A loaded, even contentious word. Especially for me.
Settling has always had the baggage of "compromise," "mediocrity," and "complacent." So when that word is the word I feel Spirit reiterating to my sometimes anxious heart and mind, I had to acknowledge my baggage.
I wrote last week on the yin and yang of creativity. I'm finding an active balance in the yin and yang of life. The integration of rest, of relaxation, of Sabbath, of settling. This hasn't meant compromising on the work I care about, rather knowing when to let go and simply be.
I've also talked about kronos and kairos time. One requires a watch, the other requires our engagement and immersion into the moment. I recently purchased a watch (that I LOVE) that didn't love me back. Whether from a change in the material or in the processing, my skin developed an instant irritation to the watch, and I haven't been wearing it. I'm beginning to do that with much more of life.
I see how much of my anxiety pertains to time-related goals. Needing to do more, be more, have more... now. I have observed how an obsession with the TIME (whether minutes or hours of a run or days/weeks/years with a life goal and growth) only creates and perpetuates feelings of anxiety and inadequacy. For me, settling doesn't mean I have to solidify as I am. It means relaxing into discomfort, stretching into growth.
We spend so much effort trying to fix what's wrong that we forget to celebrate and enjoy what's right. I get preoccupied with what COULD BE instead of what IS. What is working? How can I enjoy it? How can I cultivate the soil for the seeds I'm planting NOW with my life and trust the process that is at work? How can I trust the process, be in the moment and be fully immersed and engaged?
Relaxing doesn't mean disengaging. In drumming, you have to be relaxed to play fast. Same thing in running. Embracing fluidity, flexibility and rejuvenation enhances and sustains the process of strain and efforting.
Instead of counting the minutes or miles (merely quantitative metrics), I'll measure my joy, smell the roses, and celebrate with the people along the way. Instead of obsessing over the plan, I'll be in the moment. I'm not becoming a static, fixed, set entity. I'm simply settling into what is, letting my resistance blow away with the wind.
You can afford to settle, but that doesn't mean you have to compromise.
Maybe you need the same message I'm telling myself:
Relax, people. Make something beautiful.