Make a plan, and Creedence Clearwater Revival
We are rounding the end of the calendar year, and probably some anxiety has already arisen about the impending social, personal, or professional obligations that we must attend to. The change of seasons, and stress of the year's end all arrive in addition to the constant pressure to stay informed and up-to-date about the latest and greatest struggle/tragedy/disaster/conflict. It's a lot.
Our bandwidth as a human is limited, and it's okay to follow nature's cues and withdraw and become more internal or self-reflective from time to time. After all, no flowers are in full bloom all year, and neither should we be.
There is a temptation in engaging with philosophical, scientific, religious, cultural, or spiritual traditions to either regard ourselves as a separate and completely self-determined individual, or to deny any agency to ourselves and regard ourselves as a product of and therefore locked into a larger framework. As with most views, there is as much truth as fiction. It is possible to both be part of a larger framework, and have agency and choice. The effort we make in our practice allows us to find a rest in that middle place between "either/or" where there lies greater ease, creativity, and freedom than we can imagine. The effort of practice is to discover the limits of our frameworks, the stories we tell ourselves, and the real conditions of this world that make it possible for us to exercise our agency.
As we approach the end of the year, I encourage you to dig into your practice, and therefore your agency in how you are able to show up to life. Here is a suggestion to help stay level-headed through the end of the year:
Inspired by Creedence Clearwater Revival - Commotion