Woah. Really heavy stuff right there. Let’s look at a super spiffy example: You’re sitting at your computer checking the latest political friend fodder on Facebook when advertisements on the right-hand panel pop up begging you to look at them. Every 30 seconds a new ad is displayed. You hardly notice them. You see them because you have eyes that can see, but you’re not aware of what the ads are. That is until you see an ad with a huge, mouthwatering bowl of split pea soup. Ding, ding! You saw it and took notice of it. You took notice because your grandma makes the World’s Best Split Pea Soup, and seeing the ad is bringing back those delicious, warm memories. Your consciousness is now 100% zeroed in on those feelings from the past because you clung to something you saw in the present. You didn’t notice any of the other ads on the right-hand panel of your screen, and if asked an hour later what ads you saw you wouldn’t be able to describe them. But you noticed the split pea soup ad. I am in the beginning stage of attempting to wrap my brain cells around this thought-provoking concept. Although, I believe that we cling to certain feelings, events, and memories because we don’t know how to chill out in order to be fully present in the current moment.
In the case of me declining the colorguard position, I began to think about how I clung to my fear of running away from things that are new and different. I had certainly run from things that pressured me in the past – events that had me nervous and insecure. Several perfect examples of this are evident in my past. For instance, back in college I determined if I would stay in a class for the duration of the semester based on whether or not there were any class presentations that I had to complete. There were roughly 3 classes that I hastily dropped in the first week of class simply because a class presentation was in the syllabus. You can imagine my distress when I couldn’t get around one of those class presentations. As it turned out, I had to take Psychology 101 (go figure – I was having psychological issues with my psych class…) as a prerequisite toward another class, and there was one of those stinkin’ class presentations at the end of the semester. It was a doozy, too. It was one of those projects you were asked to work on all semester long – in groups – that required extensive research, power points, and last minute weekend group meetings to the library to pick apart each other’s written part of the essay (oh, did I mention that there’s a 20 page essay due with the presentation…) because they suck at writing, but you need to keep their incomprehensive parts in the essay to give them credit for helping. Yeah. It was one of those classes I had to complete and there was no way around it. Somehow I survived the semester, and before I knew it, the very last day of class arrived – the day of my group’s presentation. Immediately after I completed my individual verbal portion, I literally darted out of the room because I almost fainted. Sadly this is true. Our group wasn’t even finished presenting yet, but I had to get out of there quick before my face met floor. We got an A on the project, by the way. I got an A in the course, too. Putting my emotions aside, sticking out the duration of the course, and doing the work certainly paid off. But this proves that I have deep rooted fear with being in front of a large group. It also proves that I’m a runner. I run away from things that make me feel crazy nervous and insecure. I’m just now learning that I can actually overcome this.
Sure, I’ve heard people say that they overcame their fears, but how does that really happen? Some say that you overcome your fears by immersing yourself in them. Stepping in front of my Psych 101 class to give a group presentation didn’t help me overcome my fears. I did it – I gave the presentation, but the fear is still there a decade later. If it wasn’t, then I wouldn’t have declined a dream job for fear of stepping in front of a group again. So how does someone live freely by not clinging to past and present fears, events, and emotions? I want to live a free life. I really do. I don’t want to have fear keep me from living my best life. I know this all sounds very sunshine on a field of flowers with glittery unicorns flying across rainbowed skies, but something really great is happening to me, and I’m interested to see where I’m lead even if it is a little too “gee, isn’t life swell” for me.
I am beginning to learn to sit in the seat of Self to be fully aware of the present moment by letting everything move through me like the wind. I am learning to untether my soul. I am already finding this journey to be very difficult. Try taking a habit you’ve done for 30 years and suddenly stop doing it. It’ll be hard. Singer actually says that it’s quite easy to change. He notes that you’re either doing the habit, or you’re not. Once you decide to change your habit, you do it. Sure, it’s easy to decide to change, but it’s the remembering that I’m changing part that’s hard for me.
All in due time. Like many who ritualize yoga say, it is my practice. I am working on it.
For those who know nothing about all this sitting in the seat of self-business, I’ll be sharing more in the many posts in weeks to come about the concept and my continued spiritual journey. Actually, I don’t know if it’s a spiritual journey that I’m on yet. I’ve been calling it that to give the vehicle a name. Right now I am on Day One of a week-long challenge to remember to live in the present moment. Stay tuned.
You might be interested in Finding my Self: Part Uno and Finding my Self: Part Dos.