Beyond Auto-Pilot Living (and writing)

December 22, 2017

“Always say ‘yes’ to the present moment… Surrender to what is. Say ‘yes’ to life – and see how life starts suddenly to start working for you rather than against you.”
~Eckhart Tolle

When I was a kid in church, I was bored. I couldn’t connect to what was going on so would think about other things, sigh impatiently, and couldn’t wait until that hour was over. Today I attend the Unity Spiritual Center of Denver, a place I love and feel very connected to.

And yet every so often that old auto-pilot kicks in and I find my mind wandering, thinking of things I have to do later. If I’m not present and aware, that old subconscious, automatic response kicks in, even though I’m not in that Catholic church I grew up attending.

Then I catch myself and remind myself I have chosen to be here. I want to be here. So that means being here. Listening. Participating. Giving and receiving the gifts of this hour. And when I do, it lifts my entire day.

Intentional Mornings

Lately I’ve falling off my morning routine of meditation, yoga, run/walk and then getting to my work and writing. I’ve fallen back into a habit I developed after last November: checking the news on my phone, which is right next to my bed. Next thing I know I’ve gone down the news/looking things up/clicking links black hole and need to get to an appointment or some such. So no mediation or yoga.

Yesterday I didn’t write this blog post or work on my book, even though I had both of those in mind all day. Instead, I was down that black hole for awhile, then dealt with some financial stuff, then cleaned rooms for the arrival of our kids, then ran errands. It was a good day, but could have been better if I’d started it the way I wanted to AND set aside writing time for both this post and my novel.

What I know: Days started with meditation and yoga = higher happiness level and better focus. This means I actually get more done.

What I will do: Get back to my morning routine.

Intentional Writing

For me, intentional writing starts with intentional writing time. In the last few weeks, I’ve been reserving study rooms at different libraries and meeting a few writing partners there. Sometimes we do timed sessions, sometimes not. But showing up with them has been key to making time to write and staying focused on my project.

I’m also honoring my writing time for what it is. Like attending my spiritual center, I chose to write during this time. I want to write during this time. So I commit. I know what I’m going to focus on in this novel. I think about it. I imagine writing it. And when I’m writing, I’m all in. If I have an urge to do something else, I remind myself I can do that after my writing time is finished. I sink back into the writing, enjoying the words on the page. If I get stuck, I wait. I stand up. I walk around. I don’t check my email or anything else. I remain present to the process. I make the most of that writing time and it’s paying off in progress and joy.

Next week I’ll talk about intentional decisions, one of the true keys to joy and satisfaction. 🙂