Have you ever looked at a big goal, a big dream, something you want to heal or learn, and found yourself bailing before you even start?
For example, I started writing these weekly Tuesday reflections about 4 years ago.
I was going through “stuff” and needed a way to think out loud, never imagining that I would still be writing regularly 4 years later.
Back then, if I had told myself that I “had to” write every week for 4 years, I would never have started.
Why? Because I have a tendency to overdo things.
If I am going to workout, I have to make it count – and go longer than is probably good for me.
If I am going to read a book, I want to read the whole thing in one sitting – even if that means that for 6 hours nothing else gets done.
When I set goals, they involve transforming humanity on the planet – not just being nice to the cashier who is having a bad day.
The net effect of this kind of driving and striving is that I end up avoiding many things that are important to me, because they just feel too big and heavy.
I end up exhausted when I am reaching for external goals, standards and benchmarks.
Telling myself I have to write a weekly blog for 4 years straight?
No frickin way. I’d instantly feel the pressure and demand of that, and balk big time.
I have high needs for freedom and choice.
However, as each week rolls around, and I think about whatever is “up” for me, and tell myself to just send out a quick story, and that it doesn’t have to be “good,” just real … well, I can do that over and over and over.
It’s a reminder to me of the power of following our needs in the present moment.
When I just focus on the next step in front of me, I can go much further than when I focus on how far I have to go.
Two things are key for me:
1. Staying present in the now
2. Trusting the motivation behind my intrinsic needs, rather than some idea or “should” that is driving me from behind or dragging me reluctantly into the future.
This isn’t easy for me.
I was taught to value self-discipline and willpower to the exclusion of following my needs.
I was taught to see my needs as inconvenient and indulgent.
But, when I reflect on how I live these days, I can see a lot has changed.
I believe in a conscious, loving life-force.
A life-energy guiding us, supporting us, moving through us, guiding us through our felt-sense and our universal human needs.
And, at least for me, learning to trust and follow the guidance of our needs, of this life-force within, and surrendering to the crazy, wild (completely counter-cultural) adventure of an inspired life, remains a daily practice that I find myself committing to, over and over again.
And, now, I’d also love to hear from you …
What daily practice do you commit to over and again?
What helps you stay in alignment with the life-force moving through you?