When Life Gets Sticky

I had an ice cream cone for the first time in a long time.

It was worth the mess.

Life is funny that way.

At first, I questioned the idea of buying an ice cream cone.

What if I can’t find a place to clean my hands? I’ll have to walk around with sticky hands? It’s so uncomfortable. What if I have to shake someones hand? They’d tell everyone they knew and I’d be known as sticky fingers for life!

I was boarding the thought-train again, but this time I caught myself before I went off the deep end. Who cares, just let it be.

I decided to let go of the way I wanted things to be and open up to the way they were.

Because the fact is, most of the things we treasure in life come with a little bit of stickiness.

Your dog gets on your nerves once in a while. Sometimes your best friend is annoying. Summer is great, but August is too hot.

Nothing is ever just right.

But we don’t have to let inconveniences get in the way of joyful experiences. We can instead, shift our effort towards trying to become comfortable with imperfection.

Freedom comes when we accept that nothing will ever be “perfect”. We’re professionals at picking out 1 or 2 things that could have been better.

Lets compassionately give that style of thinking a rest. Don’t force it to go, just refrain from adding to it.

I was on the fast track toward making that dipped ice cream cone a disaster, but the story in my head was making things worse than they really were.

We’re allowed to enjoy life and everything that comes with it.

Just be happy with the ice cream cone and worry about cleaning up the mess later.

It’ll all work out in the end.

Listen To Your Heart, Not Your Head

I’m noticing a trend about that little voice in all of our heads — it’s wildly inaccurate. Mines always questioning things. In subtle ways, trying to convince me that nothing’s ever right.

But that voice is unrealistic. It’s not who we are.

If we look at the bigger picture, we’ll see that it’s just a small part of our lives and it doesn’t have to take the lead role. It’s our choice to make it the star or make it an extra.

We have to start listening to our hearts instead. Trusting our own inner hunch, even through uncertainty.

Because that’s what will lead us to truth. Not all the over-thinking and self-demeaning babble.

To touch and understand our own truths, we have to tune into our hearts. We can do this by loosening the reigns around how we think we should be and letting go of the ways that we constantly define ourselves.

My life shouldn’t be this way. I should have done this by now. I’m supposed to be successful.

It’s all too limiting. And when things aren’t what they are “supposed” to be, it just makes us feel worse.

Just sit quietly and let the thoughts fall away.

We can’t keep giving up on ourselves and running on autopilot. Beating ourselves up and wondering why we never feel joy.

We’re living in a world that’ss too rigid as it is. Clamping down even stronger is only going to cause more pipes to burst.

Try following your heart, even if you turn out to be wrong or make a mistake. It’s all part of you discovering you. Hold all of it in humor, don’t be too serious.

Maybe you are your greatest gift and maybe acknowledging, listening and understanding yourself can be your greatest healing.

What’s The Key To Courage?

I’ve been trying to put my finger on it. This new found courage that I had nothing to do with creating.

It’s not something that I’ve been intentionally trying to build. All I’ve been doing is experimenting. Not with courage, but with exposing myself to fear.

The more I’ve exposed myself, the less daunting it seems. Then this mysterious courage started showing up.

You’re telling me that your fear is actually helping you build your courage?

As ironic as it sounds, yes.

I’ve been trying to get to know fear a little bit better. Courage has been a byproduct.

But getting to know fear is challenging. It means that we have to let go of our incessant thinking and sit with the emotion itself.

All of the thinking around the emotion is unnecessary. It just pushes us deeper into the hole and taunts us with all of the reasons why we can’t do something.

When we let go of our unskillful thinking, everything is a possibility instead of impossible.

We just have to convince ourselves to let go. That’s the key to finding courage. It’s behind all of the stuff floating around in our minds.

 

How do we convince ourselves?

 

By paying attention.

We have to notice when we become caught in our thinking. It’s very mischievous. If we allow it to run wild, it can persuade us into believing that there’s nothing we can accomplish.

That’s a dangerous place to live.

We have to practice being aware. As we learn to do this, our minds begin to understand what is useful and what isn’t. It’s like getting burned. When you find the source of the heat, you learn quickly where not to put your hands.

The mind works in a similar way. It’s not as quick, but a natural unraveling happens. All the habitual thinking that isn’t skillful begins to fade. Your mind decides not to take those routes because they don’t provide anything of benefit.

Over time, the convincing happens automatically. The more we pay attention, the clearer things become. The more clear we see things, the easier it is for our minds to decide what truly serves us.

If you want to pursue your dreams and desires, you need courage. Hoping without taking action is engrained in our culture. Courage gives us the power to go against the grain.

And it’s already sitting within you right now. All you have to do is pay attention, let go and allow it to surface. Open to the encouragement.

Your strength is in the mirror. Polish the glass, see what’s there and let it shine.

Spreading Dark Clouds

We share the negativity and think we’re spreading the word. Do we do it for attention? Do we want the world to know that we’re frustrated? Or maybe we just don’t know how to handle it. We see the problems as big and our impact as small. But what if we changed our approach and questioned our motives before we hit post? Take a moment to think of the receiver. How will they benefit from this? Will it cause them to approach their day with a negative view? How does it feel when you see and read all of the hate and fear? Would you vote to carry on the cycle or declare that it ends here? You can only change what’s in your control.

Accept the world as it is. From acceptance, we can really make a difference. We have to be compassionate for others because we’re all living here together. Acceptance doesn’t mean we have to like anything. It means that we put down our resistance and see the situation for what it really is. When we see a situation for what it really is, we can better understand it and better understand how to approach it

Be the change that you want to see in the world. If you want less hatred, less fear, less anger, then learn to work with those things within yourself. From there, enter the world with a new perspective and watch the impact it has on those around you.

Nothing will ever change if we continue to do all things the same.

Why After Why

I’m obsessed with understanding why. Why do I feel the way I feel, why do I react the way I react? My obsessive search for answers never leads to resolutions. It’s only when I let go and stop looking that I begin to understand things. I stop searching and start seeing.

I was never pleased with any of my answers. I needed something fascinating. So even when I started to acknowledge that certain ways of thinking or being weren’t beneficial, I continued to search for more. I needed substantial evidence. Only recently have I grasped the fact that incessantly searching for the “why” was the source of my continued frustration. If I left my feelings alone, they had nothing left to carry them, so away they passed.

You don’t have to obsess over your problems. You don’t have to understand them. You don’t have to know where they come from. As long as you see them, insight will arise. We get caught in attempting to understand why we feel the way we feel. Then we see that we are upset and instead of giving the emotion the attention it needs, we continue on our search for answers on why certain situations make us feel certain ways. We continue asking why, after why, after why.

When a negative feeling arises, sit with it. Give it time and space. Allow it to sink in. You’ll come to the realization that certain reactions are no longer serving you. The realizations arise on their own through continued awareness. As you stay aware, your attachment to the instances that trigger you will slowly dissolve. Have patience and know that with time, heartfelt attention and an open mind, your negative reactions will become less and less.  You’ll begin to welcome all experience with open arms. As things occur, with a smile you’ll think to yourself “this too, this too” 🙂