I like to think that life has a “reset” button…you know, some magic fix that effectively “resets” you and gets you back to a place of balance and equilibrium. I think the question becomes how do we make sure we can get to that place on our own, without relying on someone else to nudge us in the right direction? I have a friend who used to be my “reset button.” He has a gift for putting me at ease and helping me see that the solutions to my problems are within me, and were there all along waiting for me to sit up and notice them. I haven’t seen this friend in a long time and I’m finding it’s lately become unpleasantly challenging to achieve true balance within myself, on my own, just because I want to. Like a lot of people, I get stressed about stuff in my daily life, I get bored and restless, I feel under-stimulated or frustrated…and all of this builds to create a sense of anxiety about my life from time to time. Would I like to snap my fingers and suddenly feel centered? Absolutely. But it takes a strong will and a certain determination to completely alter your frame of thinking…and to change it enough to actually affect how you feel about certain things. That kind of brain-discipline is not easy, although in theory it should be since it’s decision-based.
Even though I haven’t seen my balance-inducing friend in a while, we still talk frequently and he reminded me recently that I can choose how to feel about everything in my life. Seriously? I get to choose? Well crap, wouldn’t it be nice if it was really that simple? Every day we make choices about what to spend our time on…this includes what we work on, who we see, who we think about, what we think about, what we make plans to do…these are all ways in which we decide each day what’s important to us- what matters most. And we decide how much time we spend internally on all of it. We don’t realize how much time we allocate to thinking about things that don’t provide much comfort, or worrying about things we can’t control. So the question becomes, “Why allow ourselves to stew about things we can’t do a damn thing about?” All it does is feed those negative emotions the energy they need to exist. If we don’t pay attention to those worries, they simply cannot survive. Shouldn’t we instead be focusing the bulk of our energy on those few things and people who matter the most? I’d like to make a choice today to not worry about the past, and to not wonder about the unknown. Instead I’m going to figure out how to push that big red button and “reset” myself- get myself back to a place of inner peace and balance. No more worrying about things I can’t control- I can choose not to feed those thoughts. My advice? Make a conscious choice to say to yourself, “Nope, I’m not going there today.”
Other than talking to myself (which I do on a regular basis), how else am I going to get back to center? I suppose there are a lot of ways to let go of the inevitable, to find what’s been missing, and become more personally fulfilled. For starters, I’m going to a martial arts class tonight- and of course I’m crazy anxious because it’s something new and different- but if I can get past the newness hump, I bet before too long it’ll become something extremely valuable to me.
If we push ourselves to remember to focus on only the things that matter, regardless of what those things are, we slowly creep our way back to center. We find our way back to a place where we don’t feel anxious or worried, bored or lonely, unmotivated or static. But we have to push ourselves to do something to get through the downtime. Go push yourself to do something. Anything, as long as it’s worthwhile. And if you don’t know what to do? Just breathe…and keep moving. You’ll get there.