Each of us has an inner guidance system, a sort of GPS. Most of us know this on some level, yet we second guess ourselves. What if we misinterpret the information our GPS is giving us? What if we make the wrong turn? It turns out that those questions really don’t matter. Your inner GPS is capable of recalibrating and recalculating no matter what move you make. You can rely on that and worry less about getting it “right.”
State of mind is the key to accessing contentment, resilience, creativity–all the things we seek by manipulating our circumstances. It looks like we will feel less frantic when we manage our time better, but the reality is that we manage our time better when we are less frantic. It looks like we will feel more peaceful and contented when we master our clutter, but the reality is that when we are peaceful and contented, we deal with clutter organically in whatever way suits the moment.
What, then, is the key to being in the state of mind from which peace and contentment naturally arise? As you may have discovered, trying to change your state of mind by effort or analysis doesn’t work. It may seem to work occasionally, but that’s an accidental coincidence of a natural shift in state of mind with the strategy du jour. There is a correlation, but no causation.
What causes state of mind to shift is insight. Some might call it grace. And while insight and grace can’t be achieved through effort, there is a way to court them: cultivate wonder.
Wonder has many flavors ranging from wide-eyed curiosity to honest doubt. What they all have in common is an open mind and the willingness to see something new. The degree to which your mind is open and the amount of willingness you have may be vast or tiny; it makes no difference. As long as you wonder honestly and with some degree of open-mindedness and willingness to see something new, you are hanging out where insight happens.
Neither this nor anything else I say is something to take on faith. It’s something to wonder about, to resonate against your own experience. I would love to know both what makes sense to you and what simply doesn’t match your experience. Please use the comments to share your perspective or feel free to email me.
We’ve often been told to look within for answers, but sometimes the way we look obscures what we are looking for. When we clutter our minds with expectations, pressure, worry, and preconceptions about the answers we think we need, we lose contact with the wisdom that will always deliver exactly what we truly need. The key is to settle down enough to perceive and follow the guidance that is there.
There’s a huge difference between being activated/reactive and being awake and effective. You don’t need to fan the flames of righteous indignation or fear in order to stay awake. Becoming over reactive, winging yourself up, may create a temporary feeling of power, but it reduces your effectiveness. This is as true in civil discourse and political action as it is across the breakfast table.
You can use your awareness of the difference between being activated and being grounded to help you stay the course over the long term rather than riling yourself up, spinning out, and burning out.
Human beings are inherently resilient. We wobble, sometimes we wobble a lot. But there is something at our foundation that steadies us even in the midst of great upheaval. Wobbling doesn’t always feel good, but it doesn’t mean that we aren’t okay.
I’m hearing from so many people these days that they are fed up and frustrated. Whether it’s the state of the world, the state of their work, the state of their dining room tables, or their very souls, they long to make a change but seem not to know where or how to start.
And you know what? I can help with that.
Next week you’ll find details of three new small group programs in your inbox.
- The Art of Living for Everyday Activists: Accessing resilience, inspiration, and stamina to do great work one step and one day at a time.
- Revisioning Recovery: Uncovering the inner path to freedom from addiction, compulsion, and tiresome bad habits. Think a mash-up of group coaching and book club.
- Come Alive & Do the Thing! A mastermind for solopreneurs who waffle when they’d rather rock.
If you oscillate from inspiration to overwhelm, from indignation to resignation, and back again…
If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired of a tiresome habit or compulsion but unwilling to buy into a story of lifelong disability and impairment…
If you have been poised on the verge of action (or on the verge of the verge) and wondering how the heck to get off the fence and into action…
Then one of these groups may be for you. Watch for details next week, and if this speaks to you, please don’t dilly dally. These groups will be limited to 6-8 persons each.