Launching into the unknown

The thing about climbing is once you have checked the rope, the belay device is locked, and harnesses are set–you now no longer need to worry about the equipment and can instead focus on the climbing.

It is one less thing you need to worry about so you can focus on the task at hand.

It is when our mind wanders, “Did I really check to see if the knot is tied, correctly?” Now, we are losing focus. Energy is wasted and we are not performing the best we can do. Which, subsequently, leads to more falls.

This lesson is so critical and hard to master.

When our minds wander, we lose focus. When our attention is not on the task at hand, we are unable to give ourselves fully to the challenge.

The witness position

The witness position is something each of us can take. It is when we realize that we are not our thoughts but an observer of our thoughts.

Assuming the witness position is recognizing the old tape we play about how we are not good enough. The thoughts that are working overtime to protect our ego.

When we focus on our breathing, focus on being present, exercise attention, and become mindful of these patterns–we are now witnessing what is.

Then, we can perform.

Maintaining power

When you blame external forces, you lose power.

You may tell yourself a story that it is someone else’s fault that you tore your ACL while playing soccer. By doing so, you are ignoring the choice of footwear or how you made the play or deciding to play the sport at all. (You knew there was a risk, right?)

Even with the most crippling diagnosis or horrific accidents, you can still maintain power by not giving it away to circumstances out of your control. Life is hard. It will knock us down and inevitably end. Make no mistake. This is not easy to do. It is a process, a journey, not a destination.

It is in that space of adversity we can decide to give our attention and silence the loon noises that plague our lives. We are all worthy. Slaying the ego, that strength is inherit in all of us.

No one has the wisdom to know what is “good” or “bad”. What we know, is. When we can observe the thought patterns rather than wrestle with the narrative that serves to protect us and self-sabotage, we are opening more possibilities to learn and grow.

Why does this need to be true?

What are you trying to prove?

What are you trying to uphold?

Because if you are wrong, you might need to re-examine how every decision is made. It’s difficult to admit fault, that we have been wrong. That’s a painful process but necessary to evolve.

The seeker

Is this all life has to offer? Is this really it? Is this where you thought you would be when you grew up? Perhaps, like many, your wrestle with life’s greatest questions has left you wanting more.

Rejoice! You are awake–perhaps for the first time in a long time. And you might be tapping into something only a few will journey.

When Copernicus first discovered that the earth revolved around the sun, the church and the people shunned him. Galileo afterward confirmed Copernicus’ theory–he too was banished. Instead of going to the gallows, he was put on house arrest for eight years before his death.

On his deathbed, his last words were, “No matter what they say, the earth revolves around the sun.”

That is a seeker. It can be a lonely path but it is available to all who want to tackle life’s most important questions and discoveries.

Fear of starting

Fear is universal.

Fear of failure. Fear of exposure. Fear of succeeding. Fear of losing your status. Fear of phobias. Fear of vulnerability.

It is fear that is keeping us from taking a leap. From taking a chance on a project or standing up to someone. It is fear that gets in the way and draws us back to the ground. To fit in with everyone else.

Why are you afraid of this fear?

Write it down.

Examine it. Ask why again and again.

Not always the case but with enough examination, you will find a place to start.

So perhaps then, we don’t have to enough courage to finish a project–it can feel too overwhelming. What we need then is enough courage to start.

Starting is sufficient. And when you can learn to start, the next skill to master is to finish.

Just-world hypothesis

Is the assumption that people basically get what they deserve. That whatever actions we take, the player will get what they have coming to them.

This is a really bad way to view the world.

Outcomes are separate from the decisions we make. Sometimes we make all the right decisions and unfavorable outcomes just happen which is easily understood in a game like Poker. Lots of bad things happen to people all over the world every day and the consequences of one person’s actions can spread across a nation and through multiple generations.

People do this in an attempt to judge someone’s character. We say, “I would never do that.” We do it to rationalize suffering or to reduce the feeling of guilt we have.

Go click one news article about a tragedy with a victim and read the comments. You’ll find somewhere victim shaming. It runs rampant in a world that has become desensitized to how we treat each other. If you believe the world is falling apart, there is plenty of “evidence” to support that narrative.

What’s wrong?

It’s an interesting question. If we are wondering What’s wrong? as in the general concern for someone’s welfare, we have to be brave enough to ask and to hold space for the answer (because we might not like what we hear).

However, if we are asking just to compare ourselves to someone, to poke our nose in someone’s business, that’s clearly a problem.

The act of comparison itself is often an attempt to feel better about the shortcomings we feel in our own day-to-day lives.

People sometimes can’t help but compare to others to better understand their own happiness and shun their insecurity.

Old tapes

“I’m not good enough.”

Or smart enough.

Or rich enough.

Or fit enough.

These are old tapes.

Played in our heads over and over again.

Instead, insert a new tape.

A new dialogue about ourselves in the world.

Try it.

When down on yourself, notice the voice in your head and what it is doing.

Say it out loud to yourself, “Old tape.”

Take a couple breaths and insert a new narrative.