Friday, June 12, 2009

How can I get to the holy grail of congruence?


My daughter spends every other weekend with her father, leaving me with what should be a lovely few days to do what I want. And usually I spend the week making a list of the things I want and need to do.

But when Friday after work finally arrives, the plans to get my eyebrows waxed, my car washed, and my body moving around a track fall victim to the nap that engulfs me on the beckoning couch as I walk into the house.

Usually a few hours later, I'm up and back in I-can-still-make-this-a-productive-and-fun-and relaxing weekend. I delude myself with this pattern throughout the next two days, maybe getting a load of clothes washed, but not folded. Maybe calling one of the 9,000 friends and relatives who only know I'm alive because of email and word of mouth. Maybe reading and writing half of what I know I need to - deadlines looming. Definitely vegging out in front of some delicious Turner Classic Movie favorite.

So after I woke up from my nap and talked to my sweetie, I changed into my exercise gear intent on making it to the park. Several hours later, I've read and commented on 15 blogs that I follow, found some more, shed the workout clothes, and decided to write a post of my own.

The idea for this post came to me as I was reading about the meaning of congruence on a website link I found on Tea and Honeybread, a lovely essay-driven blog I picked up from my girl D's ever-stimulating blog MyBrownBaby.

From the link:

"Congruence is a name for that state in which every fiber of your being is in agreement. Wherever your attention is, it is undivided. Whether you are watching a sunset or changing a flat tire, no part of you is attending to something else. No part is whispering, "But you really have to start cooking dinner," or "I should have checked the air earlier." No part is imagining how the sunset could be improved by a little stronger orange, or thinking about getting new tires. No part is wanting to move because the position of your back is a bit uncomfortable."

Even while reading this, I was thinking, "Damn, I'm hungry," "Do I really want to read the rest of this?" "I wonder how my child will do in dance class tomorrow?" But I pressed on, realizing that this article was speaking particularly to me. And even though I did do a little speed-reading in the middle, I did get some good nuggets.

More on congruence:

"Congruence is particularly desired by people who are in fierce internal struggles with themselves, with disparate parts repeatedly warring over alternatives that are perceived to be important to their living."

All is not lost, though. I'm not a fool for searching for congruence. And I'm not abnormal for my regular bouts of incongruence. This part made me feel better:

"What is really satisfying is to have a dynamic balance between congruence and incongruence, and a full appreciation for the importance and value of both. Congruence allows us to concentrate fully on one experience temporarily, either to appreciate it fully and learn from it, or to get something done. Incongruence allows us to consider the infinite possibilities and consequences that living continually offers us. In order to maintain this balance, we need to understand and appreciate both sides of the balance well, have ways of detecting different kinds of imbalance, and have ways of restoring our balance when imbalance is detected."

So I'm off to try to do what I want and need to do for the rest of the weekend, keeping balance in mind. Hope you do the same. And if you don't, forgive yourself & try again the next day.

Living and learning, JD

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