April 6 Meditation - Eschewing Productivity
Updated: May 19
I’m going to share a personal anecdote tonight.
I knew I wanted to talk about productivity this evening, and the pressure we’re maybe or probably putting on ourselves to be productive with this time. I’m definitely feeling that. I have so many projects, and so many books I’ve been meaning to read, and so many hobbies or self-care rituals waiting for me to engage them. Isn’t it crazy how even relaxation can feel like an obligation sometimes?
I know there’s been some conversation about this topic over the past week on various online channels, and some of it has been helpful for me, especially the idea of regarding allowing ourselves space to process what’s happening globally. This involves a lot of grieving, and anxiety, and acceptance. I’m seeing that a lot of those feelings are still somewhat subconscious, but there’s a somatic sensation that something is not right. When you pause your productivity and listen to the body, you find all kinds of cues and information about what it is your spirit is needing to process.
The problem with productivity, or one of the problems, is that our focus becomes fixated on doing and producing, and there’s very little opportunity to observe, to notice, to feel. That’s the gift of this time of slowing down—there’s an unprecedented opportunity to slow down.
But even as I consciously believe in these words and believe in the value of this message, I find myself still pushing myself to DO something! To come up with ideas or words or actions. This is the opposite of stillness.
So as I sat down to do some work, the love of my life, who is a 12-year-old tabby named Cece, some of you know her, decided she wanted to cuddle, which is very atypical, she’s normal exclusively a night time cuddler. And she planted herself directly on top of my arms and hands, she’s not a small creature, and I decided to go with it. And we had this lovely hour long cuddle-nap, which was just wonderful. So restorative. Such a lovely sip of connection in this time of isolation.
It occurred to me, this is what she does ALL DAY. Every day! Animals have so much to teach us.
So with Cece’s permission, or her demand, really, I had this hour of non-productive presence. It was such a beautiful gift. That’s what I want to offer you tonight: an hour of presence.
a madman inside of you
who is always running for office--
why vote him in,
for he never keeps the accounts straight.
he gets all kinds of crooked deals
happening all over town
that will just give you a big
and glue to your kisser