Someday It Will All Get Done
Someday It Will All Get Done
Conscious Living Column - Vitality, May 2015
By Gord Riddell and Kathy Ryndak
An article about one of modern humans’ greatest self-deception tools was inevitable. It was one of those ideas whose time had always been there but other things seemed more interesting, more important to indulge in and ruminate over. It is not that it would require a lot of research since there were so many examples to draw upon, examine and analyze, but alas as time sped on ahead, a flashing red light reminded us that a certain stone remained untouched. As elusively as an animal stalking its prey, it kept slipping in upon us stealthily gnawing at the back of our mind that we had to come out with it. Procrastination! There, it is sitting in black and white, the word holds so little power on the page but it is a very powerful hindrance in a great many number of peoples’ lives.
The English language is full of phrases and quotes attesting to either the limitation it can place on our success or the many attempts to gloss over its ill will with humour. The truth about procrastination is its subtlety. Whenever we can put off today what appears to be easily done tomorrow, a domino effect has been set in motion. Unless what is being delayed is a truly standalone event or chore, which is probably not the case, as virtually everything in our life ties into other people, places or things, others are affected. The interconnectedness is often overlooked and yet the repercussions or consequences of not meeting a deadline are barely given air play.
Birth of a Procrastinator
Simply stated—procrastination is the constant decision we make to not do something to which there is stress, fear or anxiety which we associate with it. It is an avoidance mechanism we humans have developed over the millennia to assist us not getting uptight and stressed out, and so the procrastinator was born. I wonder if it all started when some caveman stressed out about all the food he needed for his 15 offspring, not being any giant mammoths lately and to make it worse, the females bearing all these children for him were not keeping the cave clean and orderly. Since he could not find anything to hunt down for food, he started staying at home in the cave and telling himself if he laid low for a few days then the supply of animals would increase and he would have food once again but in the meantime, he had some scrubbing and cleaning to do! As time went on he became very adept at being unable to hunt but he also became very adept at believing his own stories.
Procrastination exists like in the simplistic allegory above because of the stories we tell ourselves and want others to believe. Procrastination can be attributed to laziness and self-centeredness eventually finding someone who will come along and take care of whatever is being avoided. It is however often a river running deeper that the person draws upon, the current racing along with not being good enough, can never do it right and a litany of other self-criticisms. Perfectionism, fear of failure and of success can all be wrapped up in our ability to put things off for another day.
Procrastination is the external behaviour for feelings we may be holding on to but do not have a place to safely draw them out. Our anger or hostility can find an expression, through our passive-aggressive choice of procrastination. If we can’t or won’t express our anger we can alleviate some of the built up anger energy by releasing it sideways. When we do have a timeline expiring, a whole wave of activity is set off. We run around putting everything together, finding the keys, our gloves, our wallet trying to head out while we entice others to join in our drama of finding our things and getting us out the door. The ensuing chaos created from our efforts not to be too late or with our project’s completion brings with it a whole new level of stress and tensions. While procrastination was a behaviour that originated from stress, it actually ramps up the internal tensions spilling into the external and now affecting many people in our world.
Ongoing 2012 Influences
Knowing there are a host of things to do and you may already feel you are running at full steam ahead does take its toll on us. Lack of sleep, poor eating, and no exercise are recipes for disaster of our body, mind and spirit. Holding on to old feelings from our past can be a toxic mixture eating away at body and mind. While we may think that we are quite adept at being a containment vehicle for all the old energy we never moved away from us, sooner or later that energy will begin to move itself, to push outwards and cause problems to our health and all that may be important to us. At some level 2012 was supposedly to be a time of great clearing, the shedding of old ways of being, of consciousness and making way for new ways of being. It seems we were so outwardly focused on the mythology of 2012 that it would somehow be a whole new big bang theory, so much so, that we didn’t move with any of the unseen energies which may have been available. Looking around it seems that in 2015 many people are being presented with things from the past which they have procrastinated on from making decisions to putting into to action old ideas and what was put on the back burner is some very big items. It seems it is a year of cleaning up things which we have avoided from 5 years ago or 10 years ago but now are being forced to seriously be decisive, and actualize those decisions.
Procrastination has its costs to pay. The consequences again reminding us that for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. Nowhere did the law of physics say anything about a time factor to consider. We may do some of the action part of the equation but if we procrastinate on following through to completion then the opposite reaction is equally delayed. That is until the contained energy forces us to sit up and take note that further action is required and what we avoided has somehow become even more serious to deal with. In observing many people experiencing the lifting up of old energies for clearing many are left bewildered or confused to their belief in having pushed the issues away that they had magically disappeared. The universe in its co-creative role only allows so much time until it begins to push back forcing unresolved issues to be cleared and then once again we can move forward with our ongoing growth.
Procrastination is not just about the daily tasks we may delay like getting your tax receipts all put together, or finally cleaning up the basement. Those items are the microcosm of a much larger picture, a metaphoric enactment of the human experience. We are here in the physical acting as the containment and growth vehicle for our spirit and it is using our humanness so that it may grow, and it requires a clear space in which to flourish. Old indecisive elements clutter up its space so that it becomes more difficult for our spirit to expand and experience even greater awareness and beauty. Putting off from today until another time delays for us a new spiritual way of being in this world.
Gord Riddell and Kathy Ryndak are therapists and co-founders of the Transformational Arts College of Spiritual and Holistic Training. The College offers professional training programs in Spiritual Psychotherapy, Spiritual Director, Holistic Health, Coaching and personal growth courses through a 10-part program “Discovering the Total Self”. Next rotation begins in May. Our Professional Programs are registering now for September, 2015. For more information on these programs, call the College at 416-484-0454 or toll free 1-800-TAC-SELF or visit www.transformationalarts.com. To receive our monthly e-newsletter email email@example.com