Final Monday Morning Tool to Depress You and Make You Question Everything
I trust you found moments for ‘meditation by stealth’ in the past week, and that these gave you some peace of mind as the world turns ever faster, elections are announced and school holidays are upon us. The final tool in this series of 6 Monday morning posts is very subtle but profound and addresses our denial of some parts of reality in order to maintain a belief we wish was true, contrary to all the evidence around us. Whether a collective denial held by large institutions and hard to confront, or a person denial in our own worklife, resisting reality takes a huge amount of energy and can drain the life force out of us. It could be as large as climate change or a small as ‘my tax return is (still) due’….
Issue # 6 Denial of current reality
This applies across many areas of life where we’re just not willing to say, ‘yes that is actually happening’. Rather we turn a blind eye, look the other way, wish it wasn’t so and just keep going – it might be with a boss who’s a bully, a job we hate, a situation we just can’t fathom. And it can look like this, what I call resistance boy though it applies to women and men equally. It’s the inner child saying ‘Noooooooo! That can’t be true’.
A perfect example on a global scale of this behaviour is beautifully articulated in this Financial Times article, that you really need to read. Particularly before the election.
On a smaller scale, we all know how much time gets wasted not doing the tax return, avoiding that big budget paper that’s nearly due, burning time and energy dancing around the elephant in the room that won’t go away but no one will name it. Every single moment we stay in this resistance mode, our life force is getting sucked out of us. We are consciously or more often, unconsciously choosing to live only partially, as if with a ball and chain tied to our ankle because of this untruth we continue to hold dear.
Tool # 6 Step into Acceptance
This small internal shift in perspective, stepping into acceptance, is life altering, and yet it is so subtle, it’s hard to imagine how it could possibly be so effective. As with the Scribble Walker image above, it takes guts to step out of the noise, the commonly held worldview, or the culture of ‘that’s just the way we do it round here’. Seeking clarity on what’s really going on can feel like walking a tightrope, between the old solid ground of the past, and the unknown future. You may feel totally alone and highly exposed, an easy target for anyone who wants to shoot you down. But more than anything, seeking clarity frees you up and gives you back your energy and clear-sightedness, and only with those assists available, can you pursue your best response, individually or collectively. The crucial subtlety in the process involves naming what’s going on and saying ‘I understand this is happening’ but knowing that you’re not being asked to say ‘I’m ok with this happening’. You’re just being asked to acknowledge that whatever it is you’re resisting, is actually happening ie tax return is due, deadline for that paper is tomorrow, climate change is playing out already etc. Acceptance doesn’t mean you have to like that it’s happening.
In that acknowledgment, the stepping into the ‘circle of acceptance’ as I like to visualise it, a new state of mind is unleashed, quite often with a matching, appropriate emotional response that can help us get on with what it is we need to do to take action. Try it over a coffee this week, just ask yourself, what am I pretending isn’t happening. You might surprise yourself. And again, see here for some brilliant examples of people changing their lives when they asked themselves a similar question.