Most Saturdays these phrases are banging around in my mind as I wake-up:
Expectations, Checklists, Got to get things done.
I feel exhausted before I have my breakfast.
Two Saturdays ago, I choose a different phrase to start my day: “What now?”
That simple question opened up space, helped me choose a focus and changed my mindset about time. Did I still have a checklist? Yes, but instead of
….. attempting to pick the most important item first and
….. spending my energy on how much time it will take, and
….. will there be enough time to do the other things, and
….. there better not be any disruptions in my day that throw my expectations haywire, and … Whew!
I looked at my checklist and asked myself, “What now, Kevin?”
Wherever my energy moved me is where I went with no other expectations or thoughts of time. I did make a conscious choice to not go into my home office for the weekend.
So, how did my Saturday go? It unfolded with a rhythm. When I accomplished one thing I always poised the question, “What now, Kevin?” and I consciously moved to something that interested me in that moment. When my sister-in-law stopped by unexpectedly mid-morning, the answer to, “What now?” was to consciously pause and be fully present with her. When she left an hour later, “What now?” led me to whatever drew me in at the moment.
I rarely looked at my watch that day. “What now?” led me to eat lunch when I was hungry. “What now” led me to pause and just read for a time in our back yard of flower gardens. When Jo, our neighbor sauntered into our back yard, “What now?” was to pause and be fully present with her.
That evening, I reflected on my day. It was a most enjoyable Saturday. There was no need to measure if I met my expectations or completed everything on my checklist.
Choose your focus, make a conscious choice, and change your mindset about time. These are mindfulness practices that transform us from being bound by expectations and results to creating space in responding to, “What now?”
I challenge you to try this:
Select a day and begin it with, “What now?” Share your experiences by posting them or email me.