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May. 1st, 2005 | 05:00 pm
mood: happyhappy
music: Tool

At first I was thinking that I don't have anything to write about for this journal entry.. but then I realized that that is not true at all :) In fact, I have more to write about than I possibly can.

First, I want to write about the LFIA session last Tuesday. We had Jerome back again, and he gave a very interesting talk. The first topic he talked about was "Integrity of the Listening". Imagine that you have bad posture, and you have made a commitment to yourself to have good posture. You made this commitment because you know that keeping it will make you feel better and healthier. But you find that your habits keep taking over, and you go back into bad posture without realizing it. This is an example of a racket, a fixed way of being which impacts your life, and has certain payoffs and costs.

Jerome was working with a particular person who had this problem. He suggested that one of the difficulties she was facing was that the commitment she had made to herself was difficult to keep in existence. To help keep it in existence, he suggested sharing with another person the commitment, so that it then exists outside of herself. But there is no point in sharing if there is no "integrity of the listening" present. She could share with someone, and that person could say "Mm, that's great for you." That does not create the commitment in that person's listening. But if they listen with commitment, perhaps saying "I get that, and I am committed to you fulfilling on your commitment." then the commitment DOES exist outside of her.

The second thing he did was to work with someone who has a lot of things to do, but he never seems to get them all done. Then he moves them onto tomorrow's todo list, and doesn't get them done tomorrow either.

Jerome suggested that the problem here was not that he was not getting those things done, but rather his relationship to the things he wasn't getting done was a disempowering relationship. His relationship to the things he was not doing was "I need to do them, how can I fit them in? I need to squash them in somewhere!" The feelings associated with this were feeling always pressured, and disappointed that he had not done the things he said he would do.

Jerome said "I'm going to tell you something you can't hear right now. You don't have enough time to do all the things you want to do! I'll say it again - You don't have enough time to do all the things you want to do." It took a while for this to sink in :) But he did eventually realize it.. that he did not have enough time to do all the things he puts on his todo list each day.

Jerome then led him to the conclusion that "It's only possible to do one thing at one time. Therefore, if I am doing activity A now, I cannot possibly be doing activity B or C at the same time. It is only possible to do one thing at one time." Given that, the things which he is not doing at any moment he CANNOT possibly do at that moment. And once he accepted that, he could see how empowering that view was.

It is empowering because it is acceptance of the way things are. It is not possible to do the things that you are not doing right now. And accepting that is empowering, because you are no longer feeling pressured by all the things you are not doing right now.

To keep this empowering relationship in existence, Jerome suggested three separate todo lists:

Things I will do Today
Things I am not doing right now
Things I will never ever do

The purpose of the third list is to accept that humans always want to do more than it is humanly possible to do. The purpose of the second list is to accept that humans cannot do everything at once, and must prioritize some things. Then the first list has a list of today's things to do, complete with the amount of time they will take, and some extra time for unforeseen events. Structure this way, there is no pressure to do the things you are not doing right now, because you have put them in the list of "Things I am not doing right now", which implies "things I cannot possible be doing right now, because I am doing something else". This view is more empowering than "Things I should be doing right now", which is how the person being coached used to view them.

I have been trying this out, and I have found it to be an empowering place to stand!

Time for a digression: An "empowering place to stand" is a view of the world (or context, in other words) which empowers you. Conversely, a disempowering context is one which leaves you feeling lack of power. For example, seeing your teenage children's behaviour as a problem needing solving may be disempowering, whereas seeing it has "a phase they all go through" may be empowering. Even more empowering may be unconditional love and acceptance, even if their opinions and actions differ from what you want them to be. These are things me and lesley will have to deal with soon.

That is all for now.. thankyou for reading :) If anything is unclear, please post a reply, even if you have a very good reason why you shouldn't post one (not important, it doesn't matter if i don't understand, don't want to waste brian's time, etc etc) :)

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Comments {2}

To Do lists

from: anonymous
date: May. 2nd, 2005 11:51 am (UTC)
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Scary. To Do lists dominate my life (as you know).

Are you saying I might CHANGE the way I am looking at things!!! :)

I actually have a List 2 (I call it Long Term To Do, or To Do Sometime), but not a List 3. And of course I have List 1 and it has enough on it for two weeks - but that's the way I work - I just pick what I have time for now from the list, keeping in mind priorities as well.

Now has this empowering place to stand produced
1. a thesis, or
2. Trallion work, or
3. a result to tell me about? :)

As ever, a pleasure to read your thoughts.

Thanks (in anticipation) for putting up with my subtle rackets?

Love,
Mum

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btherl

Re: To Do lists

from: btherl
date: May. 3rd, 2005 03:37 am (UTC)
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Hi Mum,

The thesis is produced.. I am waiting on Harald to say that it is ok to submit.

Trellian work is being produced.. I think that having an empowering place to stand is helping with this, although I do not have any method of measuring this :)

Having the "not doing right now" list has certainly helped with my relationship to things I am not doing right now. It helps me to be less worried about the things I am not doing when I run out of time to do them in. Without that domination, it is easy to pick them up again the next day, without feeling like I failed the previous day!

Thankyou for the reply :) And I was thinking of you when I made that comment at the end :) I was also thinking of myself, as I have those same rackets.

Love,
Brian

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