Priority of Treatment
*A phrase used with the practice of shin tai referring to the course a shiatsu session will take depending on what presents itself as priority in the receiver's body.*
I bring this up because there's something in me, and maybe you as well, that resists structure. Hate it. Even self-imposed. Okay, especially self-imposed.
I can make award-winning to-do lists, I can prioritize till the cows come home, but there are very few days when I can devote my time easily to each item of my list, and check them all off. Or even three of those items.
Attention and focusing issues? Yeah, probably. I blame chronic baby-brain (even though my youngest 'baby' is eight years old.) Lack of self-discipline and motivation? More than likely. But someone wise once wrote (and I should find this person again to profusely thank her) something to the effect of that you have to start out with motivation to get motivated. Or something similarly conundrum-sounding. I just remember going, yeah, exactly.
Another wise and insightful person suggested that we naturally move more rhythmically than what conventional productivity wisdom tells us, and in fact, she helps women find and make the best of their unique groove.
I like that. But I also lose sight of it. And then I came to see the parallels between time management and priority of treatment.
When following the P of T, a shiatsu practitioner recognizes that there are a number of levels of energetic manifestation in a human body: the dense physical structure, the meridians, the fascia, the chakras, the etheric bodies. And it seems that our core energy system can be better accessed through some levels better than other. Also, this access level can change throughout the course of a session. Depends on the person, depends on the practitioner, and a whole host of other factors. It's our job to find the way in on each unique body, to find that button that shifts the whole tone of the session. For example, sometimes meridian work may not be doing a whole lot, but turn the attention to the fascia, and (ahhhh!) the whole body just melts and relaxes. Instant connection.
So, this is what I'm noticing about my to-do list.
The multitude of activities on it engage different parts of my brain, or in some cases, like housework, none at all. There are days when I can't write a blog post to save my life, other days when I can do nothing else. (And many days when Quicken incites me to fantasies about laptop-flinging...I have to be really attentive to those openings, and maybe even use a little force on myself to hunker down with budget spreadsheets.)
I'm thinking the key is to look over the tasks at hand for the day and notice where is the most accessible way in. It's hard when certain items seem urgent, but even so, pushing against them, like trying to get a muscle to relax with an ineffective technique, just spins my mental wheels and makes me feel frustrated.
Also, certain days and times of day have an effect on the openings. Like trying to write when the whole house is still asleep obviously goes much easier.
It's like a dance. And it requires a certain level of awareness and listening.. a kind of panning out to see the whole picture of the day, and a honing back in on the details. For me, I like to mix it up, between cerebral work, like budgeting stuff, and more physical grounding housework or pulling weeds.
Everything needs to get done, and somehow it all does. At least the most important things.
How about you? How do you work best and get through your workday?
PS... I should tell you though, sometimes it's about finding the right structure, as in one that reflects the way you most effectively work. Setting up the dance floor in such a way that you don't keep banging your shins on the furniture....know what I mean?
PPS... Thank you again, Lisa Hunter, for setting me on this path, and showing me that there was another way to see productivity. And for the dance floor metaphor...
PPPS ... More on how you can apply P of T to your life coming soon.
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