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On the last track, we discussed how living in the present is essential to experience a feeling of happiness.
On this track, we will examine the importance of gaining a personal awareness of a crisis situation through "stopping" and "starting".
To say the holidays are stressful, may be an understatement for you. Everyone is rushing about, getting things done. With all this hustle and bustle, a million opportunities are created for things to go terribly wrong, or in short, not fulfill your expectation. Can you think of a time you have tried to resolve a situation, when at a core level, you know that your actions will only exacerbate the encounter?
For example, trying to tell your teenage daughter how beautiful her face looks when she has a case of severe acne; trying to get just the perfect gift; make the perfect meal; be the perfect host; can you be perfect? Of course not, because everyone has their own perception of you and what they think you should or should not do. But at some level, you feel if you just do, do, do more faster, better, bigger it will somehow turn out okay. But can you think of a time when your doing, doing, doing exacerbated the situation? Pause a minute. When did you do something, when doing nothing would have been better?
So common sense would
tell you not to act. Why do you think your mind pushes you to do act in a way
contrary to what at a core level you feel is not working? Many times, it happens
that when you listen to your anxious thoughts, you will blindly rush forward in
a dramatic attempt to maintain control over your surroundings. You've convinced
yourself that there is nothing else to try. It's do or die, right? Or is there
another alternative? Could this destructive rash of a rushing behavior be avoided
or stopped in any way? What do you do when everything and everyone around you
is moving at lightening speeds; yourself included?
Here is something to think about: is everything really going to pieces? Before you turn on "survival mode", just stop and gain perspective on the situation. Is there an alternative that will prevent any more anguish? Is the situation really that hopeless that you have to resort to a solution that's not really a solution? Is your holiday withdrawal pulling you towards a more negative situation because you can't stand to stand still?
How do you feel about slowing down your own flow of activity? While all else whooshes past you, if you feel slowing down would be to your benefit, could you stop and watch it go by, instead of reacting?
Technique: Pearl Necklace Metaphor
on the present, gaining perspective is an act of awareness. You cannot acquire
this sense of awareness without first stilling the body, because the body's activity
powers the mind and vice versa. It's somewhat like coming to a stop at an intersection
and letting the engine idle for a moment. You're not turning off the car, you're
just using less fuel. When you're taking these breaks of stillness throughout
the day, don't pursue any one thought. That is not giving your mind a rest. You're
not taking time off to "think" about things.
that the day comes in segments, with little beginnings and endings to each. What
segments make up your day? Can you see how your day is like a pearl necklace?
For the next hour after you play this track, take advantage of as many of these
transitional periods as you recognize by merely pausing and stilling your mind
for a few seconds.
"Pausing Between the Pearls"
If you decide to repeat this exercise, Write down any new insights you have had into your mental patterns regarding these five topics.
On this track, we discussed the importance of gaining a personal awareness of a crisis situation through "stopping" and "starting". You received the tool of the "pausing between the pearls" exercise.
On the next track, we will discuss how to gain an increased sense of difference between your anxious thoughts or ego and your core self via a "Need to be Right" exercise.
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