A First Step to Dealing with Procrastination
Some changes necessary in your spiritual life seem like a 1000 mile journey. But resisting the necessary action in life, will not take you where you want to go.
If you procrastinate in some areas of your regular life, you will do so on your spiritual path. Procrastination, then can be a block to achieving your spiritual intentions.
It is worthwhile observing and becoming aware of your procrastination patterns. Doing this is the beginning of a 1000 mile spiritual journey toward change.
- Take a first step toward resolving procrastination by thinking about something you procrastinate in.
- Then imagine it done, then how you would feel when it is.
- Notice any resistance that rises up when you imagine this.
- Jot your observations down in a journal.
Such awareness represents the very first step to resolving any procrastination issue.
Right click on this link and choose “Save target as…” to download journal pages.
(Previously) We did a Lao Tzu contemplation, “A journey of a 1,000 miles…” Imagine walking 1,000 miles, on foot. It is quite a journey. Some of us have taken that kind of a journey in life. Some of our lives have been quite arduous.
What I notice in my observing of people is that whatever is a challenge in their regular life, whether that is success or forgiveness or procrastination, which is what we are going to talk about today, whatever challenges in their lives filters into their spiritual application. So in your spiritual life, if you are a procrastinator in your regular life and we are moving into weaving our spiritual life into the whole of our living, if you are a procrastinator there you’re going to be a procrastinator here. It just is what it is.
I thought we could begin to play with looking at procrastination. This is actions to take and procrastination is a huge subject. I am sure I will be talking about it a lot. There are areas that I am very clear about and there is no procrastinating happening and there are areas in my life where things pile up and I keep putting them off. I think it is quite similar to most people’s procrastination experience. Some of you may find it an extremely debilitating lack of practice.
It (Procrastination) is actually something you “do.” You do procrastinate so it is taking action about not taking action. It is all quite funny in the end.
I can offer you some questions to ask yourself. Put them in your journal. Remember you can download journal pages and use them jot the questions down, just right click on the link at the top of the right column and choose “Save target as…”
First of all, pick an area that really irks you, that you know you procrastinate a lot about. It may be doing your housework. It may be paying your bills. It may be clearing up what you consider the mundane chores of life. It may be procrastinating about letting go of something, dealing with something unpleasant, another person’s unpleasantness. You may be putting off dieting…you know, if you can think it, you can procrastinate about it.
One of the helpful ways to begin to deal with and crack open procrastination, is to realize that fighting it doesn’t work. Resistance causes resistance. We are not about being resistant, we are about finding a way through this so that we can easily carry on with what we want to carry on with without feeling this burden of procrastination.
Again, this is just a beginning, a first step, on our 1,000 mile journey in releasing procrastination. Think about…say you procrastinate cleaning up the house, for example, cleaning up your office, your space, cleaning up your car – doesn’t matter where it is – things get cluttered and cluttered and you consider (cleaning up) a chore.
Imagine what it will feel like when it is done. But most important to imagine what it will feel like when it is done; when you’ve cleaned up your car; when you’ve tidied your office, imagine what that would feel like, but really watch for the resistance to imagining it. It might happen very quickly.
There must be resistance or you would do it. It would be done. So (regarding procrastination) the resistance to doing something is always there. One of the ways of bringing that up, bringing up some thoughts about it and bring it up some understanding, is to start imagining what it will feel like when you’ve gathered up all the little bits and pieces of paper that are in your car or in your trunk; when you’ve cleaned it out, when you’ve Windexed the mirrors and the windows, when you’ve cleaned it up. What will it feel like.
Just notice, what will it feel like. There’s your car shiny clean, tidy. Are there any thoughts that pop up? Write them down. Are there any memories that pop up? Write them down. Are there any feelings of resistance: “Oh it’ll take a long time…la la la; it’s too much effort..It’ll only get dirty again.” Doesn’t matter (what you discover), but just be a scientist and observer the whole process that goes on with you when you consider carrying out some action in an area where you procrastinate. Write it down in your journal. It is a step towards a 1,000 miles of unraveling what it is procrastination is about with you.
Two things: Notice that you don’t have to resist about this. It is not about fighting yourself. So let go of resistance. There are tools in my book: At Your Heart’s Pace, tapping, releasing, surrendering, three major tools and also a different way of affirming. Tools to help you release resistance but in this process that we are doing, try not to get caught up in resistance.
You are just in imagining. You are imagining what it would be like to carry out the task you are resisting so that you can get some insight, some awareness, or something to do with the tools that release resistance.
I hope you enjoy this process.
Peace to you.