Tag: change

Maturity

“…to achieve maturity one must be prepared to change and give up cherished beliefs and habits…”
-Moshe Feldenkrais

Like the old proverb about being unable to twice dip your toes into the same river, you can’t change AND stay the same.  It is both literally and figuratively impossible.  Yet how often do we try to maintain the status quo after life-altering events?

I hate to get political but the obvious is, well, so obvious that it calls out to be called out.  The southern coast has been ravaged by two hurricanes in as many weeks.  Two more potent storms are gathering.  Will they, too, pummel the already battered states, or lash out at other coastal areas?  Only time will tell.

In the aftermath of hurricane force winds and seemingly endless rains and floods, the real questions are “What did we learn?” and “How can we rebuild in a way that minimizes future risks?”

Both Texas and Florida are old hands at surviving tropical weather patterns.  They each handled their disasters in their own distinct ways – differently than on previous occasions – showing steps toward a more mature approach to safety, security and planning.  What they do next will have a huge impact on the future.

Will they rebuild as before without changes to building and zoning codes?  Will they choose to continue policies designed to defy nature?  Or will each state take time to assess the storms’ impact and take steps to work with nature, harnessing her innate abilities at water and storm management?

The belief that somehow we have a god-given right to destroy the natural environment will always come back to bite us in the butt.  Like it or not, the environment we pillage for personal gain is the very same environment we rely on for our very existence.  Air, water, land – none of these are replaceable.

One of my fondest dreams is for Americans to stop squabbling about “climate change” and to focus instead on what we all truly desire for ourselves, for our children, for their children’s children – clean air to breathe, fresh water to drink, beautiful environs in which to live, work and play.

Learning from disasters is a mark of growth.  Working with Mother Nature in rebuilding shows maturity.  Is America ready to give up its teenage notions of infallibility and take a few small steps toward adulthood?

 

11. Have Fun/Play/Explore

T.S.-Elliott_StarWhat is play but a series of experiments done for no other reason than the pleasure of it all. To the mature, dare I say cynical, mind all that mucking about may seem pointless. Yet play is critical to the development of skill.

Play means giving up the notion that there is one “right” way of doing something. Instead, it means experimenting with many many possibilities, trying each one on for size then casting off each in favor of another or another until voila, a success of some sort is achieved.

Trying is always accompanied by tension and strain. You feel the pressure in your temples, the tightness in your neck. Aches and pains and worries add up. All are signs of trying too hard. Play, on the other hand, is an inherent lightness and ease that brings harmony to your every action. The solution to stress – PLAY!

Let your actions be small, easy, joyful. Toss out the notion of perfection. Mistakes are detours to discovery. The more you make, the more you learn. Taking little risks increases the likelihood that you will discover a way of doing and being that is even better than you imagined. Put into perspective – some of the greatest inventions in the world were discovered by accident. Imagine!

Young brains learn through play. So do older ones.

What’s stopping you from doing the same?

Can you give yourself permission to try something in a way that is slightly different from what you have always done? Can you find a way to make what you are doing light and “playful”?

Hint: Instead of following the “rules”, see what happens if you make a slight change in action. Risk just a little. Assume an attitude of “look and see.” Banish competition in favor of noticing what happens when you allow.

Pleasure and joy are byproducts of play. They are not for children only.

Let your heart sing. Let your spirit burst with joy. PLAY!

In the Trenches

Habits keep us sane. Imagine having to think about every detail as you tie your shoe, climb the stairs, eat your dinner, click the remote. You’d be consumed by tiny individual tasks and life would become unlivable.

The magnitude of all that attending is more than overwhelming. Yet, attention is how we change. Attention and willpower. As much as we would all LOVE a magic pill, bullet, therapy, you name it to make our fat melt, our bodies sculpt, our relationships happy, NOTHING is going to happen without old fashioned elbow grease.

Think of your habits at ruts. The stronger the habit, the deeper the rut. The deeper the rut, the more you have to work to dig a replacement. So to swap out a habit that isn’t serving you for one that does, start digging.

What does that digging look like? Simply it’s catching yourself in the act of slipping into auto-pilot and then CHOOSING to do something different. Easier said than done? Perhaps. That’s why I always recommend shifting habits one divot at a time. If you create a tiny change, followed by another and then another, you gradually build your desired habit and the digging isn’t quite as demanding.