When I began embarking on the journey I labeled Life 2.0, I realized that changes had to be made. There’s that truth, no matter how cliche, that tells us if we do what we’ve always done, we’ll get what we’ve always gotten.
I began addressing what I consider the foundation domains from the ten domains of life as listed by Michael Hyatt:
[Image Text: The Four Pillars of Personal Development: Emotional, Spiritual, Physical, Intellectual. From Michael Hyatt’s Domains in Your Best Year Ever. www.njray.com]
I struggled with them. I only have so much time in the morning in which to practice the habits I wish to cultivate, as well as getting all my writing done and still getting ready for work. I experimented, getting up earlier, shortening the time spent on some of the habits, lengthening others. Even after several months, I’m still trying to tweak the time to get the most out of it.
But now, almost six months later, I can tell a difference. Somehow, my affirmations did in fact bury themselves in my consciousness, and I began to interact differently with people. I set limits. I grew–and continue to grow–more assertive. My dreams began to grow, too, and my idea of what might be possible began to expand. .
My meditation, while it did not necessarily help my focus (oh, hello shiny object!), did somehow evolve from my grasping for silence to some sort of meditation/prayer hybrid. The meditation, as it always has been, consists of my trying to return to the breath or focus on a mantra. The prayer, though, is mostly request:
Please guide me to the right words and the right actions; please help me become an instrument of peace; please help me choose kindness, always.
If I’m 100% honest, I’m not really sure to what I’m praying; I don’t even know if those requests count as prayers. (Who’s doing the “counting” anyway?)
But progress was made. My physical activity did wonders for my ability to move in the morning and throughout the day. My balance improved, and the baby Groot of muscles had begun to present themselves. I was reading, something I had missed for so long in the bustle of a normal day. Granted, it wasn’t an intellectual exercise so much as my trying to finish all my books that I had started and tossed aside half-way through, but it was reading.
And I was proud. This is accomplishment, I thought. This is me–actually sticking to a commitment. But then I realized that, somehow, I had stopped moving forward. I hadn’t gone backward, at least, but I wasn’t moving forward, either. My actions in the four domains had become habit: good for the practice, but insufficient for the purpose.
I had forgotten their significance in the process of checking off completed actions. I had forgotten why I began doing them in the first place.
Sure, I wanted to feel less powerless and more grounded and focused; I wanted to become stronger and more connected and to learn things, and I had accomplished these to varying degrees. But I had forgotten the why behind the habits. I had become focused on the check boxes (check, check, check), all the while losing sight of my actual journey:
In short, I had grown somewhat complacent. Or really complacent. Or really, really complacent. I had temporarily misplaced my impetus; lucky for me, it was stuck on the bottom of my shoe.
I’m at a crossroads now—even while I’m writing this. Do I begin working in another domain? Do I work on shoring up on my foundation?
I’m choosing to do a little of both.
The summer, even in South Mississippi, has passed, perhaps migrating south for the winter. The pool in the mornings is not–at least for now–an option, and, even on our hotter days, it’s not much of an option at noon. I need to find another activity that will help me gain mobility—as the pool did–to replace it. I just don’t know what that looks like now. But, in an effort to go beyond where I am now, to stretch just a little in the physical department, I have chosen to drink 64 ounces of water.
If I’m not careful, I can drink coffee (and nothing else) all day long. ALL DAY. Being sick the past few weeks has shown me that I haven’t been careful in a long time, and it’s damn near impossible to get rid of sinus shit when you’re dehydrated.
It’s really not all that difficult if I actually pay attention.
But I’m also choosing to work in another domain, Vocation. For me, it’s writing. My first goal for this domain is to produce one project–be it report, short story, essay, whatever–per month for submission. Somewhere, anywhere. This, in addition to my maintaining my current level of writing, which is primarily blogging.
…Aaaannd this is where stuff gets tough. I don’t know how to make it fit. The elephant of my to-do list already cannot fit in the flower pot of my time and energy. So I will have to fire up my creative juices, experiment, and see what frees up some time and energy.
That might be a far more important habit than the actual writing. I already have two projects scheduled for November and December, ones that I have already contracted, and so the new-new projects won’t begin until January, unless I finish the others ahead of schedule.
In a world of miracles, anything is possible, right?
When we grow comfortable, we’re not growing. It is only by reaching out of our comfort level that we can move forward.
Here’s to being uncomfortable, and learning how to fit an elephant in a tea cup.