5:20 “I want to take a bath when I get home.”
6:15 “I need to feed the cat before I take a bath.”
7:45 “I just want to go to bed when I get home.”
8:30 “I want to watch Frankie & Grace and eat mango mochi when I get home.”
Just now “Maybe I should put laundry in while I write this post and eat my mango mochi.”
I have stumbled on something powerful and scary recently. For those of you who have spent large portions of your life well resourced, independent, conscious, and engaged…well, you may find it ho hum. It is a simple question, and like all simple questions, has the power to rock one’s face off if invited. It always starts the same:
Is it still true…
Is it still true I want to plop in front of Netflix when I get home? Is it still true that I am feeling ready for bed? Is it still true that I want to go home at all? These may seem like mundane examples, but they are how I plan to continue building muscle around this somewhat new skill of actively creating my life. I don’t know about you all, but I get into a rut pretty fast. Nowhere near as fast as I used to, but still fast enough that I am serious about exercising my rut-busting tools when they are presented to me.
Because too many little moments of auto-pilot lead to large stretches of life on auto-pilot, core beliefs and strategies created without much consent, push back, or wisdom of intuition. I realized just last Monday at dance that I was still interacting quite often as if I believed I had to be responsible for other people’s feelings, to rescue them even if they hadn’t asked for rescue. I was still living as if I believed I was not a separate person. But I heard my heart quite clearly as it attempted to catch me up: “That belief is different now, you can interact differently if you choose.” If we couldn’t ask about shifting truth, I would have missed this adjustment and the ways I saw it filter through my day-to-day life this week.
So, there’s little doubt in my mind that it is a powerful question to ask about something, but why scary? Well, for one, it requires a lot more work, more attention paid, as does everything while it is being built into habit. It is also an ongoing acknowledgement that most of what we consider as ‘truth’ is subjective. I HATE THAT WITH EVERY FIBER OF MY BEING!!! My left brain wants, and will likely continue to want, to nail things down, make binding agreements, and then watch everyone and everything play by the rules. That is part of why Christianity and public education were both so appealing to me at one point. While all this huffing and puffing is happening on the left, my right brain, gently with her newly granted powers, says, “You know control is not real.” But more than that, she’s taught me the delicious delight of being surprised when I am willing to attend to the moment.
I’m sure I will continue to do things just because I put them on a to-do list or in some other fashion flipped the auto-pilot switch. That inattention to gentle shifts may or may not have serious consequences, but I feel like I can avoid it more and more as I wield my new question over the everyday.
And to answer your burning question, I think I will feed the cat, then watch Frankie & Grace in the bathtub.