Monday, June 4, 2007

Enlivening Each Day
"We learn and grow and are transformed not so much by what we do but by why and how we do it." — Sharon Salzberg

Writing a dictionary, as I said before, is an interesting challenge. There is a sameness to the format, with tiny variations within each word. To stay entertained I must pay attention to nuances and penetrate, penetrate, penetrate. Otherwise the writing process is numbing. Add to that the fact that the publisher just told me that what I thought was complete really is too short and I need to define over 200 more words! Then there are the strings of days, piled atop one another, with the goal each day to finish x number of words, to meet deadlines. . . the extra challenge is to not have my life itself turn into a blur. Some days it does. I notice lately I'm not exactly sure what day of the week it is. I have forgotten to call people back who left messages 2 days before. I have forgotten to take a walk, or get up and stretch. My flowers need water.

Part of my mind says, "Just keep at it, push through. Get it done, it won't be much longer." That will-driven, goal-oriented, hard-working, high-producing mode is deeply familiar to me. But what of the quality of life? This IS my time on earth, to experience things to the fullest and life does seem short as you get older. Who will facilitate enjoyment and beauty, if not me? Who will keep this body healthy, if not me? There are circles within circles: a tiny focus on a single word, a larger focus on all the words under one letter heading, all the words in the dictionary, the whole book, my other communications, my other interests that aren't word and people-related, my dreamworld, my experience of presence in all things where nothing has to be done at all. These things really do interpenetrate if I feel a large enough circle and sense them all at once.

So, today, an experiment: I ask to be shown by my deeper self how to flow my awareness among many interests, entertain myself, and also produce a significant volume of work. I start NOW!

Nothing is more effective than a deep, slow inhale and release for surrendering what you can’t control and focusing again on what is right in front of you.” —Oprah Winfrey