POSTED: January 29, 2021
Once upon a time Leo Babauta wrote Zen To Done, a book that riffed on the ideas of Getting Things Done, while adding a more minimalist approach and aiming at a less corporate market. Sometimes he sold it as an ebook, and gave it away free. I got a copy during one of the free periods. He has also written several other books, which he has similarly sold or given away at different times.
He has now graduated to running Fearless Training seminars and workshops, and publishing an online diary. I remain on his newsletter list and sometimes I receive things like this:
Today my sons & I were standing at the edge of the pool, on a cold day, knowing that the water we were about to jump into was freezing.
It was Day 27 of my first 40-day discomfort challenge … and we were dreading the cold water.
We knew it would be shockingly cold, because we’ve jumped into it for the past 26 days. We really didn’t want to do it, but we’re committed to this.
And then I invited myself to a mindset shift: can I bring curiosity to this moment?
This moment I have already judged as bad, this experience I’ve already put into a fixed box of “hell no” … could I instead let go of my fixed ideas, and just bring curiosity?
What is this moment like, when I’ve dropped my judgments, fixed views, preconceived notions?
It becomes much more open. Much more filled with possibility.
From this place of possibility … I wondered if there was something to savor right now. Is there anything I can enjoy, appreciate, find sacred and beautiful?
I found a lot to savor: the chilly air, the intensely blue sky and low-lying soft clouds, the quiet neighborhood with planes flying overhead and birds calling out to us. I savored this moment of challenge with my sons, this day of being fully alive and able to do meaningful work with others, this day of having loved ones here and scattered elsewhere who I care deeply about.
I found a lot to savor, and suddenly this become a moment of freedom and love. I jumped in, and found the divine.
I honestly don’t know how I feel about this. Insight or piffle? Eye-rolling or thought-provoking?
It occurs to me that I don’t need to feel anything at all about this. I can simply nod and move along. It then occurs to me that this might turn out exactly what Leo Babauta would suggest I do.
Then I really don’t know how I feel about this.