Monday, March 12, 2012

How To Be Your Own Best Zen

zen (Photo credit: mkebbe)
"Zen" is a type of philosophy in the Eastern Hemisphere that believes that enlightenment can occur from meditation, self contemplation and intuition. I don't necessarily subscribe to all  Zen supports however I do think we can discover a great deal about ourselves by reflecting (self-contemplation) on our behavior and determining whether we need to make changes or not as well as from looking at what we intuitively know.

I am a perfect example of needing to use my intuition and self-contemplation to change a behavior. You see, I often have had to go dumpster diving when I have tried to multitask something rather than attend to one thing at a time. It seems I always misplace something while multitasking, especially when I try to clean up while I am doing other things. I would be trying to clean up from unpacking groceries or while trying to feed the dog and later realize I couldn't locate a gift card I purchased or a can of peas or most recently, a light bulb. Years ago, I would be trying to clear off my desk after a busy day at the office so I could get home quickly for my children's activities and I would need to return to the office later in the evening to rescue checks I had been given from the trash! Concert tickets, once thought lost, were discovered in the wastebasket near my desk after I remembered was filing away papers and clearing off my desk while talking on the phone.

Recently, I received a coupon from a jeweler I use. The coupon offered to clean and repair any damaged posts on rings for a reduced rate. I had just been thinking about taking my wedding rings in to be checked whenever I came across the coupon and decided to use it. My rings require a combination of dish detergent and extra effort to remove and so I made sure I had already taken them off and put them in a container before I even got to the jeweler's.

But, the day was much more busy than I planned and everything did not go as expected, it was nearly time for the jeweler to close when I arrived at the store. Not being able to locate the coupon was a minor problem, as I realized the container with my rings was no where to be found. I turned the car upside down trying to locate it while I watched the jeweler hang his "Closed" sign on the door. Then, I remembered I had put all the incidental odds and ends I didn't need anymore  in a bag in my car and dumped it promptly in the trash can at the post office where  I had stopped previously.

"My ring is in the trash at the post office!" I frantically thought. But it was far too late to go back as they had closed as well. In my mind I thought of how I was going to tell my husband I had lost the rings. I felt clammy and distracted the entire way home and was nearly in tears when I reached my house. As I started to unload the groceries into the kitchen, I saw the small pill container I had dropped my rings into still on the kitchen counter. I had forgotten to take them with me as I went to complete all my errands. Needless to say, the rings are back on my finger and not coming off until I am standing in front of the jeweler.
Photo of my bridal set (engagement and wedding...
Image via Wikipedia

When my husband arrived home and asked me how my day was, I quickly said, "Well I learned something I should always remember, today!.....Stop cleaning up!"

Obviously, my Zen was not to stop cleaning up but to pay more attention to each individual task than to try and knock off several at a time. I can't help but think that is how we often go about deciding how to pursue something important in our lives. We don't take the time for the internal contemplation. We don't assess our our style and behavior to make sure we are going about it in a way that is complimentary to our personality and allows the best to be brought out in the process and we sometimes don't look at what didn't work in the past and allow it to be a teaching experience. We are so busy with everything instead of what really needs our undivided attention. Sometimes we are far from our own best zen.

English: Dumpster diving in Stockholm, Sweden

Do you ever feel like you have great ideas but don't know how to get them started or that you are in a rut but have no clue how to break the cycle? Do you ever think you make the same mistakes over and over again or simply go after your dream with the same formula that didn't work in the past?  Take it from a girl who spends more time than she should looking through what she throws away, everyone of us has a behavior that interferes with our accomplishments and needs addressed. Everyone of us has a passion that sometimes needs a little more fuel to get it going.

If you want to take your passion to the next level, if you want to get your dreams off the ground the right way, if you want to quit spinning your wheels and going nowhere, register for CALLED WOMAN 2012 and make the rest of your life the best of your life.

I'll be soon as I can find my car keys which I hope are not in the .....!
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  1. What a great post Kathy! Multitasking is really not all it's cracked up to be! And here's a coincidence... I'll be at the Called Woman Conference TOO! See you there...

    1. Lynne,
      Thanks for your comments as always...I'm blessed!

  2. I do like you when multitasking. I find the strangest things in my refrigerator,lots in my trash, I washed a money order for rent once when I was in such a hurry to get laundry picked up and done I didn't check pockets. Why was it in my pocket and not my purse? "shrugs shoulders" I have no idea....great post.

    1. Jan,
      I guess it is good to know I am not the only one who has yet to learn how to multitask truly efficiently or maybe that means we just both need to have our "zen" better tuned.
      Thanks for your response, Jan...go through your laundry!