Every morning in the state of beginning awareness that could just as easily slip back into sleep, the question at the front of my brain is “How will you spend your energy today?”
Understanding energy as a force in life has helped me learn to pay attention to the ways life is playing out. Are the daily goals of taking care of myself being met? Would the health department shut me down because of the stacks of paper on my desk? At what stage are the extra ordinary goals ? Are they stuck? What is the best use of my day?
Twenty years ago the answer to my morning question was usually esoteric. “Create order out of chaos for yourself and other”, which was to remind my monkey mind it was not going to stay on the playground all day. Living in a state of chaos is an energy drain and living with clutter in the mind or on the desk is a habit that can be changed. Dividing my day into time or task increments is a way to help me focus and pay attention and plan my energy needs. As I age and deal with chronic pain, decisions about moving chaos out of my life makes my life easier and more fulfilling.
If you are an elder struggling with “stuff” in your mind or in your environment, we can ask a set of questions to set you on a different path. What creates chaos for you? What creates a calm space? Is there a place you feel rejuvenated? So you feel overwhelmed by possessions or people? Do you have a place where you feel of accepted by others?
How are you taking time to bring laughter and joy and the beauty of nature into your life? These are all choices about how you are going to live the remainder of your life. If you do not have the skills necessary to reduce physical or mind clutter and feel constantly frustrated, you are not too old to learn. Being mindful and paying attention to how you spend your time can become the better habit.
There are thousands of books and classes on the subject and one of my favorite oldie but goodie is If the Buddha got Stuck by Charlotte Kasl, Ph.D. It is all worthwhile reading, but Chapter 14-23. was written with me in mind I am sure! If living in the present is the goal, clearing out the past and accepting the future as it comes in a necessary skill for us old, older and oldest folks.
**** No one has every accused me of being neat and tidy. The reason the wall got dusted is to help in the struggle against spring allergies. My swifter and I made quick work of my bedroom.