Sometimes we forget to put first things first.
Or maybe that’s just me…
I know times when I’ve put a phone call with a friend, ahead of my child who wanted to tell me about a book he just read.
I’ve stayed longer at an event and didn’t want to risk interrupting a stranger when I needed to call my husband at the time I said I would.
I’ve chosen a yummy treat (repeatedly) over my health goals.
I’ve made purchases without thinking of the end-of-the-month bills.
I’ve chosen staying up late to be entertained on youtube instead of getting good rest.
I’ve stayed in bed instead of getting up to exercise in the morning. (See above)
I’ve put my cranky emotions out there with hurtful words rather than controlling myself in an argument.
I’ve placed the opinions that other people had of me in a higher place than the opinions I had in myself.
Yup. I’ve done all of that and more…
Sometimes things get in the way of our making our priorities a priority.
For me, it’s sometimes fear
That shows up in people-pleasing.
Or fatigue in being responsible.
Or not caring
Or not holding on to my vision and my “why”…
Whatever the reason is…(which is always rooted in me) I know that there is this brief, non-aggressive moment in my mind when I hear this conviction to re-prioritize.
Sometimes I listen.
And sometimes I don’t.
I remember reading in The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali during my yoga teacher training, this concept: When conviction comes to the surface of the mind, take care to do the right thing quickly, lest the conviction falls into the recesses of your consciousness again and becomes dull and just part of the background noise.
In simpler terms: When you hear that still small voice in your head to course-correct, act on it quickly or it’s easy to get into that ‘meh’ place of second best choices.
What is it for you?
Is it something with your health
Or the way you’re spending (or possibly wasting) your time
Is it about a dream you haven’t activated yet
Or a relationship you’ve set on the shelf that needs to be dusted off.
Is it time in your garden
Or visiting an elderly friend…
Or checking in on the car registration
Or looking into that property to buy in Utah for your retirement
Or just resting
And then, resting some more…
What is it that calls to you in such a gentle, clear, and non guilt-producing way that it’s actually easy to miss it and dismiss it?
One of my meditative prayers is to be able to listen and hear…
And then, to take quick action on what comes to me.
I really want to know when that voice of clarity and priority is speaking to me.
Can I give a silly example that doesn’t totally fit but is recent and fresh on my mind?
Yesterday, we went to the OC Fair. It’s a tradition of ours to spend a stupid amount of money on bad fair food and walk around to see the sights.
While there, Caleb wanted to buy a hat. He takes long walks to meet friends at the Bay or a coffee shop outside of our town and closer to them.
Of course, I found a darling hat for me.
Placed my stuff on the counter. Put the hat on. Negotiated a better deal. Bought the hat and walked away happy.
A few minutes later, I heard this “Ping” in my brain: You don’t have your water.
I was like, Awww… I don’t want to go back for that. It’s just water and there was only a little left…
Five minutes more I hear this neutral “Ping” again: You don’t have your water.
I was going to ignore it again and just chalk it up to being slightly OCD and then, I said, “Cay, can we go get my water at the hat store? I think I left it there. Are we close?”
“Sure, Mom! Let’s go get it.”
We walked, saw the shop owner and the water bottle. AND Caleb was like, “Mom! You forgot these too!”
There were my sunglasses that I bought and had fallen in love with a few weeks prior. Not always easy to find a good pair for this Italian nose…
The ping in my brain wasn’t really about the water, but that’s what was registering. There was another something there that I really would have been bummed to miss later on. My subconscious must have known…
I had a more intense situation several years ago:
Seth was on a field trip at school. Rock and I were working at the kitchen table. I stood up and said, “Something’s not right. I can’t sit here. I need to go for a walk.”
I walked outside and felt compelled to send angels around Seth.
I called a friend of mine from the school, just to chat. I couldn’t stop walking. I got her voicemail and left a message.
My spirit settled down a bit after I prayed my usual prayer in those helpless situations:
“God, if there’s something I can do, please show me.
If there’s nothing I can do, show me how to pray.
If there’s nothing I can pray, please give me peace and have mercy.”
I felt a peace come over me but I couldn’t wait to see my son when he came home.
When I picked him up that day, I found out that his field trip driver was texting and driving and almost hit a guard rail because she was driving frustrated and fast and not paying full attention. Seth was feeling very unsafe in her car and at 10 years old, didn’t feel powerful to say something.
The friend I had the instinct to call was actually on the field trip, driving BEHIND the car that Seth was in and saw the whole thing.
She told me later and was able to corroborate Seth’s story and affirm that yes, it was indeed not a safe driving situation.
That one wasn’t exactly a neutral sort of ping, but the greater point is:
I’ve had that kind of thing hit me several times in my life and like I said, sometimes I’ve paid attention and sometimes I haven’t.
As our life expands, gets fuller, faster, fearful, unfocused, or more famous or whatever, it’s easy to miss things.
I’m going to take a big sigh and my journal pages today to:
1. Set an intention to hear
2. And see if anything’s been coming to me to act upon
3. And then, to listen for what might be speaking to me today.
One day at a time
Last things last
First things first.
It’s what I aim to live.
Have a beautiful, “What’s most important to you” kind of day