It scared me when I read that. I totally identify. I was not surprised to read Deepak’s words, “It’s no accident that the word deadline contains the word dead.” When I wrote grants for a living, I would have to go directly to bed after meeting a deadline and stay there for a couple of days because I was simply done. After 15 years of that, I changed careers and never looked back because I felt like the deadlines would send me to an early grave. I don’t even like to hear the word grant at this point.
Something deep in my soul knows that the chronic rush so many of us feel is unnatural. We know it's not good for us, and it doesn't feel good while it's happening. Whether you work out in the world or work at home, there is this underlying, nagging feeling of what comes next, and will I have enough time, and I don't want to be late, and when am I going to do x and y?
So what’s the solution? I thought about summarizing Deepak’s recommendations, but they are a bit too metaphysical for simply trying to make it through the day. His website, however, is worth the visit: http://www.deepakchopra.com.
Linear time is simply what we’re stuck with (on this plane anyway). We only have so much leeway. So this weekend, I tried to come up with ways to save my heart—which has a tendency to race and rebel when under emotional time pressure. Since I want my heart to last for as long as I want it to last (a very, very long time), these are my intentions:
q Make a daily list with the most important things at the top, and try very hard to fit in the things that really matter. So today at 4 p.m., I simply stopped what I was doing, locked the classroom, and drove to the track to get in my three-mile walk. I refused to think about the condition of my desk because that would have taken me out of the present moment. The condition of the desk will be in my present moment tomorrow when I walk into the room.
q Prepare only two items for weekday dinners (plus I will always have a chopped head of lettuce, so it can be a third thing if desired.) I have this ridiculous, early twentieth-century habit of sometimes making separate dinner items for each of us—e.g., pork for my husband, chicken for me. I lost that habit today when I realized I must suffer from some form of mental illness. Two dishes—max.