Are you always in a hurry to finish the moves you need to make as you go through your day? I am. I push myself to fold my laundry fast, get a meal ready and wash up lickety-split. Or check my emails and answer them. Make “duty” telephone calls. Clean up after myself.
But think about it. This is our life we’re hurrying to get through! If it’s a path that’s going to end some day in our final hour on earth, do we really want to hurry down it? What’s on the other side? It just might be worthwhile to taste every moment as if it were the last one. Think about it, then give it a try, even for one day. Today.
Maybe because I’m getting closer to that last one myself, I’ve begun to enjoy tasks I used to hurry through — carefully folding my long scarf when I come home and hanging up my jacket. Wow! That’s really new! I used to throw whatever I wore down on a table near where I came in, and pick it up later when I went out again as I hurried on to the next thing.
I recently uncovered a form of bargaining below the mind to justify myself. It goes like this: “As soon as I get through the ‘must do’ list I’ll have time for myself.” Once I caught on, I began to argue with this attitude. “Dearie,” I said to myself (because I think I need a little affection as well as direction), “This moment right now is your time for yourself. Your folding time. Your straightening-things-up time. Your feed-yourself and clean-up-after-yourself time. There is no other time.”
That hurry-up-in-order-to-sit-down mentality is my reality, and perhaps yours too. It’s our life, our inner life, that’s engaged in whatever movements we make. We may talk about presence and really wish to be present. But there’s only one way to invite our own presence into everything we do. SLOW DOWN! Live each moment with affection. Treasure each living movement you make as a temporary gift. Treasure yourself.
If that doesn’t help, here’s mind-stopping question can serve like a Zen koan: “Just where are we going as we rush through the events of our lives?”