The Ready Room: Ready to Work

Say it.      Think it.       Do it.

Do you ever have something that you simply have to do but getting yourself into motion to do it seems impossible–or at least just too easy to put off until tomorrow, again?  Of course you do.  We all do.  The task could be just one of those taking-care-of-life things like cleaning out the garage or taking the car in for an oil change.  It could also be a big deal:  preparing the fiscal year end report at work, writing the chapter of the book or dissertation that you are working on, or going to visit the elderly relative who really can’t take care of themselves anymore and helping them make some major life decisions.  Little. Big.  We know we need to do these things, but we have trouble moving toward them, moving into them.

I’ve found a personal ritual or meditation that helps me at times like these.  I say it.  I think it.  And then, I get up and do it.  It’s actually almost as easy as it sounds.  Almost.  Each of these little acts of the ritual somehow prepare me to move.  It’s like getting something (me) that is entirely still into motion and once the motion has started, doing the thing becomes so much easier (even if it’s still difficult!).

I say it out loud.  I go to a place in the house where I can be alone for a minute, and  I say out loud, declaratively, what I am going to do.  I say it a few times until I sound convincing.  Once I sound convincing to myself, the next part is easier.  I begin to mentally see myself doing the thing.  As soon as I can see myself doing the thing that lump of resistance that I wasn’t even aware that I was feeling, usually located right in the middle of my chest, seems to dissolve some if not entirely.  Then, I physically move toward the thing to do, and I start. The start might require my computer, or a phone call, or a broom.  I move toward whatever tools I will need to do the thing.  Frequently, I have decided to just start the thing knowing that it will take longer than I can do right now, but for now I am going to start the thing.  Often enough, moving to start the thing finds me finishing the thing without a pause.  What began as just a start actually moved me all the way through the thing I needed to do.

Say it.             Think it.               Do it.

Bob Patrick

 

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