Don't Let the Small Stuff Cloud the Mountain Worth Climbing
Early Reflections: Monday, December 2nd
After pulling virtually an “all-nighter” to help my daughter finish a paper that she’s had for sixty days, didn’t work on during a four day weekend, and was due that night, I was going to write about procrastination.
But I decided to put that off (see what I did there?)
Honestly, it is an issue. One that I have been challenged with myself and have struggled to figure out. Do we put things off because of competing priorities? Because we work better under pressure? Or in my daughter’s case, at times, because there is an obstacle in the way of getting started, the daunting “climb of the mountain” with an assignment that takes significant effort?
I will likely be a student of this forever, never a master.
I didn’t meditate much last week, with the holidays, with business, with life. I would say I didn’t have time, but you and I know the real answer, I didn’t make time. This morning I made time for my “Daily Calm”, my ten minutes of meditation which includes a lesson or a story at the end. Today it was on Ukiyo-e, the Japanese philosophy of letting go of the small stuff.
I often go back and read about a particular subject when introduced to it, and surprisingly the narrator’s description of Ukiyo-e was not at all what I found. It comes from the combination of uki, for sadness and yo, for life, originally reflecting the Buddhiest concept of life as a transitory illusion. The circle of life. Today, it describes a particular form of art in Japan, wood block paintings that reflects life within a floating world. Calm in the face of the storm. Rising above the daily challenges. Which, does boil down to letting go of the small stuff.
Ukiyo-e and the circle of life.
Perhaps that may be one of the reasons that bigger projects get set aside, because we can’t rise above the small stuff, worrying about it, perseverating over it. We are living in a world where 280 characters can send us spinning, but we can’t seem to find the time to solve more important issues, ways to climb higher mountains, face greater challenges.
Perhaps we are putting those off climbing the mountain worth climbing because we are too occupied sweating the small stuff in front of it.
I have a couple of larger mountains in front of me today, hidden by a mountain of smaller things that demand my attention. Let’s see if we can start the climb and tackle something greater.