Over the past blog posts, we’ve been looking at our tendency to grasp at pleasurable thoughts and push away the painful.
If we are attached to either pleasure or pain, we set ourselves up for inevitable disappointment.
When the pleasure passes, discontentment arises (“Aw! I wanted more of that!”).
Wallowing in pain, discontentment is just there, coloring everything we see.
So what’s another way?
Instead of clinging to pleasure and being averse to pain, what other option do we have?
Once we recognize and acknowledge that our happiness arises primarily from whether out life meets conditioned expectations (conditioned as in, from the past), how do we get beyond this topsy-turvy way of being?
First, we need to relax. Only by relaxing our worn ways of relating can a new way emerge.
Perhaps you feel like you can only be happy when in a relationship, yet every time you find yourself in one, there’s something “wrong” with it. So you continue the search.
You may do this all your life, in and out of unsatisfying relationships, waiting for the one that will save you, without even knowing it.
It is the quest for pleasure, and away from the pain of loneliness, that spurs this unconscious pursuit.
Through the practice of meditation, we can relax to a point of being able see our tendencies. Once we see what we’re doing, we can then practice making new choices.
Meditation is the practice of sitting with these conditioned urges — arriving as impulsive thoughts that move us in every direction — and noticing their power.
What happens when you face this power and are no longer swayed by it?
Freedom from the demons in your head.
Freedom to consciously co-create your life instead of being whisked away by the circumstances thrust upon you.
No longer attached, yet more rooted in your authentic being than ever.
Stress Release Tip
Much of our stress comes from things happening far from the here and now. While at work, you might be thinking of your guy troubles, or a sick relative, or about your weekend plans. These are all real concerns, but bringing them all into the space of the present moment causes tension and anxiety. Instead, try centering yourself in your body, in your chair, where you are. Feel your breath, feel your body, then ask yourself, “What, in this very moment, is lacking?”
As we wake up to our unconscious patterns, discoveries occur throughout the day. It helps write these revelations down in a journal to make them real – get them out of headspace and onto pages for deeper reflection. The Moleskine brand journals (available at Target, too) are fabulous. Or maybe you have an old journal that you once wrote in and put it aside. Dust it off!
Quote From Adam
“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.”
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