The whole technique, in terms of living, is the means of being aware, curiously aware and questioningly aware. Gregge Tiffen (The Language of A Mystic: Innovation, October, 2009)
Being aware brings a great deal of excitement, interest and joy to daily life. It can also bring moments of humbling truth.
In the midst of exploring a gnarly, conflict-filled situation with my coach, she asked a question with implications far beyond the event we were discussing. “Do you need the extremes, the conflict?” she inquired.
The answer in that moment for that event was a clear resounding ‘no’. Yet, as I suspected, the question had legs and would stay with me as I observed my thoughts and actions afterwards. Over the next several days as I put the event behind me, I was quickly aware of and mostly able to manage judgmental, conflict-oriented thoughts about the situation. And, I also noticed something else: other thoughts (more that I would like to admit) that engaged the themes of extremes, conflict and judgement. Ugh!
Beyond the ‘ugh’, I mustered some curiosity and began to notice even more. Some of my interest in conflict was energizing in a positive way. For example, seeing the extremes in the current Presidential race here in the U.S. can move me into action supporting the views that I believe in. That kind of engagement is rewarding in terms of self-expression and satisfaction.
But I also noticed a ‘dark’ side, other thought patterns that, while they may energize in the moment, actually drain my energy. These are thoughts that put my attention on others, on comparison, and judgement in a way that creates an atmosphere of conflict where none exists nor is it needed.
Discovering these stories and acknowledging that some offer the illusion that I am ‘better than’ another has been humbling. Seeing that they energize in ways that don’t serve me is a gift of that awareness.
From these discoveries I can release any dependence on this form of conflict to energize me. I can choose when to engage and explore ways to do so in alignment with my true nature. I can notice when these thoughts arise and create different ones. I can experiment and practice; then rinse and repeat.
I can be ‘curiously and questioningly aware’ and THAT is LIVING!
Challenge for the week: Engage your curiosity and questioning to discover what among your many thought patterns serve you and which ones do not. Share your discoveries over on the blog site.