As soon as I began to write, scribbling down a-thousand-and-one things, I remembered one of the more important, and painful, lessons of my retreat. You can almost always accomplish only a tiny fraction of your goals at any given point. Mindfulness, as we remind our students so often throughout our discussions, is all about being in the present moment. It is well and good to sit and plan, strategize and motivate yourself, but no matter how big or small your goals, you can only take tiny steps in the right direction.
So much of my worry and frustration came from being couped up at the retreat, feeling like I had learned enough and just wanting to get on with it, to go out into the world and practice what I had learned and fulfill my goals. I realized then, that misery is not only feelings of aversion regarding the future, but also the impatience of feeling like you can do anything at all if it wasn't for x, y or z holding you back.
I had to put aside all of my goals for each of the areas of my life for so long that at times I felt like I would never get the chance to capture any of them! No studying, no SheerMind sessions, no exercise, no nutritional choices, no personal reading... nothing. All I could do at the time was meditate and work on staying present. Soon, my fears for the future began to lose their grip over me. They were there, and are still, but my mind holds less attachment to them. I am simply a lot better at occupying my mind with helpful things. Problems became to-do lists, and as soon as the list was created, I worked at shifting it into the waiting-hold in my mind. When the time came, I would be prepared for that problem, but that time was not now.
If you manage to get a little better at this, bringing your mind to the present and focusing on the task at hand, you'll spend more time productively working through your to-do list, and less time worrying about how long it is!
Much love everyone!