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Wednesday Wellbeing: Priority

"Perfect is the enemy of the good." -Voltaire

"If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail." -Benjamin Franklin

Wedding planning is one of the most stressful times in any person's life, but it takes a particularly hard toll on the bride-to-be. She is like the general in charge of the troops. Every decision, big or small, ultimately comes back to her. This is her special day, and she wants everything to be perfect. But "everything perfect" is not a priority. It is the opposite of a priority. Trying with all of our might to reach the unattainable scatters our energy. Instead, focusing on making one or two things as best as possible, harnesses it.

In Chinese medicine, the gestalt of the general is embodied by the Liver organ system. The Liver is responsible for regulating and moving our body's energy, or "qi." When the qi is flowing properly, there is harmony. When it gets stuck, there is chaos. The more tasks that the Liver is asked to do, the more chaotic things become. It thrives on discrete tasks and goals, with set timelines. When things don't go as planned, then it must work extra hard to resolve them.

Over-commitment to a set vision is the folly of the Liver system. This produces anger which in turn further distracts one's qi. Knowing our tasks and goals is one thing. Being rigid in how we approach them is quite another. By being supple and flexible (like wood, the Liver's element) we are able to overcome difficulties and keep moving forward...toward our priorities.

Placing limits on our priorities actually makes the process run more smoothly because it frees up our unconscious skills and enables them to operate less encumbered. Breaking complicated problems down into bite-sized pieces allows us to overcome the insurmountable. The large mountain is scaled one step at a time. The wedding is planned one detail at a time. The life you want is accomplished one small habit at a time.

The Tao Te Ching says, "The Tao is never in a hurry, yet everything is done on time." The more we can embody this truth, the better we will rest in the knowledge that what we are doing is enough...if we are able to focus on priority.

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