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Archive for March, 2008

I experience a peacefulness and joy in doing today.

I had a few big projects I worked on, and in two specific cases I experienced a resistance to the idea of doing them that contrasted sharply with the joy and peace of actually doing them.

What I learned is that I do in fact enjoy doing pretty much anything. Whether it’s something challenging and creative like designing my short film collection DVD, or something messy and physical like changing my oil or rotating my tires, or something “tedious” like washing the dishes. Whatever it is, I get into it when I’m doing it.

Resistance only shows up before I start, when I’m thinking about doing it. The thinking gets complicated with other thinking like “I’d rather…” and “I shouldn’t have to…” and “It’s going to be difficult or boring.”

There is no resistance in the doing of it. Only in the thinking about doing it. The doing happens in the body. The thinking happens in the mind. The doing puts me in the present. The thinking puts me in the past or future.

And uncertainty only shows up in the thinking, not in the doing.

This is an important lesson for me to remember: Stop thinking about doing and start doing.

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I’m taking a vacation next week. My intention is to be more spontaneous. To let go, and to listen to my inner voice.

What that means for this blog is that I may not post every day.

I experience a little bit of concern over that. I’ve posted 124 consecutive days. There’s uncertainty as far as what it will mean to me to break that trend.

But I smile even as I type that because there’s that part of me that has started to embrace these little uncertainties almost as soon as I notice them.

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Source of inspiration: Conversation with a client

Today I was discussing a client’s vision statement during our session. And it got me thinking about my own. The vision statement that I use to guide my short-term and long-term business choices is: World peace through inner peace and passion.

What I noticed after speaking to my client was that my vision sometimes feels like an extremely high standard to live up to. I feel a sense of pressure. And when the pressure gets too much I either “forget” about my vision (getting distracted by other concerns), or worse, I consciously rebel against it: “To hell with the world!”

I’m seeing an opportunity for my vision to include all of my feelings. Inner peace is not only about joy and appreciation. Inner peace includes allowing for frustration, anxiety, anger, sadness, etc.

For me inner peace is about creating space for what is to be. So there is no need to rebel against my vision because my vision includes the room for me to be all that I am.

This feels right, peaceful.

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I’ve been experiencing this intense dynamic pull between past and future today. Let me try to describe it:

I have projects from the past that I would like to complete. These things feel like psychological clutter. It feels like if I don’t complete them, they will just sit there in my way, waiting for me to trip over them again and again.

I have projects that I have recently begun or plan to begin that I am very excited about. These things feel like babies or children. It feels like if I don’t nurture them, they will languish and even die.

So in both cases, past and future, there is pain and pleasure motivation — in other words, consequences of not doing them that I want to avoid, and benefits of doing them that I want to experience.

The answer is, of course, to be present. From the clarity of the present, I know I make the best choices.

The challenge is that I’ve been thinking of (and therefore, experiencing) the present moment as a fulcrum. A precarious point on which I’m trying to balance. And the power of those two forces knocks me off quite easily.

When I feel myself present though (as opposed to thinking myself there), I experience it as a grounding feeling. Very stable.

So the lesson to me today is to take the next step from thinking myself present to feeling myself present. To take the initial thought-based awareness of “Hey, I’m not present” and follow it with a body-based awareness of the feeling of presence (through breath, or the feeling of life energy in my hands, or the experience of stillness, etc.).

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I noticed another benefit of this conscious embracing of uncertainty. Last night as I was laying in bed (and this morning when I woke up), I found it very natural to create a present state of wonder.

I let my eyes wash over the room — the windows, the curtains, the ceiling — noticing the landscape of light and shadow. And I felt a pure sense of “Wow…” like a water spring inside of me.

What’s so exciting about this experience is how accessible it felt.

A year or so ago, I identified four doorways into the present moment, four emotions that for me granted access to the Now: grace, gratitude, wonder, and joy. There are more doorways than that, but those seemed to be a level above the others, if that makes any sense.

Today I will take every opportunity I am conscious of to walk through the doorway of Wonder.

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I’ve played with this idea several times in the past week or two, and it’s working very well for me.

Embracing the mystery of life is a great way for me to relate to longer-term uncertainties like health, career, relationships, etc.

And even more directly embracing uncertainty itself makes relating to more immediate uncertainties a more positive and — dare I say fun — experience. See my comments on yesterday’s post.

I will continue consciously embracing uncertainty today.

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Last week, among other things, I led my time management teleclass and my in-person Power of Now group discussion. Both are things I’ve done dozens of times before.

But in each case, I found myself feeling nervous. It wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle, but I grew annoyed at myself because I’m typically very calm during those activities. I didn’t understand why I was suddenly nervous.

Today I will be doing both again. So I’ve been thinking about what it was that caused me to feel nervous last week.

In the case of the teleclass, it used to be free, but I recently started charging for it. And I had some uncertainty — would people paying for the class find it valuable?

In the case of the group discussion, we’ve had a pretty consistent group of members up until recently. And last week was the first time new members outnumbered old members. So there was uncertainty there, too — will these new members like the group?

Today, I will embrace the uncertainty — embrace the mystery of life — in each of these situations. And I’ll see what that does to my experience of them.

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