The other afternoon, a thought popped into my head. It wasn’t exactly peaceful.
“You should just quit.”
The thought was about working. Running my business, doing The Work for a living.
Right in the middle of an afternoon.
- this will go on forever
- I’ll never have any savings (or enough of ‘x’)
- you haven’t amounted to much
- so what (referring to just about anything)
- I can’t retire like other people
I thought about canceling my noon yoga class, and the plan to work on the chapter I’m writing for an upcoming book on The Work, and definitely let’s not think about another podcast.
The funny thing was, it was probably my brain trying to get me to take a break, go outside, relax. Or it was just a random suggestion. I love how the mind will recommend quitting when things seem a little bit hard, or very hard.
I notice these “So What” kinds of thoughts about work and projects come in only when I’m pushing hard, not taking any breaks, skipping meditation, not pausing to do The Work, avoiding rest.
But people, including me, frequently have this thought about quitting when they get upset with someone, feel pushed in between a rock and a hard place, and don’t know another way out. In an extreme way, “quitting” is what people are doing who feel suicidal and imagine exiting life here on planet earth.
Do you have anything you’ve thought about quitting recently?
Is it true?
How do I react when I have the thought I should quit?
I have pictures of a future where I am no longer doing the thing. No longer in that relationship. No longer going to that location. No longer doing that work.
It is really amazing how powerful the urge to LEAVE is. Cut ’em off! I’m never speaking to her again! Goodbye forever! I quit!
Who would I be without the story of quitting?
Noticing I continue. I stick with the person, situation, circumstance, activity, or not. And it may have little to do with the thought of quitting.
Or nothing at all to do with it.
Turning the thought around: I don’t quit. I quit my thinking. “It” quit me.
All of these options have been true….and now that I think about it and do The Work on this idea of quitting….
….I’m not sure I’ve ever been the one that made quitting happen. I either just knew it was time to stop, or not. Perhaps fatigue and exhaustion caused quitting. Perhaps an awareness the thing wasn’t required resulted in quitting. Perhaps doing The Work caused quitting.
Perhaps there was no quitting whatsoever, even though the idea ran so loudly through my mind.
Here I am writing down the thoughts, sharing them with other people, doing The Work right in front of everyone (as a reader once said to me).
“I follow the way of it, which is always revealed in the moment. It’s God’s will, and it’s always crystal clear. When you no longer have a will of your own, there is no time and space. It all becomes a flow. You don’t decide, you flow from one happening to the next, and everything is decided for you…..This morning I had the thought to shower, and I notice that I stayed with the email. I find that fascinating. Showering was a wonderful idea. Will it move to that, or not? It’s exciting to wait and watch and allow life to move at its own pace as it continues to do what it does.” ~ Byron Katie in 1000 Names for Joy
I have the idea to quit. I don’t quit. I have the idea to quit. One day I do.
Is it happening because I’ve decided so?
There are so many beautiful complexities to the life, the flow, the world. They include this mind, sometimes talking it seems to no one.
The ultimate full-blown complete opposite turnaround: I should just begin. But it’s already happening.
- this will go on forever YAY!
- I’ll always have enough of everything I need! WOOHOO!
- you haven’t amounted to much, which is PERFECT
- so what (referring to just about anything) HOORAY!
- I can’t retire like other people. SO LUCKY!
Every new moment, beginning fresh. Looking around at the unknown, the mysterious, the shape of this room, the going for a walk, returning home, writing. Activities did change today. Nothing quit. Life is still here, continuing, never-ending. Always more possibilities, always room for The Work, always life just here, being.