Taoism and Recovery

The Tao of Pooh contains a story I often recommend entitled, “busybacksoon.” It’s a series of lessons gleaned from Winne the Pooh. The silliness of the story is based in a message Christopher Robbins left. It should have read, “Busy, back soon”, but Christopher was apparently too stressed for grammar. Pooh decided that “busybacksoon” must be some terrible type of creature to be feared.

And he was right.

One of the many joys of having an addictive personality is chronically doing too much. It’s way too easy for me – everything in my life is really great stuff. All of my problems are good problems. On mornings like this one, my head is spinning in an effort to gauge what it is I should be doing right now.

So right now, I’m using a little trick I picked up along the way. I’m listening to some really great blues music and taking stock. I don’t do this in my head (that never works). I do it on paper, or on a screen, and I separate each area of my life and make sure I’m on top of what needs to be done.

More importantly, I take time to just be and not do. I take the time to practice what I preach. Get out of your head and listen to your gut. Stop analyzing and do some introspection. Pray.

I’m amazed at how my lack of willingness results in learning the same lessons over and over again. This is true of the simplest of things – like that I feel better when I write. Sometimes I convince myself that I’m too busy to do the things that keep me sane.

My friend Ardis is always in the back of my head, “We’re not really human beings because we don’t know how to just be. We’re human doers because we derive all of our worth from what we do.” It’s redundant for me to say I’m busy. Most people worth knowing are busy. We say that we make time for those who matter, yet we fail to make ourselves a priority.

I have about 20 hours a week blocked out of my schedule. That time is only for me and mine. I literally schedule it because I’ve proven over and over again that I won’t take it any other way.

But I’m always pushing my limits. Always trying to do one more thing. Here’s a confession: A friend of mine convinced me that it would help me to join his meditation program. He explained it was only 10 minutes a day.

I have never been one to meditate. My mind doesn’t slow down that far. I wanted to join in because it was important to my friend, but I just knew I’d doze off or get distracted if I sat and did this thing. My addictive brain convinced me that I could listen to the guided imagery and follow the program on my commute to work.

Any possible benefit from the meditation has been offset by my distracted driving. I’m going back to basics. This is my accountability for my responsibilities. This is what we all know to do: rest, breathe, regroup, let others pour into our cups. No grand epiphanies, just the same lessons.

Take care of you.