Changes: Thought and the Agreements We Make

It is no secret to anyone who has spoken to me EVER knows I have trouble with balance and the infamous “letting go” theory.

Balance is a tricky thing. Balance means something entirely different to every person I encounter. Balance means happiness. Balance means getting it all done. Balance means letting some things go by the wayside and getting what is important done. Balance is getting some things done, regardless of the importance. Balance is feeling accomplished. Balanced is doing your best. Balance is ____ (fill in the blank).

The answer for this question varies from person to person. My answer is not your answer. Your answer is not my answer. Your mother’s answer is not your answer. My parents’ answers are not my answer.

So here we go- nothing can be simple, right? Wrong! This answer CAN be simple. We just manage to get so bogged down by the everyday nonsense and Nothings, where nothing is perfect and nothing is easy, that we assume that finding this answer must be so unbelievably complicated that it will never be revealed. Or at least it won’t be revealed until we hit rock bottom or zen or whatever cliche we want to throw out there. We flounder, and then wait. We flounder, then we wait some more. Besides, if anyone could really find the answer to this question, wouldn’t it be public knowledge by now? Wouldn’t we all be able to read that little headline in Psychology today and go “Oh, yeah, I can do that. Done!”

Thing is, like I said, there is no ONE answer. Everyone’s definition of balance is personal, individual, sacred.

What is Sacred in your realm? And what would you do to protect it?

What is Sacred in your realm? And what would you do to protect it?

If I read a self help book and it says “Hey, do this and this and, oh yeah- follow x, y, and z” and I follow that religiously and to a T, and then feel menacingly overwhelmed by the effort, then that isn’t the answer for me. Naturally we feel disappointed. I use the word menacingly because if any of you have tried self-help books as much as I have (and I consider myself a light peruser of said things), then I am frustrated as all get-out that this simple answer is SO not simple. That’s because we all have a script. That little blurb simply doesn’t fit in my script. “But I invested so much!” Yep. I did. And I learned that wasn’t it. Lesson learned. Next.

In more recent years, I feel that voluntary simplicity has a place not only in our houses, gardens, and kitchens, but also in our minds. Time to declutter!

This is so deceptively simple, actually. It is just a matter of remaining mindful of our thoughts. It is being aware of our reactions, of our assumptions, of our investments.

But just because it is a simple task doesn’t mean it won’t be work.

Remaining mindful is a test of concentration. It is a test of endurance. It is easy to fall back into old patterns. Making a new path off the paved road takes discipline. It takes awareness. It takes practice. It takes using that path over and over again to establish it as something that is one of its own.

It takes work. Everything worth doing takes work.

I think this is where taking steps to finding the initial path is key. One of my steps is reading The Four Agreements by Donald Miguel Ruiz. Even in its writing- repetitive as it is- it is establishing thinking. We have to hear or read something over and over for it to sink in. For it to establish a new path or pattern of thinking. For it to become its own. For it to become second nature.

I’ve reviewed “Be Impeccable with Your Word.” People underestimate this! People don’t realize the power of their words, the words of others, and most importantly “self-talk”. We listen to ourselves. We are always thinking and talking to ourselves. We are always providing feedback to ourselves. We listen to ourselves. Are the words we are saying something we want to hear? Is it positive? Is it going to help us reach our goals? Be mindful of your self talk. And how you talk to others is a reflection of how you talk to yourself!

Next- Don’t Take Anything Personally. This requires a shift of sorts. We are the center of our worlds. How hard is it to imagine that something will not be about us, truly? It’s happening to us. It is influencing us. That doesn’t mean it is ABOUT us. That’s one side. The other side is hearing the feedback of others and how we integrate that into our reality. Their reality is not ours. We are what we think we are. We are not what others project onto us.

Do I have it figured out? No. Is this one of the paths I’m learning from? Yes. And, for me, I have learned very much from this path- integrating this shift in thought with a shift in physical health. Intuition and listening to the Self. Intuition and listening to the physical body. The best of both worlds unite and combine into one much wholly healthier person!

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