From July 7, 2012
I've been procrastinating again...
And by 'again', I mean that this doesn't just happen every once in a great while, but like all the time. I'm referring to the process of writing my book. I've used excuses to justify my lack of productivity, like "I'm waiting for inspiration" or "I'll work on it when I have more time." The truth of the matter is that I am inspired and I have ample time, so what is it that is causing this aversion to the work that I honestly love to do.
I'm in my element when I'm writing. It's like a rush, sometimes. Hell, even in writing this post, I feel more of myself. After a great writing session, I'm more alive and I tell people about how great it is to be in "the zone".
So I come back to it. What is this aversion? This inherent procrastination? This sheer laziness around my writing... it's frustrating.
Many of you know that I'm a student/teacher of yoga, so when I have life quandaries, I tend to lean on yogic philosophy for answers. According to the Yoga Sutras by the sage Patanjali, there are five causes of suffering called the Kleshas. The first is Ignorance (avidya), which is essentially the garden of the other four causes of suffering. The second is Distorted Self-Identity (asmita). The third is Attachment (raga). The fourth is Fear of Death (abhinivesha). And lastly we have the fifth, which is Aversion (dvesha).
How nice of Patanjali to call me out on my suffering so blatantly. But he's completely right. This feeling of not doing my work and avoiding it is causing me internal distress. So what can I do to change this? Is it as simple as not avoiding the work any longer? If I were to switch projects and forsake my current venture, would I be more inclined to act? Is this what I truly want anyway? Is this aversion caused by something completely separate from the work itself? An internal unrest? A list of questions cycling through my averted mind.
Patanjali goes on to say that in order to overcome the affliction of aversion (and all other Kleshas) is to meditate (that's the simple explanation). There lies another practice I've been avoiding. I'll leave that story for another post.
Keeping the yogic teachings in mind, I turn my thoughts to motivation. Sometimes, for me, that's all I'm lacking. I feel like a broken record with how many times I've brought her up, but if you haven't seen the TED Talk by Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) please do so now. Even before finishing reading this. Anyway, I find that I get inspired by watching her lecture (so much so that I've downloaded it to my computer) and tend to want to write after watching it. The lecture is about the creative process, which I've written about before, and I love when artists talk about their creative processes.
My current aversion returns me to her talk, particularly toward the end where she talks about "doing your job". Boiling it down, if you feel that you were put on this planet to do something (provided you know what "it" is), then just do the damn job. Is this laziness? Is it just as simple as that? These questions led to me where I am at this moment.
Though I've had great writing sessions in my own home, the magic really happens when I'm removed from my element. So here I am...sitting in Starbucks with my computer and a strawberry smoothie...about to continue this craft that I feel compelled to do. Maybe something magical will happen...maybe not. There's only one way to find out. I'll do the damn job.
And, yes, this blog was written as part of my procrastination process. Hmm...