My fellow movers! I hope you all had a great labor day weekend!
So, I came across this article yesterday about the practice of soji. Soji is a brief period of time during the day when monks mindfully and silently clean their temple "with no ambition to finish the task." They have a certain amount of time to work on a task (I didn't say finish). They simply go to work without thinking about finishing the task. Instead they think about what it is they are doing and only that (Soji is an extension of meditation...see more about it in the article I cite below). When the time to work on that task has expired, if the task is complete, it is complete. If it is not, it is not. No other thought goes into it. It simply is what it is.
Timing is a funny thing as I have recently started discussing the concept of being in the moment with some folks. Andre Miller and I have talked quite a bit about archery and how an archer becomes a worse "arrow shooter" when he/she spends too much time thinking about the target. If the arrow hasn't even been drawn yet, the target is still moments away from needing to be considered. Wanna become a better archer? Focus on shooting the arrow instead of hitting the target. When you become a better shooter, you'll hit your target with greater accuracy making you a better archer.
Nothing takes me away from the end goal and gets me focused on the immediate task at hand or next step like working a balance beam. The second I begin to think about getting to the end of the beam is the second that everything goes awry. I either fall or my physical effort must increase significantly to keep me from falling....neither of which are ideal.
EVERY STEP MATTERS!
For me, the most important part of working a beam is that very next step. If my mind is interrupted by anything else, even if it has to do with the beam itself, my efficiency drops, my workload increases, and my mental stress goes through the roof....all things you don't want when trying to accomplish ANY task. Balance work is a great reminder for me to appreciate the journey. Stop worrying about the finish line and focus on what it takes to actually see the journey to the end. The end doesn't matter if you can't take the appropriate steps to get there in the first place.
You don't have to walk a tightrope to understand this though. The concept applies to everything in life....deadlines, cleaning your house, cooking meals, working a solid handstand, driving your vehicle, etc. Tedious work will become less mundane; stress/anxiety levels drop; attitude gets better; and things get done without you worrying about them getting done.
Give it a shot.
Stay focused. Be in the moment....
Here is the article describing the practice of soji....
Be well my friends!