Listening is the skill I most often have room to improve. But not always in the context that you may imagine. I may often asking for guidance but I am not aways great at listening. I can get distracted. I get wrapped up in my own thoughts, knowing full well if my thoughts were the solution I wouldn’t have asked for guidance.
The trouble with listening and taking the guidance is that we get confused. We have this notion that if we are being guided that it’s always going to feel good; that it’s going to feel right. I don’t think that’s always true.
I have made a real effort to move a little slower, even think a little slower, breathe, take a pause, and notice what messages I am getting. What opportunities are being presented but I am missing (or resisting)?
I try being aware of the synchronicities as they happen. And part of that is taking steps I am not always sure I am ready or want to take. Following the guidance can mean coming up against resistance internally. When we are called to change, to show up differently we won’t feel like it at all.
Sometimes the right decision doesn’t feel right. It feels wrong and awkward. Change, even when it’s good for us, can feel terrible.
It’s why we struggle with changing behaviors.
I noticed it the other day with my cat, Bhakti. We planted new, fresh cat grass for her because the original batch is dying mostly because she sleeps on it for hours a day but dying all the same.
So we gave her a new pallet of grass and yet she keeps going back to the dead grass. She can’t eat it, there’s not much even left to the grass itself and yet she keeps going back.
I laid the new grass right next to the old and she still resists the new grass.
We do the same. We know an exercise program, a healthier eating pattern will be good for us and yet it feels weird. So we resist it.
We actively resist something we know is good for us.
I can stand there and judge my cat for being “silly” that she can’t understand that the green grass is better instead of the dirt pile but I do the same things myself even when I know it’s not helping me.
The comfort zone really is that simple. It holds us back, it keeps us stuck because no matter how much we say we want something else it’s hard to be uncomfortable.
It’s hard to believe that this feeling of discomfort could possibly be right, could possibly be good for us.
That’s why if you want to change and grow you have to follow the guidance, trust that it’s moving us where we want to be. We need to trust the process or stop complaining that we are stuck.
We have this idea that we are adults but what does that even mean?
We still need a parent it’s just that now we are parenting ourselves.
We are now required to tell ourselves it’s time for bed; eat your vegetables, get your teeth cleaned, get a checkup, look our boss in the eye and ask for a raise. It’s up to us and it feels awful at times. But staying stuck feels pretty bad too… doesn’t it?
Choosing something new that you do not know how it will go is unpleasant but we can learn to tolerate uncertainty just as easily as many of us are currently tolerating discontent. We can learn to be OK with it as part of our life. Otherwise we are most certainly screwed.
We can ask for guidance, look for it, notice it when it arrives, and take each patient, wobbly step out onto what feels like a precipice of danger. We are not sure it’s the right move but sometimes it’s better than no move at all.
The grass may not be greener on the other side but let’s all stop standing in dead grass hoping it will begin to grow this time. When we keep coming back to our unproductive, comfortable patterns everything stays the same, the grass is still dead.
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G