This was not anything too out of the ordinary, but last week my first client of the day had to cancel at the last minute because she wasn’t feeling well. When my client canceled, I knew that it was for the best. I knew that I had needed a little more time and the universe was giving it to me. “I absolutely must make the most of this extra time and be super productive,” was my first thought. While I was trying to decide what to do with my time, I sat down and started writing a work-related list of things I needed to do. Nothing came to me. Nothing was urgent.
Instead of a to-do list, an image popped in my head…. This image to be exact. My son, sitting under my lilac bush in full bloom. Next thing you know, I was on google. I was reading all sorts of articles on how to harvest lilac and use it in various food, drinks, body care, etc. I was excited and having fun learning. The best part was that I had time to try it out, right now! So that is exactly what I did.
I went home and I went out to the lilac bush and cut off some of the most beautiful and aromatic blooms. I was super present in observing them and smelling them. It was so enjoyable. I took them inside and plucked the flower heads off of the stems until I had enough for my various projects. This plucking was so meditative, but every 5 minutes or so, some old thoughts rooted deep in cultural messages about production and value and worth would pop in my brain.
Things along the lines of “You should be working right now” or “This is a waste of time” or “There are a million other things you could be doing”. I listened to those old thoughts, and then I let them go. They simply were not true for me in that moment. There was nothing else in that moment that I needed to be doing other than exactly what I was doing.
Was it productive? Well, no, not in our societal definition of the word. A big yes in my personal definition of the word, though. Even while I was enjoying each moment, and learning new things, I was trying to figure out a way to make it productive. I was going to write a blog post on how to harvest lilac and what I learned and how you can use things in your yard to support your health.
Instead, I realized that there was a deeper message that I needed to learn and then convey. It wasn’t about the process of harvesting and producing. It was all about the process of letting go of old messages and making room for JOY in daily life. We get caught up in the daily obligations that there is often no space, but I challenge you to make space, allow the space, and then use the space for something that is not productive.
It is going to feel super uncomfortable at first. There will be guilt and old messages popping up. I know for me, ther can even be some anxiety coming up. There can be a lot of things that come up when we stop associating our value with what we do or what we produce. Let it happen, let it come up, and then let it go. As you can see, I still struggle with this. It has been a continuous practice over the last few years. I’m getting better at it and I encourage you to try it out. Do something because you want to. Maybe it seems fun or you are curious. Let me know how it goes!