Is it really “Procrastination” or is it something else entirely?
When we don’t seem to be able to get to doing something we or others think we should be doing in what we or they think is a timely manner, we and/or they call it procrastinating. A behavior we all unquestionably view as worthy of criticism; a fault sorely in need of being corrected. But, what happens if we look at this not-being-able-to-do some particular thing as an important message from our deep self?
Many of us already get and accept that angry, nasty or mean-spirited thoughts/feelings arise in us when something not-good-for-us is going on. When these feelings flood us, we’ve learned to consider them as signals/messages from within our deeps asking us to look for what it is in what’s happening that we need to address, communicate about or remove our selves from.
What we call “procrastinating” can be looked at in the very same light. Namely, when we can’t seem to get our selves in gear to do some particular thing, instead of criticizing our selves (or accepting anyone else’s criticism) about this behavior, we look for what message our deep (authentic) self might be trying to give us.
Experience teaches me, over and over again, that when I’m not getting to something I (or others) think I should be doing, it’s either the wrong time for me to be doing it or, sometimes, the wrong thing for me to be doing at all. When I embrace my not-doing behavior compassionately – with curiosity and inquiry instead of criticism – I always learn something important about my own needs. With this information, I can take better care of me and be more mindful in making commitments to others
See what you think and consider trying this re-framing the next time you’re giving your self a bad time about not yet getting to something you (or someone else or the world-in-general) think you should already have been doing.
It’s important to remember that what our culture calls the socialization process is quite often a curriculum that teaches us to ignore our inner knowings in order to behave in “socially acceptable” ways. This ignoring always damages us, moving us off our center. Our work is to honor these inner truths and find ways to walk them creatively and safely out in the world.