In an ongoing search for my direction in life and career, I often found myself pushing harder and harder to figure out 'what to do?'. Yet, nothing was really about what to do… it was more about how to be! I have been pondering upon this concept and at times still struggle with it. How can I just let things flow, when I have so many things to do?
Have you ever found yourself in a conflicting decision point, where your mind says 'uh-huh' (YES) to something, yet your heart, or your gut says 'uh-uh' (NO)? You say YES to your decision from your mind vantage point, only to find out later how wrong it was and how your should have listened to your gut instead. For example, you pick a job because it's a cool company that pays well. Soon after you are in your new career, the glitter starts to wane and you are faced with the raw reality that maybe the job is not such a great fit for you... it somehow goes agains who you are and what you value. And if you don't make changes it will lead to long term frustration.
When you live in accordance with your nature, you don’t have to try to reach some goals, to figure out what to do to get what you want. In fact, your goals – those things you think you want –are most likely just symptoms of your current imbalance and aren’t always to be trusted!’ – Jean Haner
I am slowly learning that if we are aligned with our true nature, we can lean more into BEING, versus always doing, and our actions naturally ride the ebb and flow of life. But we can’t do this if we are unable to unwind in the truth of who we are. Easier said than done, isn’t it? This does not mean that we seat back and do nothing, it simply means we take and extra second and pay attention to the way we make decisions about our choices, by trusting our inner response.
Test yourself the next time someone ask you something. Be aware that you might be waiting for an instantaneous gut response and half a second later, the Mind will get involved. Don't allow it to distract you. Take and extra second to feel your response by listening to your gut. Many of us tend to think too much, allowing the Mind to override any other form of intelligence we might possess.
I lived half of my life disconnected from my true nature. I guess we all learn and grow… I won’t beat myself up for it. When we allow our feelings without being swept away by them and our thoughts without believing every one of them, we are finally aligned with nature!
What could we do to get out of our own heads, and be able to flow with the stream of our own nature?
Stoping self-judgment. That wrinkle that just showed up… I am not good enough…I am not smart enough… I don’t have enough of… what else? Many of us have this tendency of viewing ourselves this cruelly. We are so hardwired to look mostly for what’s wrong with us and focus on the negative. What about all the good stuff we hold, do, and have?
If we are in self-judgment we put stress in the system …we can get ill, stuck in life …locked into creating our future based on our past.
When we make the decision to expect the best, we will always get the best. – Lolly Daskal
Would you be able to make a list of everything wonderful about yourself and a list of what’s ‘wrong’ with you? Now if you look at your two lists, which one is longer? I hope the wonderful things will surpass the so-called ‘bad’ things.
Truth is we all have the ‘bad’ side, or what some would call the shadow side. The Earth has a North Pole and a South Pole! Is one better that the other?
So, why not own our light and our shadow alike…and lead our lives from a place of integrity, courage and compassion!
In their own way, our parents surely loved us… but they unconsciously projected many of their own expectations onto us, and they felt stressed and confused when we could not conform to their ‘desired’ image. Adding onto it expectations from society, teachers, peers, friends… by the end of our childhood we were probably fairly confused, with a negative talk-radio station playing in our heads… telling us all the ways we are wrong.
My ‘station’ was very loud in my head for a long time. But today I know better… I am a global being with my own North Pole and South Pole.
Whatever story you’re telling yourself, it’s made up of an intricate and coherent pattern of repeating thought and feelings, many of which you were never taught to recognize and honor but instead to judge and resist. - Jean Haner
Fighting against who we are keeps us locked, confused and stuck. Only by embracing who we truly are, with all our flaws and imperfections, we can find the way to freedom. We might not be able to change our thoughts and feelings but we can change our relationship to them and how we react.
Neuroanatomist, Jill Bolte Taylor, discovered that it takes only 90 seconds for our system to process an emotion. So, if you are envious for example, your system gets swept away in envy for a minute and a half. If you still remain jealous after that, it’s because deliberately or unconsciously, you are choosing to stay there. It’s only your own choice if you click back into that feeling again, after that 90-second brief time.
The reason an emotion continues after 90 seconds is because we are so used to it that we believe it as reality. Our thoughts and emotions are simply patterns of nature, not something we are doing incorrect.
How to get out of the vicious cycle? One proven way is to tune in… meditate! Step out and observe!
Mindful meditation is defined as 'paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally… bringing one's complete attention to the present experience on a moment-to-moment basis'.
Jean Haner said ‘a feeling is just a feeling. Let it come and watch it go…another will come right after…The more you can let yourself surf those waves, the more ease and less stress you’ll have in your system, and life will just unfold’.
We are all work in progress. Every life is an unfolding story… a dynamic, unique, purposeful, and potentially heroic story with bright spots, turning points, and many opportunities for personal growth and transformation.
How could we reframe our old, self-limiting story?
By looking through a new lens on life… a lens that elevates our perspective, frees our imagination, and outweighs our inner critic! Life is not all serious when we stand back and breathe. If only we could accept that life is intended to be a mystery to be lived and not always a problem to be solved.