"If you want to meet someone who can fix any situation you don't like, who can bring you happiness inspite of what other people say or believe, look in a mirror, then say this magic word: "Hello".
- From the book Messiah's Handbook
(Reminders for the Advanced Soul) by Richard Bach.
I came back all charged up from this coach retreat at Costa Rica. The plan is laid out for what I want to create, who I choose to be in this world, what milestones I want to experience & sleep with. I spent my flight layover time doing that and I made a pretty good plan. I am so excited to get back home & kick-start with my plan. Ah! I even broke it down to everyday details. I used the Pareto Principle - 80/20 to do the smart work. Did I leave any room for contingencies?! Oh yes, I did! I am a great planner with great ideas after all! Can you relate? If yes, good; read beyond. If not, still go on to get more clarity. Don't give up here. Because there's more to this and what I am going to share. So, I land in India with my heart filled with enthusiasm, deep desire & vision. I reach home, excited to meet my son & my partner. Next morning, reality hits me hard. The realities of the world that I live in. This world drives up my fears and all the resistances that I have. This is the world created by me, I choose this however tactics I may choose to put it the other way around. There are wonderful aspects about this world and unpleasantness too. If someone says that the world that they live in doesn't have any unpleasantness, I would assert that they are lying or trying hard to escape it; feeling/seeing something that is so uncomfortable. So, here I am sitting beside my son who is having fever, missed school; my help not showing up due to her sickness; my husband travelling overseas for work in two days. This leaves me with managing everything that wasn't laid down in my plan & that I didn't expect, on my own. That moment, sitting in this heartbreaking discomfort, a voice in me said,"Look at you planner. All your plans failed you. This is your reality. Stop dreaming & just give up." For a second I even detested myself for going to the retreat. Not going would have saved me from all the pain that I am going through. Pain as in helplessness at my inability to stick to my dream plan which I articulated so well. At least, things would have been familiar & comfortable! Other way round, not coming back would have been so great?! I don't have to deal with any of the mess in my world!
For a driven & passionate person like me, it's usually 'play big or go home'. There is no room for anything small. My inability to execute my plan in a circumstance like this is an absolute disaster for me. My inner self has a story & my story is that I will now loose out & miss out on time. I am in a hurry to get where I want to; I must reach my destination faster otherwise it would mean I am not good enough. Is this story the ultimate fact about me?! As I dive deep, I see that it's my interpretation and not the truth. I do get the futility of that. Challenges are everywhere; how I see them & who I choose to be is what makes all the difference. Here's how I arrived at this. Go on and read further to get more of what I have to share. Still struggling?! Great, you are in an unfamiliar place & that's a good place to get present to something that you haven't experienced before.
Just as I was self-loathing & holding on to my story, I got present to everything I was feeling in that moment. There was anger, sadness, disgust, guilt, regret; kind of mixed feelings. Oh yes! That's a feeling after all. And we detest feeling bad. We make that mean something about us, our world, the people, about life etc. Our survival mechanism is to escape from feeling anything unpleasant or messy. We avoid that and ridiculously, the experience that we are left with is feeling that which we avoided feeling in the first place. We just try to justify not to feel that way, we defend, we avoid & many a times hide.
Doing this exploration, I got present to many discussions that I had had in the past with different people about how they escaped their reality to experience something better. To put in simple words, I asked them: "What did you do to not feel what is uncomfortable in your world and replace it with something opposite of that feeling?". And here are some of the many ways they use: 'I take a long break & go on exploring the world', 'I go on an adventurous spree', 'I enjoy the moment inside the flight on high altitude. This gives me a sense of peace within, out from the world', 'I pick up projects that are outstation so that I don't have to deal with the mess here', 'I work long hours & spend less time at home'......You can come up with your list too. It'll drive you crazy if you do an honest introspection; I guarantee you and say this from personal experience.
What's different then when we choose something different than what looks normal to us? Well, you are the same, what's different is the context then & the stand you choose to take. Context is our story, which is very dear to us; our truth about our world which isn't a fact, although it may seem like one to us because we are so attached to it & we have every reason to back it up. We have become experienced in doing that over the years that it looks so real to us that we are blinded by it. Our context is our interpretation of our world. If we can accept this fact & open up to exploration of this truth, then we can create what we want wherever we are. We can find peace, happiness, joy, serenity, success & everything that our heart desires be it here or anywhere else. Because the stand that you choose to take irrespective of everything that is happening around, is your gift to yourself & to the world for who you be in your greatness. And remember that a stand is very different from choosing something opposite of what you are feeling. To get to the depth of this, I will probably write another blog. For this one, just this awareness is enough.
Want some magic?! Then look into the mirror & say: "Hello, I am the creator. I can change my interpretation, my context and take a stand that will enable me to experience what I want to. I don't have to run away to feel certain way or experience something that looks impossible in my world right now." You don't have to force or try hard at all. Your willingness to sit in this possibility, will be the first step towards that shift.
In this VUCA world when nothing is certain, your plans with need a re-look, a makeover from time to time. If you get attached to it more than your intention & vision; chances are that you won't enjoy the journey & the experience of it as you execute the plan. Your plan operates in a context that you live in.Wisdom lies in creating a plan & then be willing to embrace the twist & turns; willing to trust the divine detours because what shows up during these moments is what we need to experience/feel/be with to be able to truly feel then what we are longing for; what our heart is wanting to experience eternally. Post that, our actions change and so our results.
Leaving you with this curiosity: "What showed up in you as you read this piece? Is there anything that you could relate to from my sharing? Is there reluctance?" I would love to know & if you are willing, would love to have a conversation with you on a more deeper level.
Believing in you,
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Life & Organizational Development Coach