To plan or not to plan…
Certainly if I am headed to SE Asia, a lot of planning is necessary to get there and back safely. My next big adventure is closer to home. Nuada and I are packing up the camping gear, photography gear and heading to the Carolinas. Family and friends to see, portraits to make and a project meeting with the Forsyth County United Way in Winston-Salem. The only thing that is set in stone is the meeting on 7/13. Whatever happens there will dictate what follows.
When I was teaching, I knew what I was going to say every class, everyday and every year I taught…27 in all! Lesson plans had to be turned in and I had a clear outline for what would happen. Objectives, and techniques and measurable outcomes. When directing theatre, I had a carefully calculated vision of what the production would look and sound like when opening night arrived. I live with calendars filled with details of my working life,traveling life, social life, etc. Seems that everything is planned out carefully!
So after the truck is serviced, the camping gear is checked and stocked with supplies, the presentation for the meeting is prepared and we are on our way, I don’t know what the fuck I’m going to do! All I know is the adventure is open-ended. Now, I “just” have to quiet my mind, give up my hyper-planning tendencies, and live the serendipitous life. OMG!!!
Years ago, when my daughter and I lived and traveled aboard our sailboat, I’d spend countless hours going over charts, trying to figure out what the next day would hold. Where would we anchor? Where is the slip in the marina? Which way does it face? Port or starboard side to? What REALLY made me crazy was that I knew I had no idea and would just have to wait until I got there.
Enter Buddhism and meditation. How the hell do I quiet the monkeys in my head insisting I plan out every detail? How do I live moment to moment when I have trained myself for a lifetime to do just the opposite? Breathe, Hank, breathe! Time to sit and allow the unknown surprises, lessons and adventures unfold as they will. They’re going to anyway. If I can even attempt mindfulness, I won’t miss them!
So, now I think back on the many, many wonderful, unplanned moments and experiences. Monkey mind, be gone! I have adventures ahead!Get out of the house!