“Do one thing at a time, and while doing it put your whole soul into it to the exclusion of all else.” ~Swami Vivekananda
Lately, things have been busier than normal.
I don’t mind. I like being busy, feeling productive, working towards goals and checking items off my to-do list.
But it’s been the kind of busy that has me feeling scattered at times. I start one task and just as swiftly, move onto another. Before I can finish either, I remember this other really important thing I need to do, so I move onto that and forget to get back to the rest.
Like I said, scattered. And frustrating.
It’s not the multi-tasking that bothers me so much. Multi-tasking I can handle just fine. It’s about my mind and my energies feeling off-centered.
During these last several weeks of my busier than normal routine, one mantra keeps coming to me at the precise moment I need to hear it most.
One thing at a time.
So simple and something I learned as a toddler, yet somehow these five words will come to me and immediately re-center my attention.
One thing at a time.
In that instant, it helps. I’ll often stop what I’m doing—juggling—and decide to focus on finishing one thing. Shockingly (sarcasm!), this helps tremendously.
While I appreciate this mantra, I am still bothered by the fact that day after day I fall into this same trap.
Finally, yesterday, I think you, Universe, were fed up with my complete disregard to the messages you were sending me.
As I sat at my desk with two computers on, my planner open, my phone out, a half-eaten lunch waiting for me… a bottle of seltzer water exploded… on everything, including me.
I quickly jumped to action, drying off electronics, putting things aside, and praying nothing was ruined besides my now frizzy hair.
My planner—with that great long list of to-do’s was smudged and looked more like a watercolor painting.
My computer, well, it was not working. I prayed for it to only be on a short hiatus—that maybe my laptop was also tired of my ten documents open, twenty web pages waiting, and different emails dinging.
I sat in this wet mess a little stunned. I knew I could toss it up to Mercury Retrograde—it’s a doozy, after all—but I think I’ve figured out the real culprit.
In the midst of this busy, scattered need to-do, to-do, to-do, I’ve figured out it’s what I’m not doing which is causing me to feel so much angst and unrest.
I am neglecting my every day, make-me-zen-practices for the sake of time.
I know this. I know that I have to make time for myself so everything else can come together more easily, but I have a habit—like so many of us do—of pushing aside these practices when other things are going on.
Usually a few days will pass, and I’m back on my zen-bandwagon.
But I think that this has become one of the longer stretches of me being un-present and it’s showing up in other ways—ways I don’t like.
One thing at a time. (Tweet that!)
I am hearing this mantra as I write this and I am grateful for the reminder that I have to make time for the things that matter most to me, my soul, my spirit.
I think we all do. So if you are reading this and the feeling is also resonating with you, I hope you’ll promise to re-center, re-focus and realign with the things that make you feel whole.
That’s what I did this morning and am vowing to continue doing. (And I’m happy to say my laptop is back on board with this plan!)
I know that in committing to my daily rituals, things will feel a lot easier, and a lot more peaceful. More importantly, I know I’ll feel happier, lighter and more like myself.
I can already feel the difference.