My friend Kate said she wished she could get herself to meditate- she's had times in the past when she had a regular practice, and she knows it helps, but for some reason she isn't motivated to do it. My ears perked up, because it was just a couple months ago I was talking to my doctor who said the same thing. He said, I know. It's always the first thing to go.
I went to a workshop with a poet I greatly admire. She was fielding questions at the end and one by one, people raised their hands and asked questions about finding time to write. After three of these questions, she became frustrated. Look, she said, I don't garden, I don't knit, hell, I barely cook. Whatever you are doing instead of writing is what you are doing.
I have another friend who confided in me that he gives motivational speeches when he is alone in his car. "About what?" I asked.
"I don't really know," he replied. "I just wish people could see how beautiful they are." Something you do alone in your car like this, there is real power there.
I was taught that in order to really, truly learn how to sing, you have to learn to scream with total abandon. Not to the point of injury, and this does not in any way mean that screaming and singing are the same thing, but just to feel the release of it, the freedom from self-consciousness. I tried it, several times. Then I stopped because someone else told me he got pulled over for screaming in his car. He didn't get in trouble, but a concerned onlooker had called him in.
What do you do when you are alone in your car? As communal as humans are, there are some things we have to do by ourselves. More importantly, the things we do by ourselves, when no one is watching, are probably the things we should do more of. Maybe my friend isn't meant to be a motivational speaker, exactly (or maybe he is!), but he definitely has something to share with the world, through music, words, or maybe just being the utterly kind person he is to everyone he meets. Maybe he's really giving himself a speech, reminding himself how beautiful he is.
What are the first things to go when you get busy?
What are the things you do when you are alone?