Happenstance, synchronicity, fate, chance, serendipity, or just plain dumb luck. Those odd occurrences where you find you have what you need, procured before you even knew you needed it or how you were going to use it. Like the piece of clothing you buy because you like it, that hangs in your closet, unnoticed, until it is perfect for some event you had convinced yourself you had nothing to wear to. Or the very interesting book you buy, place on the bookshelf, then forget about, until one day it calls to you and delivers exactly what you need to hear. Or the outdoor equipment you buy because it looks cool, even though you don’t really need it, that ends up being perfect for an outdoor adventure you decide to participate in. This doesn’t happen to me all that often, but when it does, it feels like equal parts magic and deja vu, and I do a Snoopy dance of gratitude every time.
However, my last “magic” procurement had me scratching my head thinking maybe it’s not so much magic after all, but a response to an internal knowing I hadn’t recognized. The unconscious and silent knowing part of me was taking action, waiting for the distracted day-to-day me to catch up.
Lately, I have been feeling like it is time to make a change, yet the fear of letting go had me thinking about the safety of community. And as always happens, Crumbs lead me to the most unbelievable of all sources for a primer on community—The Rule of St. Benedict.
After reading the Rule of St Benedict, as I noted in my Ponderings blog post:
I found the Rule of St Benedict is forever an invitation to grow, to focus our attention on balance, simplicity, and harmony. To spend our time well. To recognize our connectedness. To listen. And to treat everything in the world as sacred.
There was a lot to distill and think about.
At first, it seemed so easy. All I needed to do was to place my regular, routine activities into a weekly and monthly schedule on my calendar. A place for everything and everything in its place. In this way, I could ensure that my time was well spent and would achieve some measure of balance, simplicity, and harmony.
While this approach provided an initial calm from knowing my priorities were accounted for, by the middle of the day, I was often fretting about losing control of my schedule as unforeseen events and activities called for my attention. I was stressed out, staring at the clock, trying desperately to work faster to get it all in. Blocking off specific times for specific activities, like the Benedictines do, was clearly not going to work for me—a single head of household, living in the mountains, with a job and a dog.
Time, according to the St. Benedict’s Rule, was the guardian of life. How in the world was I going to implement control over my time?
Then, part magic and part deja vu, sitting right in front of me was my answer. Only this time there was no Snoopy dance. I was just dumbfounded, caught completely off guard.
In a previous period of my life, I realized that my dedication to the to-do list was no longer serving me. My approach was to sally forth and grind out tasks on the list, getting as much done as possible, often at great cost to myself. But hey, the list needed to be vanquished! If it made the list, it had to get done and checked off somehow. Sigh . . .
In an effort to bring some measure of balance, simplicity, and discipline to my never ending to do list, after much experimentation, I created my own planner pages. Pages which I use daily to manage my to-dos.
But as soon as I looked down and read the first line—Where Purposeful Action Meets Life Satisfaction—I knew what I had created had nothing to do with managing my to-do list and everything to do with managing me.
From somewhere deep within, I created just what I needed, only the distracted, get-it-done at all costs me, the take no prisoners me, could not see it for what it was. A Well Being Planner. A simple two pages per day planner that lets me invest and balance my time, bringing me peace and harmony.
Yes, there are still to-dos that have to get done—laundry, shopping, books back to the library, client emergencies, etc. But they are no longer the point. Getting them done is no longer the point. I am. And somehow, by setting these intentions, making sure that there is time for me, time for my growth, there magically seems to be enough time for everything else as well.
Now, time is the guardian of my growth.
P.S. To make the planner pages easier to use, I created a bound version of them through KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). I titled it the Well Being Planner: Practices For Self-Reflection and Discovery. If you are interested or think it might be useful in your life’s journey, you can find it here: On Amazon or in our store.