Today is Diwali, the festival of Lights!!! A ritual that I observed my grandmothers, aunts, mothers, do growing up was preparing for Diwali - clearing the clutter, the amount of cleaning that we did prior to THE DAY was unbelievable. The walls would be washed, floors scrubbed, major dusting, the list would go on and on. Little did i know that watching this ritual would some day be my ritual. Not to that extent, but to the sense that it was about clearing the clutter we collect throughout the year and cleaning out the houses to welcome the new. We forget how much we store internally and externally and this ritual in many ways can be extremely healing - if we allow ourselves to look at in that way.
However i have found that each year, Diwali comes too soon, and as much as i would like to do, i don't feel i have done enough. I remember waking up yesterday with my mind filled with lists of things to do and it was buzzing all over. I didn't know how to get it to stop. The lists kept getting longer and longer in my head and i kept feeling more and more overwhelmed. Finally i decided to Stop and take a breath and write.
One of the amazing things about Journaling is that you can use it for anything. This time i decided to create a list of what i needed to get done , but i decided to condense it by keeping it structured. The mind is like that -if we run with it, oh the places it takes us, and how easy it is to get caught up with that. I have the image of a chariot with horses if the reins were not there, oh how far would they go. Similarly our minds need that, and writing helps with that. Rather than doing a free flowing writing exercise on all the things i need to do, i decided to do a writing piece with the following title "What I need to get done at this moment is ____" and i kept it to 3 minutes rather than five minutes - and instead of writing it in free style, i decided to list it.
This exercise was tremendously helpful and I would recommend it to anyone who is often faced with such dilemmas. It helped because i was able to prioritize what was important to me rather than drive myself to doing more than what i needed to do. It helped because it made me look at what was really important to me rather than spending time frivously on things otherwise that may not be so important.
The end result, i was not so tired, and i got the job done in a relaxing pace.
Here are some ideas for writing exercises ---when you feel the need to be structured more in your thoughts
- What is important to me at this moment_____
- 10 Things I want off my list by tomorrow __________
-What I Need Most________
- I hope to _______
It can be done in a list or narrative form...and the best part it is only two minutes out of your whole day... Enjoy!!
"One of the secrets of getting more done is to make a TO DO List every day, keep it visible, and use it as a guide to action as you go through the day.” ~Jean De La Fontaine! (French Poet)