When I left to go meet with clients the other day, I noticed the Impatiens my sister Amy brought to life while she was here, were drooping and calling to me, shouting “We need a drink!”
As I whizzed by already a few minutes late, I promised I would do it when I got back.
Four hours later, the droop had become suffering! The stems could not stand tall anymore and were basically collapsing on themselves! The blooms were drenched in their own heavy agony!
OMG, such devastation in just 4 hours!
I was horrified! Just the day before I had loved every single plant…washing them down with invigorating water, lovingly giving them a “feel good” shake, gathering up what they had released to allow new growth…and they drank heavily of water.
Dropping everything, I rushed to get the hose and tend to my housemates. Examining them closely, I felt especially concerned for a few who were planted in pretty pots that didn’t serve them very well. These pots didn’t steadily hold the water for the plant, allowing it to drink over time…instead, these pots flooded the plant with all of the water at once…causing an “all or nothing feeling”, otherwise known as “too much” or “not enough”.
I took the time to give each one 3 drinks and became occupied with a few projects and preparing to teach later that evening.
The following morning, I woke up feeling heavy, not eager to begin my day. My thoughts were mostly filled with “to-do’s”, rather than replenishment.
I allowed the habits I have deliberately fostered to lead me and found myself in my morning chair with a cup of coffee and my journal. My thoughts were all entangled, snarled up, almost competing for attention! Yet when I tried to listen, these thoughts would scurry away and withhold themselves from me, revealing nothing!
I allowed an urge to lead me to pray in the way I have been taught, offering gratitude as if what I am asking for has already been delivered to me, and then stepped outside.
All over my deck and staircase, the impatiens who had recently shocked me with their droop shocked me again! I saw them eagerly greeting the day, their blooms smiled at me brightly. There were even new buds preparing to bloom, and some that had newly opened!
As I examined each one, it became obvious to me “the drought” had affected each plant differently. Some flowers had developed white spots on them, others released the flowers that had passed or presented leaves that had yellowed.
I even found this perfectly formed, tiny bud that hadn’t been able to withstand the drought. As I looked at it, I felt hurt inside. It was so beautiful yet it would never become more.
Not becoming more, that is what poked at me so uncomfortably.
Suddenly I realized, the heavy feeling I described earlier was gone and so were my tangled-up thoughts.
As I breathed deeply, I heard myself say, “Thank God, what a relief!”
Knowing what I know about how emotions show up in our bodies, I understood my body was receiving a flood of chemicals and hormones associated with the feeling of relief.
In this state of being it occurred to me that placing my attention on things that matter to me is as “life-giving” as water is to plants.
When water is consistently provided, flowers bloom and plants flourish.
When my attention is consistently placed on my wishes and dreams, they bloom and flourish.
When the flower pot is designed to hold the water, it allows the plant to drink over time, flowers bloom and plants flourish.
When my day-to-day choices allow me to nurture my wishes and dreams with consistent attention, my wishes and dreams come to life.
When procrastination arrives instead, my lack of attention is just like a lack of water and over time a drought can turn into the death of my wishes and dreams.
Procrastination is an unconscious, self-imposed restriction that causes me to withhold my attention from something I feel obligated to complete and then begins to torture me as I feel unable to move forward.
The discomfort I feel is fueled by the chemicals and hormones associated with procrastination and is perpetuated by my beliefs about obligation. This state of being threatens my security, fuels my fear, and then turns inward, shamefully chastising myself for failing, or turns outward and blames someone else for causing that failure.
These tangled-up emotions, thoughts, beliefs, and actions restrict me from moving forward and then I feel incapable, not good enough, or powerless.
In the past, I did whatever it took to push procrastination away from me, but what I’ve learned is procrastination holds gold for me. Gold in the form of personal clarity-inspired thoughts, and the deliberate action that results in my ability to move forward consistently.
Would you like to move forward more consistently? Let’s talk about it!