Accept how it is. And also accept how it isn’t.
Now, this second statement, accept reality how it isn’t is the topic of this article, the essence of this spiritual practice. Accept that it is what it is, not something else, that may look better, faster, easier…
One of the symptoms of not accepting reality the way it isn’t, is overwhelm… another one is misery… Want to know more?
Now, before I continue, I want to explain something:
One of my principles is to teach authentically… That means that I only teach, for example a practice, when I am myself going through the process… because I need it. And often I share my own struggles… like this time.
This is such time: I have been overwhelmed for a few days now, and I also have lurches of the other kind, the misery. I am tired, my eyes burn, my head is fuzzy, and I haven’t been able to stay with one thing long enough for the thing to make a difference. I declare an emergency!
So, let me begin: Buckle up: it is not that easy! If this is the first time you are introduced to what I teach and how I teach, you’ll feel that I am wrong wrong wrong!
The only way you have power and happiness, and joy, and results if you put all your power in all your actions.
- Natural law #1: You can only do one thing at a time effectively.
- Natural law #2: You can only pay attention to one thing at a time… because attention is like a finger… you can’t put it on two things, can you? 1
The only way to have the illusion of multi-tasking, or putting your attention on more than one thing is to oscillate 2 your attention between the two things you PRETEND you are doing.
The result is disastrous. Shallow breathing, tight muscles, and profound ineffectiveness.
The illusion is that you get two things taken care of in the same amount of time, but the truth is that you are doing a bad job at both.
Foresight helps here a lot. If you MUST take care of two things, then slow down… and take larger chunks of time to take care of each.
- Example 1: I drink hot beverages throughout the morning. I like hot beverages. They need boiling water (2 minutes) and then getting them ready to drink.
I have developed a practice (foresight) to go to the bathroom while the water gets ready to boil.
I also use the time while the beverage is mixing in my Vitamix to do some leg exercises, namely dancing, or just stepping.
- Example 2: I once had an employee who was planning her wedding at the time.She was trying to do her work for me AND think of her upcoming wedding at the same time. It’s understandable: she was paid to work, not to plan her wedding.Her work suffered, the quality was bad.I approached her and suggested that whenever the thought of her wedding would come up, she would stop work, and put all her attention, all her power on the thought that snecked up on her.
Thought not resisted won’t nag you. You think it through, however long it takes, and then you are free to do something else.
She did what I asked of her, and her performance went back to normal, even though she was also planning her wedding, even making phone calls, making lists, etc.
- Example: When I talk to a student or a client, all kinds of thoughts can come up and drag me away. Not a good thing.What I developed (foresight) is to play Freecell while we talk, or even while I watch movies, this way I am never attacked by distracting thoughts: my mind is busy playing Freecell. Of course, if I wanted to win, it would not work! But I don’t care, it is not important to me to win. It is important to me not to be distractable.Another benefit of occupying my mind, the organ that is like a librarian: only knows how to find, how to compare… What the mind cannot do is hear what is being said, what you see… it is only interested in what it says about what you hear and what you see. So making the mind busy has been my ally in being able to be completely present to clients and students.
So, this was trying to do more than one thing at a time and failing at it. Overwhelm.
Both thoughts cause you to be split and powerless. And miserable… because the “better” statements say, secretly, that how it is is wrong, what you are doing is wrong, not the right action, not the right direction, not good.
So, how do you use this knowledge?
- Step 1: catch yourself in being split. Allow the “other” thing, thought, action to take main stage for as long as it takes to accept that the mind thinks the other thing is more urgent, more important, better… Not the content of the thought, the fact that the mind thinks that. Make it OK. Allow it to be.Now
- Step 2: return to what you set out to do. Write an article, talk on the phone, pay bills, tidy up the room.
If the distraction returns, repeat step 1 and step 2.
Bring appreciation to the thought: appreciation is the highest form of acceptance.
- The actual law is this: only one thing can occupy any one space at one time. this includes thought, emotion, attention, energy
- os·cil·late verb: oscillate; move or swing back and forth at a regular speed.
“a pendulum oscillates”
synonyms: swing, swing back and forth, swing to and fro, sway