If you happen to be at all like me, you tend to operate at two speeds: idle and overdrive.
When I was younger, I could run in 5th gear for quite a while. It was a fun, adrenaline rush. I balanced my intense periods of work with frequent walks on the beach and multiple vacations a year.
These days, my life looks more sedentary, more introverted, more easy-flowing. Looks can be deceiving. I still operate at two speeds. I get up, clean the kitchen in a whirlwind, then sit and chill for a while. I next get up and vacuum the house like a banshee, then relax again to catch my breath.
For a while now, I have been wanting to learn to work at a more steadied pace, but I haven’t had that much success. I still race through the activity and wear myself out. You should have seen me the other day. After thinking about cleaning my 15 year old oriental rug for weeks now, I, one day, followed the inspiration. This was all good! I allowed the momentum of my desire to build, so much so, you would have had to hold me down to keep me from tackling the job. The part where I lacked balance was in the actual cleaning. I scrubbed that carpet so vigorously, I was sweating. The next day, I was sore.
My carpet came out great, but I didn’t enjoy the work very much.
In my journal writing, I have had plenty a discussion with spirit about Temperance—Tarot card number XIV and all that it signifies. Hell, an entire section in Scribe to the Pantheon of Rome is dedicated to that very subject (in chapter 14 — Fourteen — XIV, of course).
And then this happened: In this morning’s journaling, something slipped in. I intended to write one word, but my fingers typed something else. As soon as I saw it, I caught the message:
Getting into the right space puts you at the right pace.
Temperance (or anything really) is most enjoyably achieved when ease and allowing are pre-paved before one enters into the stream of activity (the arena, “reality”, the chaos). We see athletes do this all of the time. A fastball coming toward you at 100 mph doesn’t give you time to think. The activity that comes before a batter steps up to the plate (e.g., practice, strength training, rest, and stillness) is what enables his proficiency and grace in the execution.
Many of us have learned to get what we desire by wrestling it to the ground. That approach doesn’t work for me much any more. In fact, my greatest desire is simply to feel good—so feeling bad in order to feel good just doesn’t add up. It’s so much better to just feel good from the onset, don’t you think?