Long before we give in to change, a little part of us is whispering the truth, telling us what it already knows. The pants don't fit any longer; the relationship is over; this work does not bring joy. This is not where you want to be.
The story leaks out in little avoidances. Things pile up. We keep putting on the pants. Whatever it looks like, we are indeed aware, and yet we do not, or cannot listen.
With watchfulness that is kept too quiet, we show up for another day, numbed by its familiarity. We keep consuming that which makes us ill, because the ground crumbles under our feet at even the thought of leaving behind that which we've learned to cling to, crawl to, and grasp for.
"Just set one day’s work in front of the last day’s work. That’s the way it comes out. And that’s the only way it does." - John SteinbeckTweet It!
So we wait, and the whispers keep happening. We sense them, muffled, but never quite hear them. They push through like the most tenacious weeds; we pluck them, and blow them away, quickly.
We discredit our innate wisdom, regarding it as whim. We feel panicked, and stuck, but there is an undeniable urging in these whispers. They know, already, how we can break away, or step back, or even stay—but in a more useful way. They know we are able.
Every moment we pause, and tune in, we fan that voice we're tuning out. Whether we have honed the skills for deep listening, or we are just beginning to notice something is talking from beneath the everyday, we are evolving, and our capacity to step over our fallacies is perhaps our greatest human asset.
These barely perceptible awakenings gradually allow us to take new shape—literally, in our posture, or in how we see and hear and notice with new clarity. Inevitably, we find ourselves grasping for entirely different comforts, and perhaps those serve us more unanimously.
But first, we must steady our fearful nature. We must decide to trust the unsteady feeling of new dirt under our feet, and to accept that we deserve better. We must absolutely bear the discomfort of seeing it through.
We must tread on, in spite of setbacks, judgment, and discouragement. We must ignite a tenacious and compassionate understanding that setbacks are a truth of human navigation. If we forgot that we are simply human, with fickle, though flexible neurons, we will remain unnecessarily out of sync, and there is no time for that.
In a time when we understand more about the importance of living a mindful, self-prescribed life, human nature still keeps us bound. There are literally billions of dollars pouring into the "business" of mindfulness, to help us access something we already have. The power, in other words, is already in our own humble hands; the apps, podcasts, books, and programs are out there, but the practices are ours.
Purposefully renewing our commitment, every day, gets us where we are going. Setting aside the many well-rehearsed excuses, little by little, frees us up. Soothing discomfort, as it bubbles up, requires skill, and if an app helps in methodology, we must still find a way to make it our own. These simplest measures, indulged earnestly, will allow us to release, at exactly the right pace, that which is standing in our way.
Learn to listen and trust your own murmurings, and to assuage the prickly fears they unleash. Know you are able, and deserving. Commit, with tenacity, for there will be moments of instability. Face them, when they arrive, and sit down if you must, but let them pass. If you are just learning to forge your way, employ what serves you, and use it, but don’t underestimate the usefulness of human to human support and adopting new ways with integrity.
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Every month we select at few writers to help us explore what it means to live a life of reflection and intention. Reach out to Helen, our editor at Helen.W@holstee.com to learn more