Recently I began a PhD program at the California Institute of Integral Studies. I am exactly one month into that program!
If I sound like I am applauding myself a bit – well, I am. The amount of reading is triple any amount I have ever done before. Because this is a long distance learning program, there are phone calls with other students, lectures to attend, and lots of online discussions. Did I say LOTS of ONLINE DISCUSSIONS?
Sometime, reading the 600 assigned pages and then reading the numerous pages of discussions can sometimes feel tedious.
Here is what is different about my experience from other students: Students who begin to feel this tedium start to worry, express concern, or even complain. It would be tempting to go there, except I have a different perspective: I see that my experience of tedium is not coming from the readings, the discussions or the assignments. No, my tedium is coming from inside of me!
Given this understanding, I don’t see how complaining would help! Instead, when I start to feel irritable, I take that as a sign: “time to back off my thinking and give myself some space.” After all, the reading isn’t the important part.
The important part isn’t grades, it isn’t doing it right, it isn’t knowing everything or impressing anybody. The important part is so much more important and so much simpler. The important part is my well being, its your well being and nothing out there can take that away from us.
The question for the reader becomes “how do I ‘do’ that?” The trick is the ego is a thinker and the ego thinks about doing. (I don’t believe the ego actually accomplishes anything, but we can talk about that later!)
So, when you hear that question – back off. “Doing that,” isn’t important. Go for a walk. Write a blog post. Play with your kids. Whatever!
You don’t have to believe me, check it out for yourself. But if you always take care of yourself in the moment and stop believing your thinking – amazing things happen!