watch something mindless for those twenty minutes - then we also feel guilty for having done nothing but "veg" when we could have been doing something.
Well, I'm here to tell you that "vegging" can be a good thing - too. Sometimes we simply need to "tune-out" of our everyday world and sit in front of something that is so mindless that it doesn't even register in our thoughts. This can actually be a "now" thing in itself. Really. I choose my "now" to be mindless.
Sometimes when I have a project to create, I'll sit at the computer instead and play Spider Solitaire. Yeah, I'm hooked on it. But while my fingers are driving the mouse around to pull and place cards, my active and creative mind is off and running without a worry. It might take a day or two - but out of that mindless, worry-less, freedom flight - out pours the project.
By allowing my mind to be unfocused for a time a door opens to the closet where I had stuffed away bits and pieces of thoughts. Somehow, they connect together in the free-flight mindlessness and flow out joyously whole and complete. OK, sometimes I cut and paste, move things around - but more than not - this is the way it is.
So - are we there yet? Do we realize that our "now" is the "there" and it is always that way if we are awake to it? We can accomplish lists of things if we choose to. And -yes - we can feel guilty if we don't - but either one of these is our NOW. We have the choice in how we realize and recognize these moments.
Right now - for me - I'm wrapping the last of my packages that needs to be mailed to arrive by Christmas... and I am enjoying the feel of the paper as it is folded and crimped into a tight edge... and I am curling the paper ribbon so that it chooses its own way to lie on the package... and I'm visualizing the face of the one opening it on Christmas morning .... and I am THERE.