Dreams take time to unfold. I have to remind myself of this often. That’s because every time I don’t get what I want instantly, there’s a part of me that wonders if I’m not doing something right. In school, the only requirement for a good grade was to study hard. In life, working hard is often not enough.
A few nights ago, my husband and I attended a free meditation class. The rules were simple: sit up straight and breathe. But a few minutes into it, I realized the challenge in letting things be. I desperately wanted to do something. I wanted to make something happen. I wanted to move my feet, stand up, make a noise. After ten minutes, I wondered if this was such a good idea. At a half an hour, I started to question what the purpose of all this non-moving was anyway. Fifteen minutes until the end, I was certain that being still was inhumane. When the last chime rung, I sighed in relief. All that work at not working was excruciatingly difficult. It made me realize how much pressure I put on myself to make things happen. It’s just not practical to think you can control the world. There’s a whole chunk of life that happens on its own, without your effort.
Sometimes we get caught up into believing that we can control our life, that everything resides completely on our shoulders. Not getting what we want can feel like a betrayal and abandonment, a belief that we don’t deserve to be happy. Of course it’s all rubbish. Things unfold on its own time. Sometimes it happens sooner when we let go and let things be.
It’s the same thing with creativity. You can’t force it. Often it’s time spent gazing out a window or doing what onlookers may think of as procrastinating that produces the most productive moments. Whether it’s being more creative, relaxed or happy, sometimes it’s the unplanned moments that provide the greatest gifts in our lives. So what if you don’t have exactly what you want now? Maybe, just maybe you’ll get something even better.
More Goofing Off and Daydreaming: More Creative Thinking
(The Creative Mind) – Being creatively productive isn’t about making use of every free moment in your life. As any creative professional will tell you, it’s the time spent goofing off, when you’re seemingly idling time away, that can wind up being your most productive day.
Can You Outsmart Addiction?
(Addiction Recovery) – There’s a downside to high IQs. Intelligent individuals are not only more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs, they are also more difficult to treat. Find out why here.
Seven Steps to Deep Breathing for Relaxation
(Channel N) – In less than 4 minutes, you can learn the tools to relax and reduce your stress. This video teaches you 7 easy steps to feel better now.
How to Kick that Bad Habit and Step into Happiness
(Mindfulness & Psychotherapy) – Life can feel like one long day if you succumb too often to routine. Learn how stepping outside the box of your every day habits can actually open you up to happiness.
Volunteering As Therapy
(Therapy Soup) – When you’re feeling down in the dumps, the last thing on your mind is helping others. But read why doing so can be a great way to help yourself.
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Sep 2012
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Uyemura, B. (2012). Best of Our Blogs: September 7, 2012. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 19, 2013, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/09/07/best-of-our-blogs-september-7-2012/