We react to media. We react to people. We react to emails. Our bosses. TV shows. Text messages. Phone calls. Reacting is seeing a threat and trying to remedy it.
To take control of our lives – and I don’t mean force – but playfully make life our experiment where we call the shots, we must tap into the elements of meditation.
In meditation, we only think about our breath, or maybe our mantra. We forget about our personality. We have no persona to maintain. We become fluid; our identity is merely a passing thought.
The same goes for the thoughts rushing through our heads throughout the day. Any negative emotion is a story we are telling ourselves. There is no inherent meaning about any event. Some folks tell themselves that rain is so wondrous; when it thunderstorms, they run outside to jump in the huge puddles. Others cower indoors for fear of thunder and lightning. Both stories are comforting, because it’s the story they have given to rain.
I want to start asking myself, where am I limiting my experience of life with my story?
Byron Katie asks, “Can you be absolutely sure your thought [story] is true?” and, “Who would you be without the thought?” Here are four ways to rethink the way you think and become the true creator of your own life:
Whether it’s via email, text, in-person, social media, phone call, or snail mail, ask people things. Make a daring request. Ask that cute gal or guy out. Ask your boss for a raise. (I wouldn’t do that one every day.) You’ll be so surprised by how many people say yes. It’s because people feel your creative energy in producing the idea. They sense your enthusiasm for their help – and heck, it feels good to help others – so go ask a bold question today.
Victims try to have a hassle-free existence. Rather than taking action, victims would rather find the genetic defect or the personality trait that stops them from taking action. Victims often have a me-against-the-world outlook on life, and tend to focus blame on others. Unfortunately, this is the victim’s reality; there’s no choice in it, it’s just “how it is.” Take charge of your own life by refusing to be a victim of your choices.
While victims tend to “fall victim” to the choices in their lives, creators create their situations. It’s all about choice. It’s like learning to kick a soccer ball with a non-dominant foot. Creators carve out time for solitude, silence, thought and creation, doing their most important work of the day first thing.
Steve Chandler once said that we are constantly re-inventing ourselves. Every day, we are deciding who our personality is. It’s up to you which activities you want to fill your days with. Is your day spent trying to please everyone else, or is it serving yourself – and the world around you – with high-value activities?
EVOLVE YOUR THOUGHTS
Reacting to a situation is a visceral response; the physiological act itself screws with our nervous system, allowing outside stimuli to determine our internal state. When we react, we use the “reptilian brain,” the limbic system, which causes the fight-or-flight response. While animals react, humans have the ability to create.
My favorite mantra to combat knee-jerk reactivity? “I am the sky, and everything else is just the weather passing by.”