As summer has been in full swing, I’ve finally had a chance to breathe. I’ve begun working as a therapist at La Vie Counseling Center in Pasadena but the course load at USC has been lightening up. You would think I would feel relieved. And sure, that lasted about a day.
Now, I feel guilty.
Any spare time I have should be spent toward my next book to write, fitness class, marketing for speaking engagements—(fill in the blank with your own tasks). Instead of just being happy to relax, I have been burdening myself with unnecessary worries. Sure, these tasks are important goals but what good are they if I am not feeling well rested and spiritually nourished?
I think this is something we punish ourselves with all the time. Any chance we have to watch a movie, read a book for pleasure, or just sit and do nothing—we worry and fret over it. We think of other excuses that diminish this very much needed time, so that even when we do have an opportunity to enjoy, we judge ourselves for it.
We have to remind ourselves that it is okay to rest. It is not a bad thing to not be productive every waking hour of the day. It’s okay to not be productive for an entire week! Part of why I write this is because I need to remind myself to accept this free time openly. I need to embrace these days of unscheduled time and for once, not write a to-do list. Be okay with the unknown of the day. And if I just read a book, instead of write my next one? So be it. It is not in vain.
The other day I visited our family beach house and began painting. As an avid Lilly Pulitzer lover, I painted the nautical print with sailboats breezing by. It seemed fitting as I listened to the waves. In that solid hour of painting, I did not feel burdened to talk, plan, or prepare. I could just be. We call this concept “flow” where you can lose track of time and truly be present in the moment. It was such an enriching experience that I can’t wait to paint more prints next week.
As I wrap up this post, I want to leave you with a quote that I heard a therapist say the other day:
“Too much of the time, we are human doings. We scurry around, busying ourselves with tasks. Instead, let us focus on simply existing as a human BEING.”
So, as we move through this week, are you a human doing, going through the motions? Or are you present, living and breathing as a human being?