15 November 2005

Decided on a therapeutic journal exercise yesterday; I’ve been feeling the internal pressure of lots of things I feel I should be or should do, so I decided just to list them in my written journal:

  • I ought to exercise more
  • I ought to promote my music
  • I ought to be more organised
  • I ought to stop chasing after what I can’t have
  • etc

Writing fast and spontaneously, without self-censorship, the list ran to two and a half pages of  A4, or 68 ‘oughts’!  And I could have written another two pages today! It was very liberating – the clear understanding, on paper in front of my eyes,  that I could never in this lifetime be or do everything I feel a compulsion to do, leads to my mind dropping them all and resting in the present moment. And time and again during the day, as I noticed another one popping up, I would recall the list and realise this was just another automatic impulse, not in any way a divine command or real personal responsibility. And it would drop away, leaving peace in its absence.

The next step, I would imagine, is to examine the list and take two or three that I could regard as legitimate and constructive aspirations and say ‘these are the ones I’m going to cultivate – the rest can be ignored as so much static.’