On Sunday, I spent a luxuriously lazy day on my couch reading books, cuddling with my cats, hearing rumbles of thunder & drippy raindrops, drinking multiple cups of coconut chai tea.
But every now and then, a twinge of guilt and self-recrimination crept in:
"I should really go work out," "I should be doing the laundry," "I have so much to do; what is wrong with my energy level? Why don't I feel more inspired to keep working?" and the ultimate: "Stop being so LAZY."
(That's my grandmother Angeline's voice, by the way.)
Loved her, and yet, she instilled a hefty dose of shame around being "lazy" in me.
Benefit: Work Ethic.
Drawback: Unrelenting Work Ethic.
A particular kind of suffering arises from constant busyness ... ...a disconnection from my self, source and soul, ...a growing ache for more presence, clarity and communion with life.
Grappling with discerning rest from laziness, I'll share some practices that I have found helpful:
Checking-Out or Checking-IN?
, Pema Chodron identifies three debilitating habitual patterns that we mistake for "down time" but are instead usually ways of checking-out and numbing out:
Having a comfort orientation
Experiencing a loss of heart
Adopting an "I couldn't care less" attitude.
In Rising Strong (yes I am finally getting to it and of course am LOVING it!) Brene Brown reminds us that:
Experience "Laziness" fully, without judgment:
Get curious about laziness; don't ignore, resist or condemn it.
Pema Chodron's approach to working effectively with laziness parallels NVC practices of observing mindfully and getting to know "what is" deeply:
"Start experimenting with the warrior's compassionate approach ...laziness has a basic living quality that deserves to be experienced just as it is. Perhaps we will find an irritating, pulsating quality inlaziness. We might feel it as dull and heavy, or as vulnerable and raw ... the process of experiencing laziness directly and nonverbally is transformative.
It unlocks a tremendous energy that is usually blocked by our habit of running away ... This is how laziness - or any other demon - introduces us to the compassionate life."
So my fellow travelers: Get present. Get re-connected. Ground yourself. Rejuvenate. Relax. Lean into discomfort. Feel. Be present. Breathe deeply.
Watch and welcome whatever arises.
These are the practices of a compassionate life.
Love It All Up.