Itâ€™s been a week of being in the pines, and some of my old habits are sticking like glue. As I go through my days Iâ€™m realizing that Iâ€™ve gained some serious tools while coping with bigger city living, and theyâ€™re more deeply ingrained then I would have expected.
Itâ€™s been hardest to untangle myself from the need to plan. This was particularly surprising because Iâ€™m not a planner by nature. I actually love to be spontaneous so when I noticed this behavior taking shape in a place where it wasnâ€™t necessary I started to contemplate what was driving the desire to look ahead.
The days are quiet here, and while thereâ€™s plenty to do, none of it needs any advance scheduling. This has been a huge shock to my over-scheduled system.
Living in a city that hosts over 3.8 million people forces you to plan. If you donâ€™t plan youâ€™re likely to be turned away, which for me often turned into a rejection-shame spiral, and feeling stupid for not being more â€œpreparedâ€.
Dinner reservations, online registration for yoga class, arriving early to find a good parking spot, and getting a head start to beat traffic are things that practically became part of my genetic makeup to survive in a place that essentially demanded attention to time.
Now, living in a town with a population of less than 1500 people, Iâ€™ve had to readjust my ideas about time and planning ahead. Inverness runs on a different sense of time. The days are long and full because this is when you can make the most of the beauty thatâ€™s here.
The birds in the sky are as busy as the people on the ground but itâ€™s not a contrast. Thereâ€™s a rhythm at hand that requires no effort, and it serves as a constant reminder that everything is happening exactly as it should.Â
I attended a yoga class recently in the town of Point Reyes, and while there was online registration available, I chose to just show up. As I prepared to leave my house I felt the anxiety build in my body around arriving on time, where I would park, and if there would be room in the class.
I was embraced and invited in when I arrived, and later learned that the online sign up was more of a convenience for the patrons to avoid having to physically sign in, and not a way to ensure a spot for a full class.
I breathed deeply and relaxed into my new reality. I had taken the risk that comes with not planning and it had worked out okay. This is how Iâ€™ll reshape my addiction to schedulingâ€¦one unplanned moment at a time.
Thereâ€™s no question that living in a place with more people requires more planning, but I guess what I would like to convey is that seeking out the moments in your life where you donâ€™t have to think ahead might be a good practice in trust.
Planning is a way to ensure the future, and in a broader sense itâ€™s a byproduct of a consumer culture that feeds on the idea that there simply isnâ€™t enough to go around.
Someone once reminded me that thereâ€™s a seat at the table for everyone.
Itâ€™s a saying I repeat to myself often as a reminder that the world is abundant, and that the concept of scarcity only applies to some of the limited resources weâ€™ve over-used like wood and water. There simply is no shortage of things to consume even though it may seem that way.
I still feel the fear around not planning ahead, but when I face that fear I see that Iâ€™m mostly scared of missing out, or being turned away. Just irrational thoughts that keep me from living in the moment, and that lead to unnecessary stress.
But Iâ€™m not quite there because as I laid in Savasana (corpse pose) in my Â yoga class I noticed my thoughts.
â€œI should come to yoga every Monday and Wednesday night.â€
Then on my hike later in the week I noticed my thoughts.
â€œI should do this hike every Sunday morning.â€
Like I said, old habits die hard even when we know we donâ€™t need them.