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We all procrastinate. Tasks from making a doctor’s appointment to preparing taxes to doing the laundry invite us to put off until tomorrow what we can postpone today. We may distract ourselves by going online, doing errands, or minimizing the time a job will take. Although procrastination signals that a given task is hard and emotionally charged, it buys only temporary escape from anxiety. Furthermore, procrastination can lead to disappointment in oneself that can undermine the self-confidence needed to face subsequent challenges. We are called to the hero’s journey in confronting the dragon of deficiency that inhabits our inner world as procrastination. If we dare to begin, we can find the help we need, and may discover that the task itself is not as onerous as we imagined–and that we are more.
“I’m in what looks like a large garage. There is a band playing for maybe 15 people. A man with the mic asked me who I wanted to hear play. I automatically said “Anthony Green” who is an artist I haven’t listened to since college. He happened to be in the audience and he got up on stage. The band started playing “Dear Child.” It’s a joyous-sounding song with a lot of energy. A line that repeats is “I’ve been trying to reach you, but my extension cord wouldn’t reach that far.” As the band was playing, a bunch of little fires started on the floor and the walls. Everyone including me was running around putting out the fires with our bare hands and by stomping. The band kept playing this whole time. The mood was still light and joyous despite the “emergency.” Most of the fires were out. I saw through a vent in the wall that there was a raging fire in the basement. I looked back up and the entire room had transformed into a much more industrial and bigger building. It was some kind of modern factory. A woman who worked in this building took me to the stairs to get into the basement so we could put out the fire. She was around my age. We started going down the stairs and at the bottom of the stairs was a big dark tunnel. I started flipping random switches to try and turn the lights on so I could get to the fire. After maybe 10 seconds of failing, the woman ran into the dark toward the fire without saying anything. I woke up. While awake I listened to the song again and read along with the lyrics. I was in shock when I heard “Dear sleeper, you could have had the better bed. I loved to watch the way you grew.” I felt like my psyche was saying that directly to me.”
Prochasa, James. Changing for Good: A Revolutionary Six-Stage Program for Overcoming Bad Habits and Moving Your Life Positively Forward.