A very interesting pattern and experience of being human is constantly imagining a “better” place or situation in the future. Bigger living quarters, more possessions for the family, a new car, more livestock, more money, bigger business deals, more friends, a life partner, more vacations, more time, better relationships, more happiness, more peace, more power.
Growth! Success! Expansion!!
The tricky thing about visioning the future the way we all do is when it makes us compare that vision to our present situation.
Even ever so subtly, in a tiny whisper, there is the voice that says things like this:
- getting there could take awhile….I sure wish I could get there faster
- if I don’t succeed and grow, life could be boring…or I might be a FAILURE
- if things stay the same in my life, then why even live? what’s the point?
- I could never, ever be like that person over THERE (who is rich, successful, enlightened, peaceful….whatever your particular desire)
- I need more time
- I need to be exceptional, not mediocre (this can start it’s own thread of how to get more training, education, coaching or counseling)
And then, to make matters a little more complicated, we also have a little comparison slide show going of how much work it could be to achieve that vision.
We’ll have to change our schedules, stop buying things, save money, wake up earlier, talk with more people, go on dates, fill our calendars with appointments, work more hours, work at jobs we don’t like, make deals with unpredictable people, meditate or discipline ourselves in spiritual practice more, get another degree, take tests, change jobs, move to a different home.
SUCH A HASSLE! I WANT IT TO BE EASY!
I’ll never forget when I was incredibly drawn, almost panicked, about investigating my thoughts on Success. I was terrified of not having enough money, and afraid of not being “successful” or having fun in my life, or reaching enlightenment (which according to me was obviously later, not now).
I identified the belief “I HAVE TO push to be successful”. As in, I have to have energy, keep myself moving, going, thinking, acting, practicing. I have to strive, drive, buckle down, stick to the plan, NO PAIN NO GAIN!!
My belief was that if I didn’t “try” or “push” then NOTHING WOULD HAPPEN. And that would be terrible, because my current situation was just not good enough.
What an incredible thing to question….and to find out that it is NOT TRUE that I have to push, plan, set goals, drive myself, or achieve. I mean, really?
I discovered that if I relaxed, stopped, breathed, thought about what would be fun, pleasant, interesting, felt what I was drawn toward….then that was the path of least resistance.
This does not mean that I never set my alarm, write in all my appointments in my calendar, imagine new and wonderful ideas, call someone, or pack my suitcase if I’m going away. It’s just that it doesn’t HAVE to happen. Ever.
Many of us have never ever tried to stop (without depression, defeat, or despair) and feel satisfied right now, feel joy or peace here, do nothing yet and see what it’s like. I was terrified that I would have no purpose and no point, and be non-achieving lump of uselessness and lie down on the floor.
“If a country is governed wisely, its inhabitants will be content. They enjoy the labor of their hands and don’t waste time inventing labor-saving machines. Since they dearly love their homes, they aren’t interested in travel. There may be a few wagon and boats, but these don’t go anywhere. There may be an arsenal of weapons, but nobody ever uses them. People enjoy their food, take pleasure in being with their families, spend weekends working in their gardens, delight in the doings of the neighborhood. And even though the next coutnry is so close that people can hear its roosters crowing and its dogs barking, they are content to die of old age without ever having gone to see it.” ~Tao Te Ching #80
Today I might have little thoughts floating around that shout MOVE IT. Mostly…I just can’t seem to believe them anymore. I am finding, strangely, that the less I do, the more I slow down and inquiry, the more I “succeed”.
In the next two weeks we’ll be starting teleclasses on Money, Food, Relationships and Sexuality. What great topics for slowing down, examining, looking….not building an arsenal of plans for success. How exciting to do less of being The Dictator on these topics…and understand more. Join us!
Byron Katie says, if you’re in a hurry, do The Work. I agree.