If this week’s earlier post was in part about turning inward, as posts around here often are, but also about taking a step back. When you’re busy, and often under pressure, and overloaded, and under-slept, decision-making is tough. When someone shows you a path that seems perfectly sensible, with all the steps mapped out and verified, it can look pretty darn good to a set of tired eyes. Maybe I’ll just do that for a minute, you think, or just a little while longer than that. Once I get my energy back, then I’ll get back to charting my own course. Then I’ll get back to finding my purpose, and lighting the world on fire. Then I’ll get back to really being me.
I’ve been there. It’s not easy.
When you feel like all you can do is barely keep your head above water, it’s so hard to imagine building a boat of your own to float on it. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, though.
Call it your intuition, your gut, your inner voice (the good one) – whatever you like. But that thing, the one that’s always there nudging you when you’re know you’re selling out, or at least selling yourself short, it doesn’t get tired. It can sometimes get quiet, when you try to drown it out with analysis and doubt, but it never goes away.
So, this weekend, your “no-fail” mindfulness challenge is to first, check in. Find your 5(ish) minutes to connect with your breath. Find some stillness, or intentional, mindful movement to help you start to notice your thoughts, and let them pass instead of jumping along for the ride with them. Connect with yourself just as you are, in this moment, without judgment. Whether you like what you find or not, it won’t last. Don’t attach. Just notice.
Then, ask yourself this honest question: “Is there anything about my life I’d do differently if I felt like I could?”
You may have to ask a few times. Chances are, judgment will get in the way in the beginning. Ask again. If the answer is nothing, awesome. Just keep breathing, and you’ll get a nice dose of mindfulness in for your weekend.
If something arises, however, sit with it for a moment. Then ask yourself, “Why can’t I change it?”
A bunch of answers will probably come up. Let them. List them, if you need to. No judgment, no analysis. Then, keep going.
Keep going until you get to the bottom of the list. The real bottom. Until you’re down into the things you probably wouldn’t say out loud.
“Because I’m scared. Because people will be disappointed. Because it might be a mistake. Because I might fail.”
Then finally, “So what?” What happens if any of those things happen? Death, destruction, tragedy? Or just the normal, beautiful human journey of occasionally being imperfect? Of learning, growing, and becoming something more from there? Of following the path that can only be carved out by one person on this whole, giant earth? Of discovering who you really are, and accepting that with a full heart?
Just a few questions, from one friend to the other. Take your time responding, and then don’t waste a moment in living the truth of the answers.
“Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.” – Rumi
Photo credit: Dawid Zawila