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If there is a state where the soul can find a resting-place secure enough to establish itself and concentrate its entire being there, with no need to remember the past or reach into the future… and no other feeling of deprivation or enjoyment, pleasure or pain, desire or fear than the simple feeling of existence… we can call ourselves happy…” From Rousseau’s Reveries of a Solitary Walker
Wow… there are days and there are days, right?
Today I’ve spent the past hour or so in “worry mode”… and then I said, “Whoa… Chris, what’s going on there? Is this really where you want to spend your Sunday afternoon?” So I thought I’d share with you guys.
I remember reading somewhere that we should only put our energy into what we can affect in this moment, and that everything else (not being part of this moment) can be planned for, but not “worried” about. In other words if, in this moment, you’re about to be eaten by a tiger, there is cause for alarm. However, avoiding becoming that tiger’s next meal tomorrow, need not be a source of present fear. Most anything that’s not happening right now can be addressed in some fashion without fear, worry and/or dread.
So, why do we lose so much energy worrying about tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, or the day after that? I believe that the answer lies in this question that we rarely consider: What is it about NOW that is such a challenge to be with? Is there something in this moment that is harder to “be with” than the worry about tomorrow? Maybe… Or are we just so accustomed to the worrying that it feels like home?
We’re all familiar with the adage that humans are “creatures of habit”. In many ways, this is a useful way to be: if every thing you did in your day needed to be re-discovered every day for the first time, nothing would ever get done! And, there is very little in our lives that is not subject to the “habit” rule, including our emotional responses. We all default to our most familiar state of consciousness even if that state is nearly unbearable! What’s that all about? There are all kinds of theories about that one… The one that strikes me as the most plausible is this: we default to that level of consciousness that we grew up relating to. When we are on “automatic pilot” (IE not in choice) in our lives, those behaviors and levels of awareness that we return to recreate our early development because it’s what we find the most “comfortable” or “familiar” (whether or not it actually feels comfortable. The ironic challenge there is that often, changing our behavior can feel even more uncomfortable than that familiar space! A rock and a hard place, right?)
Ultimately, as a Co-Active Coach, I am about Living in Choice. When you find yourself in that uncomfortable familiarity, know that you are at a cross roads. What I challenge you to do is consciously choose where you are going to go from there: are you going to choose to do something different, something more affirming, or are you going to choose to stay in that fearful, worry place? Either choice is valid, from my perspective… you may not be ready or willing to make a change. But do it as an active choice. Say to yourself, “I’m going to do this differently,” and then move your body and do it. OR say, “I’m going to stay here and wallow for a while longer,” and then do it up! Wallow BIG TIME. Whine, complain, act like a victim… what have you, but do it with conviction! And then move on…
Being fully present to every moment in your life, the good, the bad and the down-right ugly, requires a conscious effort, but in truth there really is no other place to be. So, let’s live it with intention. No more victims…
Always infinite possibilities… always your choice.
Music Credit: “I’m Yours”, © 2008 Jason Mraz