When you just can’t get through the list

It’s just been one of those days when gathering my thoughts is like herding cats. Where working through action items on a list is, well, more of a wish than a reality. The minute I have a few neurons playing well together several others spot a squirrel and scamper off in different directions.

My go-to solution to this level of mind-scatter is usually taking a solitary walk through a nearby woods. Typically I return able to corral my wayward mind and move through tasks. This evening I’m not finding my sought-after inner quiet from the pre-snow stillness though.

At first glance the woods offer that hope – pine trees, geese settling on a field, chilly, a day easing toward a soft darkness. Under the surface though, I feel my own sense of scattered energies reflected in the chaotic life surging in places I can’t see. We’re beyond the winter solstice, so spring is stirring. Deep in my bones I can sense sap seeping in trees, seeds deep in the soil gathering nutrients, water moving through the ground opening new pathways, continents shifting on the liquid rock matrix of this earth.

While I am a parent, coach, writer, sister, and community member; I am most essentially a human ecosystem in relationship with the larger ecosystem of the land where I live (as are we all). Being consciously in relationship with this wild and green world means experiencing the fluctuating rhythms of her seasons and cycles in my body/mind. Living them as much as every other member of this ecosystem, whether plant, animal or microbe.

When the ecosystem is restful, that experience is calming. When it’s surging with barely contained energy, gathering resources against the great push of spring growth, the experience is exploding with potential.

The key to avoiding frustration is working with your ecosystem’s pulse.

Fighting it is possible of course, but exhausting, and you might miss opportunities by trying to control things and force a state of mind that isn’t coming naturally.

Tonight, rather than trying to write an oh-so-organized list of business tips, I’m riding the wave of this surging spring energy and sharing the story of my experience as an invitation to you. If you’re intrigued, try spending 10 minutes (or so) outside quietly breathing and paying attention to how your body feels. Sense into simmering sensations. Follow the breadcrumbs of small impulses. Feel the state of your ecosystem. Notice how you’re responding. Then play with that energy. Experiment with how it can support your intentions and goals even if that means detouring from “the list.” Does it offer a new perspective on an issue? An unexpectedly creative approach to a project? Permission to ditch the list and tell a story? Just notice and then choose your next action. You never know what lusciousness might happen.

Any questions? Did you try? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Tracie Nichols writes poetry and facilitates group writing experiences from under the wide reach of two old Sycamore trees in southeastern Pennsylvania. She is the co-founder of the Embodied Writers writing group and a Transformative Language Artist helping women write themselves home. You can find Tracie on her website.

Related Posts

If you enjoyed this, you might also enjoy these