Welcome friends to Episode #66 of the Own Your Best Life Podcast.Do you find yourself using things outside of ourselves to escape? Take a look at what you are currently desiring. It’s likely due to a feeling you wish to create in your life. It might be to escape pain, boredom, sadness, frustration or loneliness. What if we stayed instead of escaped? What would we learn from doing the opposite? Today, I’ll share with you how the laws of the mind are showing you that you are exactly where you need to be.
This topic came up as the world began to open up and people started traveling or planning to travel again. There’s a feeling I get when I travel and think about the next adventure. It’s a bit of excitement mixed in with a sense of uncertainty. Like a sandstorm getting kicked up clouding my vision for a moment. Where am I going? More importantly, why am I going there? I often ask myself this question of what my intention is behind anything that I do. Our actions in this world may seem like they don’t matter, but they do. We sometimes struggle with indecision because we feel the weight of our actions. What if it doesn’t work out the way I thought it would?
What happens when we seek to escape from a feeling or emotion or a situation is that we lose our power to the outside world. We begin to think that the thing we do – the escape – is the answer. The intention becomes one that reinforces a pattern of using the outside world to fix the inner world. Instead of understanding the root cause, we put another bandaid on our lives. These bandaids come in the form of the people we create relationships with, the work we do in our lives, our hobbies, and more. Staying on a path of spiritual and personal growth is one where we begin to see the illusions of the outside world fall away.
There’s no longer the same structure or armor that we believed. It’s all just a figment of our imagination. For those brief moments when we escape, we are taken away from our troubling thoughts. For those brief moments of connection with someone else, we feel good feelings in our body. Yet, instead of thanking life for giving us these moments as reminders of what our true nature is – we often cling and worry that they will never come again. Escaping feels like there’s something to run from. Staying feels like you’re always at home.
When we escape, we give away our power.
When we stay, we reinforce our power.
Mind-body connection is all about staying connected to one’s self. To understand that there is no need to escape your life, because your power was never yours to give away. Your power is part of your life energy. Constantly flowing and moving as long as you’re alive. What makes us uncomfortable is what we charge our energy with and how we use that energy. Your intention, thoughts or beliefs behind an action or decision. When you find yourself looking for something to escape to, you’re likely uncomfortable with the energy you’re dealing with now. The thing is, no person or thing is going to fix your situation except for you. You’re not going to eat, move, play, work that thing away.
What do we do then, when we feel all the uncomfortable feelings and don’t want to continue with them? What do we do when we don’t like how our life is shaping up to be? What do we do when we’re bored?
I’m not telling you to not say yes to new opportunities or travel the world. It’s not about the thing you are doing, it’s the reason why you’re doing the thing.
If we don’t like our life, we can change it. We can change it by noticing what’s happening, the patterns we keep creating, and we can make a decision that seems like the most natural decision of all – to let what’s bothering us go. Boredom was not meant to do anything but have you notice what’s happening around you to appreciate. Stress was not meant to keep you feeling alive when there’s no real danger. It was to show you what you’re still resisting. These are all things that we can handle.
When you stay with an uncomfortable feeling instead of escaping it through some kind of numbing or distracting activity, we begin the work of managing our addictions and habits that don’t serve us. We see ourselves through an entire cycle of feeling without numbing ourselves from the feeling. We see that we can handle it. There will be moments in your life where you think you can not possibly handle it. This is where you will want to use whatever coping mechanism you’ve become accustomed to – whether it’s shopping, eating, drinking, working or comparing yourself to others.
Instead, this is where you sit with it. Why? The fruit of this tree that you’re growing is worth it. The fruit looks like learning and evolution. See that each time you feel a feeling of discomfort and allow yourself to honor it by breathing and letting it pass, you are watering this tree of self realization, knowledge and joy. You are letting an event pass through without creating imprints on you. In fact, you’re allowing yourself to move energy through you uninhibited and unrestricted by these blockages. Escaping means that you’re erecting a structure inside yourself where the energy can’t pass through. Staying means that you’re removing the need for a structure and you become one with the energy of you, the world and yourself.
Imagine what it would be like to move through the world with not only a sense of wonder but of appreciation and joy. Even when the hard things happen, which they will – you’ll be able to stay with it and know that you can move through life without letting them stay with you.
This is what happens when you stay. Life moves around you and you become the immovable force. Staying can look like many things. It can be relaxing. It can be breathing through a difficult moment. Staying can be studying the event with curiosity and self-awareness or meditating ahead of time so that you’re aware when it happens not to react. Staying can be making the decision to live an unusual life, one where you do things out of joy, not out of desperate need. Staying can be contemplative practices like yoga or mindful movement.
If you’d like to go even further, in this month’s Leadership group coaching, we’ll be covering the mind/body practices. How do we learn what our bodies are telling us, connect to these external experiences from a place of internal truth, and live our healthiest lives. If you enjoy these kinds of topics, you can go to www.mayempson.com/contact to learn more.