There’s something about the way we have been taught, that nothing worth having comes easily, that makes our lives more painful than necessary. Yes it’s true that we can appreciate the wins when we have had many failures, but does dwelling on bad stuff help or hinder?
Logically we all know that too much of it just doesn’t help, but we seem to have this inbuilt way of punishing ourselves and actually keeping what we do want from coming into our experience.
As people around me return to their usual routines, I am struck by the sheer amount of resistant energy out there. While it’s useful to understand the contrast between what you don’t want and what you do want, it’s only useful to start there rather than dwell there.
When I first came to my new country 10 years ago, I was lucky enough to have a sabbatical before starting to look for work. In my heart I knew what I’d been doing wasn’t for me, but I had no clue what was either.
Eventually money ran out and I took up a similar role, albeit more strategically focused which was more me, because I really didn’t have the clarity on what I should be doing instead.
Although I didn’t let go of the sense of wanting to do something different, I spent years being grumpy and resistant to my current reality which really only made my life – and that of those around me – more miserable.
"misery is only your starting point; don’t stay there once you recognize it"
In misery we do not attract anything other than more misery. It is only your starting point; don’t stay there once you recognize it. That doesn’t necessarily mean you immediately hand in your notice or leave your partner, it means you start a process of deliberately creating what you do want.
Okay, you saw the light over the break, with great clarity you know there’s something about your life you want to change, you may even know what it is you want instead. However, if you are focusing on the ‘how’ of the situation - how bad the current situation is, or how the new situation will come about - or you are focused on the ‘who’ is making you miserable or who will change this situation, I guarantee you are in the wrong ballpark.
"let go of the who and the how, and focus on what you have to be grateful for in the here and now"
Creating something new, or something from nothing as I wrote about last week, happens when we let go of the who and the how, and we focus on what we have to be grateful for in the here and now.
In one sense you might feel that if now was so great you wouldn’t want to change it, but remember you are really only wanting to change an aspect of it. It’s easier for me to see this now as I’m seeing through lenses that have begun to learn the art of surrender. As I watch my partner go to work, or my children go to kindergarten, their resistance is strong.
There is nothing wrong in your yearning for more freedom to live your life as you want, you can still be of service and add value when you dance to the beat of your own drum. In fact, you will be of most service only when you live this way. First you have to set that as an intention, but the trick is then to forget about it and focus on all the wonderful things you have now.
"write a letter to some higher power that could magically make circumstances coalesce to your benefit"
Imagine it like posting a letter. If you were to write a letter to some higher power that could magically make circumstances coalesce to your benefit, detailing what your life would be like if these changes occurred, you would be starting the process of your creation.
The letter must not detail who or how this creation will come about, imagine this higher power telling you to stick with what you are good at and letting them get on with their job (which is the who and the how) if that makes it easier. Then ‘post’ the letter (in a safe place, in the bin, wherever) and forget about it.
Trusting that things will happen much more quickly if you let the universe get on with its job, without you putting up barriers (by focusing on how bad your current situation is) or imposing conditions on who and how, is perhaps the hardest part.
If you have no faith in the process of surrender, start with something less consequential that you want, maybe a cup of coffee or a bar of chocolate, or to spot a particular type of bird or car. Post a letter, let it go and see what happens. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
"Listen to your inner voice, the inner knowing that you have, it will serve you best."
My parents are visiting at the moment, so I hear often the question from my dad about scientific evidence. As I said to him, if you are limiting your experience to things that have been scientifically proven you are ignoring a much larger part of yourself, your inner knowing.
We live in a vast multiverse, one that is so expansive that ‘science’ (the rational explanation that satisfies the mind) can explain only a small proportion. Remember your mind is not you; it’s only a part of you and contributes to a fraction of your intelligence, not the whole of it. Listen to the inner voice, the inner knowing that you have, it will serve you best.
Focus on the things in your life right now that you really are grateful for. If you are struggling with that get a bit more general than the specific people, animals and things that make up your day to day experience. If you have a job that you don’t like, focus on its saving graces (the income that puts food on the table, some of the great people you come across). If you are in a body you don’t like, focus on its saving graces (its functions and senses that allow you to experience this world).
If you can think of nothing else, or if you are on a roll, focus on the beauty all around us, the majesty of dark rolling thunderous clouds, the deep blue of a sunny sky, the warmth of the sun on your skin, the crispness of the cold as your boots crunch across snow and ice. Nature brings us endless things to admire with awe and wonder.
Focus on what is good and you will invite more in, you will watch in wonder as inspired thoughts and seeming chance occurrences bring what you truly want into your experience, Then one day you can pull out that letter you wrote and know that you made it happen by simply trusting it would and listening when those inspired thoughts came up.
This article was originally published on LinkedIn.
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/9390392@N02/1826891453">Je te déteste (mais je t'aime) - I hate you (but I still love you)</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/">(license)</a>
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