Meditation: Headspace, For the Weekend Length: 5 minutes Where: Office/Guest Room, Los Angeles How It Felt: Short and cuddly Who Joined Me: Tigre
Meditation: Balance, Breathe: Calm Down 4-6 Length: 3 minutes Where: Bedroom Desk Area, Los Angeles How It Felt: Rushed
Today was a two meditation kind of day. It might have been a “one big meditation” day, but I was too impatient to do a longer meditation earlier, and I wanted more.
I got so much done today, but always want to get more accomplished. I told my husband on our phone call earlier that I feel like I’m falling back into the way things were, and I really am determined to not let that happen. By the way things were, I mean before the pandemic. Before I slowed way, way down and realized all the amazing mental health benefits that came with that. Before I decided I wouldn’t live that way anymore.
It used to be that no matter how much I ran and ran through my days, my to do list was still a mile long. Things still got lost in the shuffle, canceled, missed, and overwhelming. I went to bed almost every night thinking I should have done more.
The problem is that life is amazing! I want to do, see and be everything! I want to take every acting job and every audition. I want to take amazing care of myself and keep my home running smoothly. I want to be organized and on top of things. I want to see everyone, and support their endeavors. I want to travel literally everywhere, and keep earning the money to keep supporting that expensive hobby. I want to go to every museum, every gallery opening, every play, every dinner and party we are invited to go to. I want to spend time with my husband doing fun things and nothing. I want to sleep, to sleep in, to take the time to choose healthy food, to have nights where I eat cheese for dinner and watch a dumb show, to be the best cat mom to Tigre and the best sister to my siblings. I want to read a book a week and learn languages and take classes and do yoga and meditate and write and take long walks and hike and go to the beach.
I want to write and direct and produce and paint and crochet and play piano and guitar and write new songs and be an improv master and try stand up comedy and watch every great film and act and act and act and act and act.
I also want to eventually clear out my inbox, once and for all. Somehow. Someday.
When everything stopped, I had to stop. I had no choice. Now we certainly aren’t back to being able to do everything, but we can do a lot of things! And I want to do them all, while finding a way to keep life running smoothly (at least until I make enough money to pay an assistant and a housekeeper!)
Listen. It’s too much. I know this. I see this.
But how can anyone want to miss anything?
Obviously, part of meditation is finding peace with things as they are and letting go of attachment. I am attached to the idea of missing nothing, and I have to let it go. This is life. I only have so many years, and I’m going to not get to do some things. Other things will be done imperfectly. That’s just that. I know this.
I’m trying to make peace with this.
In the meantime, I’m actively looking for ways to be more efficient and present. To help my days run more smoothly and give myself more time, so I don’t lose balance. Here are some ideas I’m working on:
- I think it’s really time to get better at a morning routine. I know starting my day strong always makes me feel like I’m ahead of things instead of starting out behind. Today I did three tasks right away that were stressing me out and then did yoga. That felt good. It would have been even better if I could have meditated and done my blog before I had to jump in the shower. Maybe also a round of Duolingo. This is the goal.
- During this pandemic I’ve spent way more time on social media than I ever did before. It was a form of human connection during isolation, and I also dove deeply into connecting with other activists regarding BLM and the election, among other issues. Today, I continue using social media as one tool in my activism kit, but I still scroll much too much out of habit. I know it eats up a ton of time, so this is a habit I need to break.
- I’ve been working on a nighttime routine that’s helped me get to bed earlier more reliably, and it’s going well. Time to tweak that sucker bit by bit into an earlier bedtime. I know I don’t make great use of the hours after midnight unless I’m feeling extremely creative (which definitely happens, so I’ll leave space for that) or deep into a good book (I would never chastise myself for reading.) An earlier start would help me kick off the day strong and give me more space to get a full morning routine in.
- I want to do another round of Konmari “light.” I did it for real (so intense!) right around the time we got married… so maybe six years ago. I’m certain I’ve collected more than I need and, while I’m in the habit of consistently giving things away, there are still some cluttered spaces that make life (and finding things) more stressful and time consuming than it needs to be. Time to hit it hard again.
- I need to start putting my work in the center of my life once more. That may sound like the opposite of what many people realized about themselves during this time, but that’s actually true for me. I’ve placed my career on the back-burner consciously and sub-consciously for so long. My work gives me spiritual and emotional fulfillment and makes me feel alive. It’s my path to stronger finances, exciting adventures, and the chance to make a bigger difference in the world. My actual life goals are all tied up in my job, with the exceptions of having an incredible marriage and being a great friend and supportive family member. Still, I’m my best self when I’m working consistently, so even those personal goals will benefit. I think the BS won’t bother me so much if the really important stuff is aligned.
So, we keep adjusting and see if we can get to that place with the least amount of anxiety and the most amount of fun and joy and fulfillment. I’m kind of excited to figure this out, actually! Like a puzzle or a game with a really cool prize at the end.
Notes on the actual meditations: Tigre curled up in my lap for round one and I was blissful. For round two, I sat down at the desk in our bedroom to write this blog and realized I wanted more. I did a breathing animation from the Balance app from my desk chair. The 4-6 (in and out) breathing exercise was labeled “Calm Down” but felt super fast! I now realize I like slow breathing with holds and long exhales when I’m feeling a little amped up.
Overall, though, it was a really good day. A nice evening in the park with a new friend group, made myself a delicious and healthy brunch and dinner, had the great morning described above, spent some quality time talking to my husband (who got a free bike today!), did some work to fight the Texas abortion issue, read some of my book- just a lot of lovely moments. I need to be more present and really enjoy those things. Maybe I won’t reach the end of every day feeling like I wasted so much time.
Maybe I can see all the magic in all the moments instead.
Ok, number 6: Be More Present.
Now here is the sweet face I saw when I opened my eyes at the end of the first meditation. How can I ever be anxious with this precious guy around?