Organizational Zen is about being organized in a way that brings you peace. It’s not about trying to nail down every aspect of your life, to be neat as a pin, or to always be perfect and in control. And it’s not about trying to organize others – you’re concentrating on your own good work.
Organizational Zen is about deciding how you want to spend your time, then prioritizing and focusing on what you’re doing.
Here’s an exercise I learned in Lissa Rankin’s book Mind Over Medicine that gives you a visual of the essential things you need in your life to feel balanced.
- Picture your life as a cairn of rocks where each stone supports the one above it.
- What are the essential rocks that give you a feeling of peace and balance – bottom to top?
- What’s missing from your stack?
I did some thinking about what the rocks are in my cairn and came up with a long list.
- Health – food, exercise, meditation, sleep, low stress, being outside, being active, living in sync with the Universe
- Doing good work – being financially responsible, doing work I love and that is helpful; doing volunteer work as well as paid work
- Family – spending time with my immediate and extended family
- Community – theater work, staying connected with friends, building a blog community
- Constant learning – books, audio books in the car, great conversations, podcasts, classes, retreats
- Being creative – working in the theater, writing, painting, thinking
- Travel – seeing the world, having great conversations with strangers, learning about different cultures
- Being around animals
This list would make for a really tall cairn, so I simplified to a stack that’s easier to “hold” in my mind:
- Constant learning
In attempting to condense my list, it occurred to me that heart-connections covers time for me with family, friends, community, and animals. And that travel is more of an outcome than a “stone”. Travel touches on health, heart-connections, constant learning, and creativity when I hike wherever I’m traveling, eat great food, travel with family and friends and talk to every animal I meet along the way, learn new stuff, write, and take pictures for fun and for future paintings.
So what’s in your cairn that makes you feel balanced? What’s missing? And what action can you take today that touches on one or more of your stones?
Here was sunrise today in Maine. Every day is a fresh start on the road to Zen. 🙂