Have you tried turning it off and on again?

I used to work in IT; I went to college on day release and evening classes as a mature student. It was hard seeing students lazily hanging around, happily chatting and doing what students are supposed to do while I was running from lecture to lecture, fitting assignments in between working days and running my homelife. I eventually qualified and worked my way up from operator through technician to analyst and programmer. The IT crowd always makes me chuckle when, every time the phone rings, the boys ask

“Hello, IT. Have you tried turning it off and on again?”

I used to find myself saying that all the time….and more often than not, it solved the problem.

I kind of think of us humans in the same way. When we have a problem, if we just take our focus away from it and relax, if only for a moment, it allows us to step back and observe. From this safer and uninvolved standpoint, we almost always find that, actually, there is no problem after all.

What’s the best that could happen?

I love this question way more that asking what the worst would be. Whilst the traditional question motivates us because we see that even the worst thing that could happen isn’t too bad, but this version takes our thoughts away from potential pitfalls and toward potentially awesome outcomes.

I’m not saying, though, that I generally like to replace negative thoughts with positive ones; it can work really well but, when we forget, or our stress levels are too high, the plates we’re trying to spin, come crashing down around us. This is the reason why any strategy or method we try to follow tends to fall down. I love that I now have an understanding of how thought works and I no longer need to remember a plan, scheme or number of steps. We humans always want to be in control, don’t we? We always want to be doing something…it’s so exhausting! It’s such a relief that I now know we don’t need to do anything, we can simply be. Less is more; we find magic in the stillness.

Shhh…..

The stillness that I’m talking about is what is left when we clear away all the life stuff we pile on top of it….all the fretting and overthinking. It’s the peace that we are used to only attaining during meditation….and it is always, always available to us. It is the purity and love we were born with…it is ours…and never, ever leaves us; it waits patiently until we remember how to reconnect to it.

I like to think of a time when we all understand that we don’t need to listen to or act upon any of our thoughts and we are free from worry; we are free. Please read Overthinking. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing! for more on this. Imagine what a difference we would experience if all the 7 billion people who inhabit earth all re-found their innate peace; just think what we could accomplish if we all loved and respected ourselves and each other. We would never:

feel insecure or act in a defensive or angry way

feel jealous

need others’ approval

be stressed, anxious or depressed

have phobias

fear anything

feel envious…we would be happy for everyone who achieved anything

These are just a few of the many ways our lives would improve…maybe you’d like to think of some more. I’m not gloating and am simply exceedingly grateful that this is how my life is now…and I know that yours can be too.

Confidence is silent. Insecurities are loud

This is such a biggie to learn…and is utterly life-changing. I am not there yet but am definitely on the journey and feel blessed that I’ve realised how important it is. When I was insecure (though I didn’t realise I was insecure at the time…so maybe you don’t either) I felt it was necessary and appropriate to explain my worth, prove that I was competent, likeable, loveable. Now I understand that we can’t ever change anyone unless they choose to change and no amount of bigging myself up could effect them unless they let it…in fact, it no doubt bored more people than it encouraged. Ouch. Choosing to get to know and improve ourselves can be a little tough sometimes but oh so worth it. I used to see admitting my humanness as weakness, I was ashamed of how I was a slave to all my thoughts and feelings, how I felt depressed or anxious so often and how I had no control over that. Now I am more than happy to admit my failings if it means that my experience of life is so wonderful, and I can help others.

It is interesting that I used to think I had to assert my authority. I guess I didn’t think I was enough and therefore had to explain that I was! Now I see that

Nothing strengthens our worth so much as silence

If we can remain calm and preferably silent in circumstances that would have hitherto completely ruffled us, we can handle anything life may lay before us with wisdom and grace. We can observe our and others’ actions without the debilitating emotions that attachment brings.

Please do not imagine for a moment that I have lost my humanness…I am proud, rather than ashamed of it now. I still feel all the emotions I always did, I just know that I don’t need to cling onto them, I don’t need to let them take over. One of the changes I do see in the ‘new me’ is that I feel more love, joy, peace and happiness more often and more consistently than I ever did and I now have no hidden agenda, no game to play, nothing to prove.

Thank you

I am grateful for everyone and everything in my life, everything that I am and can do. I find that the best way to express gratefulness is by showing how happy and content we are with the things we have. I don’t need any more than I have now, but if it comes to me, I will be even more grateful!

Next week I am going to explore how arguments start and finish. Until then, have a beautifully peaceful week and please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Love, Catherine x

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