You Already Know…


YAKWTD-lead-portraitlookingtooceanWe are all living our lives here on this planet sharing a similar quest for happiness and fulfillment. As a first world nation, we have both the resources and time to carefully consider our plight in an attempt to craft our existence into something we want. We can study books, watch specials, listen to podcasts, you name it. The information is literally all around us. But, what if we already know what to do?

I believe in many cases, if you’re honest with yourself, you already know what to do about the problems that are plaguing you. You know why things are the way they are and you know the actions you need to take to resolve them. Yet, you don’t take the action! It’s like there is this sacred lynchpin sitting between knowing what to do and actually doing it. Human beings with all of their capacity for thinking are loathe to move those thoughts into heartfelt action. The question then becomes, “why?”

Have you noticed how good you feel when you finally take some required action that you knew you should have taken long ago? Or, when you finally decide to take back control some aspect of your life that you weren’t controlling? How fantastic it was when you cleaned out that back room, or put mulch in those flowerbeds, or finally got yourself extricated from that one-sided relationship! It’s as if our feelings are looking to reward us for not only making the right move, but to encourage us to keep making right moves.

Inaction, like inactivity is unnatural for us. Letting things go or pile up and multiply serves only to weigh us down, like the pounds we’ve allowed to load up on our bodies when we saw them coming on long ago. Each day carries with it an expectation. The expectation is that your requirements for the day be completed. Honestly living each day handling your own responsibilities will produce happiness for you. You already know what you need to do in the day, so just do those things.

Often we have developed a good grip on our lives in most areas except for that one area or those few annoying aspects. You may not realize it, but those seemingly insignificant parts of your life may be sucking away or leaking out your precious life force. More and more, happiness seems to follow control; knowing what you can control and controlling those things. Freely experiencing and enjoying life is necessary, but equally required is the need to reign in and limit on occasion. In the converse, sometimes people need to let the reigns out or break a rule or two. In the end, life is about balance. What part of your life may be out of balance? Or said another way, what aspect of your existence seems most connected to the difficulties and hardships you experience? Where there is smoke, there is fire. If every time you partake of A, you have to suffer with B, maybe it’s time to get rid of A. Maybe you’ve known for a long time that you need to stop fooling with A! Remove the lynch pin and say goodbye to A! Or just decide to control A better. You already know! Do what you already know to do!

Distraction is the opposite of focus. When you are distracted, you know what to do, but you never quite make the move you know you need to make. Distraction comes from being lured out of the present moment into other inviting moments. Maybe you’re living for the weekend, but it’s shame to waste those other four and a half days leading up to it. Imagine what great moves you could have made towards your goals while still ending up with ample time to pursue your Sunday Fun Day! Focus does its best to remain in the moment called ‘now.’ Focus knows exactly what needs to be done next. Focus brings your feelings up and asks you why you are feeling the way you are feeling with suggestions on something you could do next. Why trouble yourself with the expectations of yesterday and tomorrow, when the day at hand has enough to be done, today?

Don’t confuse handling the expectations of a day with the incessant nagging of anxiety or whatever else it is that drives us around against our will. There are many things that don’t need to be done today. The same applies to work expectations. Everything isn’t an emergency and everything isn’t right now! What we’re after are the good feelings that accompany handling our stuff. In contrast, some folks find themselves driven from thing to thing. Some cannot sit down without some sound, some activity, some requirement to do and do and do. Actually refusing to do in the midst of some boredom feeling or otherwise unpleasant mood, leads us to the real driver; generally fear acting upon us in non-specific or vague ways. Maybe all of the added attractions to our environments are really an attempt at not dealing with certain thoughts or unreasonable feelings.

It seems we have the capacity to untangle our lives immeasurably by making the simple decision to accomplish what the day demands! Don’t spend too much time in endless analysis and introspection. When you take action on the things that need to be done, including your mental state, the things you need to do next seem to come right into focus. When it comes to knowing what to do, it isn’t about finding new solutions as it is about acting on what you already know! Take the action you’ve been putting off for the past five years and just see how you feel. It works because you already know what to do!

Just some good thoughts…

 

 

 

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Getting Outside of your Own Head…


get-out-of-your-head-540Your life was meant to be lived, not analyzed. The best parts of your earthly sojourn lie beyond your capability to find them out. Love and God (which are synonymous), compassion, tenderness, kindness, peace, and joy all are experienced in your heart, not just inside your head.  Inside your head rests that great mechanism for analysis, which, if left to its own devices, will wear your ass out! So, at certain times, it is necessary to get outside of your own head…

The sphere we occupy has become a frenetic jumble of information doled out to an increasingly thirsty world obsessed with more and more gulps of information. We’ve lost the ability to just sit with ourselves absent electronic entertainment. We’re like the perpetual flicker of the television image, flashing from thing to thing in an ultra-passive state of inactivity! We wonder why we can’t sleep at night or sit for an hour with absolutely nothing to do. It’s a tuberculosis of thought minus the cough. We’re troubled and endeavor to think ourselves out of our troubles with a troubled and overloaded mind. It never dawns on us that the solution to our problem is found in our revery; in our quiet moments of clear thought. Yet onward we march down a road with a thousand forks, each promising a better existence; a nicer life.

It’s no wonder that a chance return to nature softens our harried outlook and delivers rest to our weary souls. In God’s creation we are as we were meant to be. We stand naked before the expanse of vegetation appearing random yet carefully placed. The innumerable trees ask for nothing but for our thoughtful observation. The majestic mountains with their symmetrical yet asymmetrical peaks or the shimmering sun lowering itself onto the gray, bubbly ocean speak to us in words we cannot form. They abhor our analysis and seek only to be enjoyed. All of life follows this sublime, experiential effect.

There is, of course, a time for our analytical thought, but that time has an end point. Otherwise we remain at work; a different work without break or lunch or shift’s end. We imagine we are accomplishing so much, but like the machine that runs around the clock, we finally seize and die. Our tasks have no conclusion, our thoughts never rest. Yet it is in rest and inactivity that we recharge. When we recognize, at last, that there is nothing we so urgently have to do, that we are finally free to accomplish.

It’s by no mistake that we feel the ever pressing urge to recognize the danger that may come our way, but our minds are too hurried to discern the real signs. We run from this and hide from that, never seeing what we were meant to see, but instead seeing everything else. We have an ideal that we fantasize, yet cannot reach it amidst the clamor! We want to love and be loved but have no time for it. We seek for peace but look for it in gigabytes of electronic mumbo-jumbo. We promise ourselves a rest after the yard is done, the meat is cooked, the house is cleaned and the final tasks have been wrapped up. Yet, to our dismay there is always another task, another job, another beckon for our immediate, rapt attention.

The most profound example is found in our children, who are really younger forms of ourselves before the information got to us. They have not yet lost the ability to turn on and off their thoughts in the spur of the moment. They can be engrossed in the Xbox one moment and lost in the fun of the playground the next. They are sure of what pleases them and pursue it wholeheartedly without worry or fear of some pending doom in the future. They don’t seek to arduously analyze their trouble, they simply ask for help. They haven’t yet falsely assumed that it is their lot in life to know everything that is going on at every particular moment. They simply exist with a joyful, exuberant confidence that they are always going to be okay. They have no factual basis for their belief, they choose rather simply to believe.

When you find yourself trapped in your own head, buzzing about from thought to thought, give whatever is eating away at you to God. Toss it away from yourself like you do when you accidentally discover you’ve grabbed something you’re not supposed to touch. The grasshopper that lights on your arm with his prickly feet and his foreboding tobacco filled tongue, must not be run through your high-powered processor, but clutched and discarded with all vigor! (smile) Neither would you spend an hour pondering why he chose to land on you. You simply dismiss the thought and return him to his natural habitat. You, being solely responsible for you, must also always seek to be returned to your rightful habitat.

Get outside of the confines of your own woefully limited thinking and look up or outside of yourself. Stop dwelling and rehearsing and ruminating and move on. How many of us have laid paralyzed in the morning, unable to sleep while being haunted by the possible disasters of the day, after finally deciding to get up, are immediately encouraged and blessed by the sanity of real experience? We look back upon our waking fits with a sort of embarrassment and shame. Getting up simply got us out of our own heads and worries and fears. So get up from the frightful, illogical horrors of your own mind and live. Get out there and see what is all around you. Know that wherever you are, God is there and that there’s nothing too big for Him!

The information age has certainly taken its toll on us, but it cannot overtake us, if we so choose! Make time for real things with real people in real life and escape from its electronic counterfeit. Turn off the news. Refuse the Facebook debate! Stop filling your head with predigested information and read a book instead. This life, no matter the age we live in, ever has the promise of new possibility, hand in hand with your God and mine…

Experience love and joy and peace and bliss. You can, you should!

Just some good thoughts…