As far back as my memory will allow me to reflect, I have lived a life of fully-structured time. Even when I’ve had an “unstructured” career, such as providing personal coaching or teaching Pilates, I still had a great deal of structure to my day-to-day routine, since it was important for me to make appointments on time and fulfill my obligations.
For the past several days, I’ve been living in the complete unknown. The great unknown of zero formal obligations. Don’t get me wrong, I have some expectations of myself and what I should accomplish every day, but I have no meetings, client appointments or even a work place that I need to show up for. I am starting to realize how foreign non-structure is to me. And perhaps a bit uncomfortable for my psyche.
A few years ago, my business coach introduced me to the concept of “big stones.” The idea is if you want to get everything accomplished, you have to pick which of your to do’s are the “big stones”; ie. the most important things that must happen in order for you to move forward with your goals. I took this concept a step further and have always made sure the big stones were the first things I worked toward every day. Without this concept, I would probably not be getting anything done during this unstructured period in my life, so I am grateful for this concept, but I am also wondering about those less fortunate little stones and grains of sand. Perhaps I want more sand and small stones in my life right now and fewer big stones?
What is showing up for me during all this relaxed time, is that magic shows up when I am free to flow from task to task, from moment to moment, without expectations or obligation. More time to meditate, contemplate, process, read cookbooks, bake, read, talk to friends, think big thoughts, make peace with my past, set new goals and envision even bigger dreams. This is a luxury that won’t last forever, but for now, I am appreciating the experience and not getting lost in the fear of non-productivity, which is a wonderful thing.