This awake vs sleep thing is still banging around in my brain. I can’t get it out of my head. Anytime I find myself doing something I always do, something that feels a bit mouse on a wheel, I’ve started questioning whether it’s an asleep or an awake moment.
It’s a good tool to work out if what fit me a month or a year ago or five years ago belongs here with me now. My job is a good example. I’ve always cruised along in my career (or I’ve neglected to give myself some credit) and kind of thought one day I’ll find what I love. Oh hello, how many ways have I been a half asleep little worker bee? I’ve learnt so much and I still learn a lot from what I do, however I lost sight of how those skills apply to not only my industry but a million others and how those skills give me the ability to work for myself. I’ve always wanted the freedom to consult, to write, be creative, interact with people and not be tied to a city and an office but I’ve narrowed my options for too long.
It’s not always easy and I don’t have an answer today about what to do. All I know is to trust my instinct and keep going hard for the next lily pad, knowing I’m always ok. Above all it’s a time to be open and not close down in fear because it all seems too hard. I know it’s time to turn up the love.
Sometimes it’s enough to just throw out the idea of something else, a different possibility. We don’t always have to know the exact outcome we want, we just have to be open to what comes up. After a while there is clarity, and the way becomes like a six lane highway. Solid and clear and marked by white lines to keep us headed in the right direction. Of course, after a time it’ll again become a kangaroo track, probably through sand dunes :) and each step will feel like a test of faith and we’ll have no idea which way is the way. It’s all good, it’s just the ebb and flow of life. A bit of uncertainty won’t break our hearts or bones and allows us to see so much more opportunity. Plus, for me, whether I acknowledge it or not, really, in my heart I know exactly what I want. So while I may seem consciously uncertain, I’m not really.
I suspect much of our lives are opportunities to wake up but we often choose not to see the opportunities. Maybe it’s because awake versus asleep requires us to be willing to be uncomfortable. I’ve a deal with myself to be willing to be uncomfortable when it happens. I don’t like being uncomfortable, none of us do, and yeh I know it’s not meant to be happiness and light but still, you know..ick. A deals a deal though.
A lot written about being uncomfortable discusses the idea of pushing through the discomfort to move forward in our lives. What I’ve read about willing to be uncomfortable (mostly ACT therapy*) however isn’t like that. It’s being willing to sit with, and acknowledge, discomfort without doing anything else. It’s not a method to move from A to B. It’s not a means to an end. It’s simply asking us to sit still and experience this moment of discomfort like any other moment we have. We can cry if we want or feel angry, shameful, embarrassed, guilty, anything, so long as we notice what comes up and immerse ourselves in it. After a while – 5 minutes, 5 hours, 5 days, whatever it takes – eventually the discomfort disappears. It’s replaced with an expanded consciousness because we’ve move beyond our discomfort (and the moment). We’ve expanded our world and how could you not turn up the love on that?
* A good starting place is Dr Russ Harris’s The Confidence Gap. If you google his name you’ll find podcasts too. I like Dr Russ because he’s speaks from experience, doesn’t sugar coat psychology and reminds me it’s ok to stuff up quite a lot :)