– a horrible state of mind that comes to visit from time to time. Not too often, thankfully – most of the time I’m pretty grateful for each day, and keenly interested in people, places and things. But now and then this tips over into a negative state of mind – when the huge amount of stuff available becomes an overwhelming flood, and I can’t decide what to do
I know having too much choice is a high-class problem. I hate it when I am saddled with the monkey-mind and can’t enjoy anything because I’m looking at all the other things I should/could be doing. It reminds me of when I was in my teens, and whichever party I was at, the action always seemed to be at the next one …
There are various antidotes for this – I can get out of my head and do something nice for another person, I can be still and connect with my Higher Power, I can decide on one thing to do and choose to be happy with that. Usually the first step in all of this is acceptance. Railing against myself doesn’t help!
I have a quote from Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now on my fridge door:
“The modalities of awakened doing are acceptance, enjoyment and enthusiasm. Each one represents a certain vibrational frequency of consciousness. You need to be vigilant to make sure that one of them operates whenever you are engaged in doing anything at all – from the most simple task to the most complex. If you are not in the state of either acceptance, enjoyment, or enthusiasm, look closely and you will find that you are creating suffering for yourself and others.”
I heard someone say once that the amount of information in a Sunday newspaper (and its tree’s worth of supplements!), is as much input as the average person in the Middle Ages would have known in a lifetime. No wonder the top of my head sometimes feels like it’s going to explode! My bedtime reading is a good example of the too-much-itis to which I am prone. I’m currently reading five books: What the Grown-Ups Were Doing by Michele Hanson, Man and God by Victor Gollancz, Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, The Diary of Samuel Pepys – Volume III, and Waiting for the Night-Rowers by Roger Moulson. Recipe for over-stimulation? No wonder I couldn’t sleep one night this week!
The full moon was up that night, and there was an interesting item on Radio 4 about new research, which indicates we may be more connected to the phases of the moon than previously thought. Not news to me – I’ve always noticed how crazy some people’s driving gets around the full moon. And I’ve met a number of nurses who say how much more disturbed psychiatric patients are at these times. But what really caught my attention was a writer who talked about the old lunar-time modules for living, still in use in some parts of the world, and how much slower and more attuned to nature they were, and how perhaps today people just stuff too much into their days. That really spoke to me. I am a list-maker, my To Do List frequently has over 25 items. There are things on there that more often than not just get transferred onto the next list. My current one includes quite a few of these victims of procrastination:
Re-pot basil, lavender, rosemary, plant pink
Sign up for Brighton 10K
Tidy and file piles
Perhaps it’s time to pick up my battered old copy of Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much by Anne Wilson Schaef. My dear husband, who knows me so well, bought me this some years back, and wrote on the inside cover: “When I picked up this little book it said ‘Buy me for Judith’. Hope you enjoy.” He drew my attention to the entry for August 15th; it’s still a favourite, and I hope Ms Wilson Schaef won’t mind me quoting from it here:
“Some of us have modelled our lives after the roadrunner cartoon character: jump out of bed – beep, beep. Throw in a load of laundry so it can wash while we do our exercises and shower – beep, beep. Nine minutes for make-up and hair – beep, beep. Seven minutes for starting the coffee, getting dressed, and popping in the toast. Five minutes for eating breakfast and making out a list of things that must be done today – beep, beep. Throw laundry into the dryer, grab coat, purse, and briefcase, and burst through the front door – beep, beep. By the time we have finished our morning routine, most people would be exhausted, and we have just begun – beep … beep …
Perhaps it is important to remember that I was not created to be a roadrunner, even if we have some features in common.”