4 Things to remind yourself early & often
(which will connect you to self & to guidance)
1. Bring it to now: Come back from the future (quit predicting what you don't want) and come back from the past (quit accruing towers of one thing stacked on top of another so it's all too much) and don't try to figure it all out. What can you do right now to align with this moment? Notice that you're equipped for this one moment.
2. Come back to the breath: Breathing is a felt, sensory experience, but we typically don't feel it. I love to invite people not to breeaaaaathe or even to take a deep breath, but to simply drop into the breath; follow it; stay with it; feel it. Feel its soothing, its kindness, its calming capacity. Feel how it brings you to the core of your being and brings your whole nervous system down a notch or two. It's powerful to take some moments dropping in with the breath and come back to yourself.
3. You don't have to figure it all out right now: This is a great thing to tell yourself to get out of your head, out of fix-it mode, out of believing you're not okay till you have it all sorted out and see the way forward. Actually, if you don't see it all clearly, then you don't have to figure it out right now. Soothe yourself instead (see Come back to the breath above).
4. You are guided: Life wants to get you where you're going. It wants to feed you, provide for your needs, heal and evolve you, keep bringing you closer to love. When you think you need to know what the future will hold, or insist on a blueprint for getting there (when there isn't one), or--yuck--fault yourself because you must be doing something wrong if you don't see the way forward: STOP. Quit thinking you're all alone and it's all up to you to find your way through the dark. You're guided. Connect to guidance.
Love & blessings, Jaya
heyyyy. LOOK RIGHT for CORONA SUPPORT label under CATEGORIES. Find posts most likely to support you as you move through the fascinating challenge of a pandemic. You're equipped to meet this, and to meet yourself kindly on this journey!
Want to get on with it? Find your point of least resistance.
Hey, have you figured out yet that it’s just resistance when you keep putting off what you say you want to do or what you think you should be doing? It really helps to know it as resistance. It helps to call it resistance. Otherwise, you have to call it lazy or lame. You might get into self-scolding or even self-loathing. And I bet you know that’ll never get you where you want to go. In fact, judging your resistance is more likely to increase it.
So what if, instead, you noticed the resistance and just got okay with it—human thing that it is, for human being that you are. What if you declared that you’re in no rush, you’ll get there in your own good time, and you’re simply going to head that way through your point of least resistance?
Ah, then you get to actively enjoy the binge-watching (and notice when it’s not fun anymore, because enjoying it means it’s not fraught with shame or misery that keeps you stuck there). Or you get to appreciate prioritizing the easy task, and move swiftly and surely through the ease of the simpler, more obvious, more joyous thing that must also be done. As you feel good about working with ease, you get to increase feeling good in general. And from that place of feeling good, and having had some guiltless fun or checked off a to-do or two that cost you little, you might take a (satisfied, can-do) breath and go for the harder thing.
I’m giving you three examples to illustrate the point of least resistance, so check out the one or ones you’re most drawn to. Example #1 targets the Enneagram’s self-preservation instinct (self-prez to Enneagram geeks): getting yourself to the gym. Example #2 correlates with the sexual instinct: working up to leaving the relationship, or agonizing over the belief it’s really time to go (but you don’t or can’t). Example #3 addresses the social instinct: wanting to rev up your connections or grow your circles. After reading your preferred example(s), drop down to the subhead “More implications of the point of least resistance.”
# 1: What if, instead of judging yourself for not getting to the gym, you welcomed yourself to the human race and considered how very many people struggle with how to work in working out? What if you stopped calling it lazy and instead took a look at the actual issue for you? This could lead you right to your point of least resistance. You might be inspired to get an accountability buddy, try a new modality that looks more fun or doable right now, or find a YouTube guide or a class. You might start simply walking or biking more to get from point A to point B. You might determine that a few good stretches could change how you feel in your body and start taking two-minute stretch breaks when that scrunched-up-at-the-desk sensation creeps in.
So much is possible! But not when you get trapped in resistance, and not when you see a point of least resistance but don’t grab it because you treat it like an evil (or at least believe that you’re wimping out, not doing it right, not doing enough).
# 2. What if, instead of forcing yourself to walk out of the relationship you suspect you’ve outgrown, or even forcing a stay-or-go decision, you located your point of least resistance? What if you gave yourself full permission to hang out there for a while and see what comes next? Your point of least resistance here could be about spending more time alone or with friends. It could involve making a pact (with your partner or yourself) to have fewer arguments (walk away at the first whiff!) and spend more time in appreciation or admiration, while putting aside stuff-to-work-out or what-to-do-next for a time. Or it could be working on passion and connection in every other realm of life while allowing, in the relationship realm, the relief of simplicity and neutrality (but not misery and criticism, at least on your end)—then you could see where that takes you.
# 3. What if, instead of telling yourself you’re hopeless at the social thing (as you wish for more of it), you told yourself that growing your connections is a good intention to hold and play with? There’s already less resistance in that. Then you might consider what feels manageable and aims you roughly in the right direction without some great overhaul of either character or habits. It could be going out to eat alone, even with a book or device for starters, or going to the movies solo or with a friend or partner and appreciating that others are about, having a similar experience. Or you might join a class so that you have a repeating experience of gathering with a fixed population on a shared point of interest in shared space. Your point of least resistance might even be an online group! It might involve self-permission to join something in silence, allowing yourself to begin by focusing on your inner experience. It might be to find a buddy to do something you’ve never done or want to do more of (salsa or karate? wine tastings or vegan cooking? choral singing or meditation?)—something that happens to be done with or among other human beings.
More implications of the point of least resistance
You won’t grow your social, sexual, or self-prez self from a place of feeling like you’re perpetually off your game (or like it’s a game you’re not remotely equipped to play). But you can grow any one of those by stepping from one point of least resistance to the next, and just see what gives as you allow yourself to step onward, curious about what’s possible, open to what reveals itself.
I cannot say enough about my love of the point of least resistance (and how much it’s helped my clients and program participants). It’s all about stepping in where it makes the most sense because it feels best and easiest and most aligned with where you are right now. This concept is super compatible with the idea of scooching (you may already know how much I love to Scooch!). The point of least resistance came to me through Abraham-Hicks, who teaches that it’s also your point of greatest alignment, most fun, and greatest joy. I keep playing with it and loving the experience and results. It’s so much kinder than all the forcing and straining or the judging and shutting down. I invite you to it (and you can learn about it in my beautiful and now beautifully cleaned-up and polished Expansion audio program).
Love and Blessings, Jaya
Note that my post Force Nothing adds to the ideas presented here on least resistance.
Here's a sane, peaceful, trusting alternative to doership.
The idea of doership, or being the doer, is that you’re the one making things happen or getting things done—and when you’re in doership, you’re in illusion (uh, not to mention stress). You’re also prone to getting intense about how things go, in what timing, and with what outcome. Here’s a great sentence from an online dictionary explaining doership: “If there is no feeling of doership in the deed performed, then bondage will not result.”
How do you get out of doership? (If you’re skimming or in get-in-get-out mode, drop down to bullet points below for sound things to tell yourself when you catch yourself being the doer.) First, simply notice when you’re believing you’re the one who makes it happen, or you have to get it done, or if you don’t do this, no one else will or it won’t get done right or all hell will break loose. Notice when you’re doing a task or moving from point A to point B between tasks in a way that’s tense, driven, anxious, frenetic. Notice the lack of peace [substitute ease, equanimity, joy, connection to magic] in do-do-do-do-do.
Stop. If you can’t take a pause, then follow the next instructions while you’re carrying on with whatever you must do. Tune in to your breath and watch it go in and out. Follow the passage of the breath, right on its heels, experiencing exactly where it is in your body at any given moment. Feel the inevitable pause once the out-breath is spent. Come back to the core of yourself, back to center, by following the breath. This will also instantly serve to calm you, even a bit, and to elongate the breath—with no actual effort to do that. Just watch the breath—don’t slow it down; it will slow down on its own.
Now find where you’re believing you’re the one who makes it happen. Notice you think you have to make it happen. Notice you’re believing that your doing is why you’re here, or your most important assignment, or at the very least what you must do right now. Consider the possibility that you’re in illusion. Tell yourself clearly, explicitly: I’m in doership right now, so I must be in illusion.
Next tell yourself a number of things you can actually believe to counter this thought that you have to make it happen. I’ll list a bunch of possibilities, and you can adopt those that resonate and come up with more on your own. The point is to counter this potent belief with a good number of other things that you can also believe and that are closer to truth:
If any of that leaves you feeling more relaxed and more expansive, you’re on the right track. Use the contractions you feel to call you to a pause for breath and mental reset. On the physical level, notice clenched muscles, furrowed brow, frenetic motions—even irritated or bossy tones of voice. Catch yourself (kindly, without judgment) in needless intensity and tension. Come back to the breath, back to what’s truer and more aligned than forcing your way through as the doer. You really do get to live in alignment and flow—and you’ll function more effectively and even more efficiently when you’re there.
Beyond doership is a great exhale and opening to magic! Note that part of living in everyday magic includes aligning with flow, connecting to your guidance system, living in the now. Show up for the journey, now and now and now, because that’s where the magic reveals itself.
Love & blessings, Jaya
“I KNOW IT INTELLECTUALLY BUT …”
But? But your heart can't rise to such lofty thinking? Your gut's in a wad, like it just got punched, and won't let the message filter down?
I'm fascinated to watch people push the logical mind away from matters of the heart, as if head and heart don't speak the same language. In fact, they do. I want to invite you to bring them both to the table for parley. You're out of whack when you feel this divide, and it's important (and actually not that hard) to realign.
SAY THE WHOLE SENTENCE.
When someone bringing me active pain launches some “I know it in my head” sort of statement, I often hit the pause button and have them find what they're actually saying—and actually say it.
THERE'S NO PROBLEM WITH HEAD-HEART LAG.
So what that you know the truth but you're not feeling it yet? You'll get there. Feelings do come along later—have you noticed? Nobody says, “I know in my heart that it's okay she died peacefully in her sleep at 85, but my head just can't wrap around it.” You're right on schedule if your wounded feeling self is limping along (even dripping a bit of blood) behind the seemingly cold, antiseptic facts. Those facts could actually support your emotional self in its healing (I'll tell you how—read on). So really, truly: there's no problem.
YOU COULD MAKE IT A PROBLEM, THOUGH.
Don't use head-heart lag as an excuse not to budge. When coaching clients tell me, “I know it intellectually, but ...” they're often starting to argue for limitations or declare that they're stuck stuck stuck. Okay, so you see you're not fully aligned with the truth of your situation. Good to notice—actually useful to take in. But don't stop there. Having noticed, now move toward alignment.
WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T PUT YOUR HEART IN CHARGE HERE.
If the heart leads the head, you'll just get more out of whack. I'm not talking about distrusting the heart or making the head more important. In this specific case, when you know something to be true that the heart has not yet gotten behind, you'll just make trouble if you decide for the uncertain, hurting heart and disregard what you understand as true for you. Have you ever watched in horrid fascination while someone you love talked themself back into the bad relationship? Ay, bolstered by the beating bruise inside the chest, they listed reason after reason why this (perfectly normal, if harsh) pain meant they must hurry back to Way Wrong. What you watched them do was yank the mind into alignment with the heart.
Anyone can find or fabricate reasons those strong, compelling feelings must be telling the truth. The mind is adept at digging up evidence for any idea, true or false. (Remember your high-school self in speech class compiling proof for both sides of the debate?) But you're going the wrong direction if you try aligning head with heart, and this could mean a costly detour. Go the other way. How, again?
DO USE YOUR HEAD TO SOOTHE YOUR HEART.
Make soothing yourself a priority, especially when feelings are raw. If you put your head in charge, this doesn't mean you have to shove down feelings (bad idea!) or treat them like they don't matter in the face of sound logic (odious self-invalidation). Instead, you can actually use your capacity to reason to gently bring the heart along. (It actually wants to catch up.)
Tell your feeling self anything you can believe that's actually true. Let's say you made the short list of job candidates but didn't get the offer. Tell yourself: I was one of three seriously considered out of many. I got their attention. The interviews went swimmingly—I even had fun. I presented well. This is good news, not bad. My experience is solid—I feel great about my resume. It doesn't mean I'm not good enough if someone else was a better fit. That won't keep me from the right job for me. I even see why this wasn't the one (and name those reasons specifically). …
Do carry on. Keep using what you know intellectually to speak sweetly to the heart, and be sure you tell only the truth.
Here's a trick: Don't expect what the head comes up with to make the heart instantly stop hurting. You're just soothing the heart—not fixing it, not making it all better. You're being there for yourself, letting the wiser part of you help you scooch from wretched to bearable, and eventually to total healing. Allow the journey, and trust it. Trust your knowing. What you know intellectually can help your heart find its way to alignment.
TRY SAYING THIS
I know it intellectually and I'm holding my heart kindly while it catches up to the facts. I know I don't need to rush this, and I'll review what I know to be true often so I don't start telling myself lies or yanking my tender heart in the wrong direction. I trust my process and intend to make it as kind as I can.
Love & blessings, Jaya
If the antidote to fear is love
and this election era (which, looks like now, isn't endless after all!) played more on fear than any sane or semi-conscious being would ever care to align with
then ... hold fiercely to love as you anticipate, vote, & wait. More than anything, align with love.
Sidenote: For solid self-support, breathe consciously. Conscious breath is powerful to ground you and bring you back to your heart center. Conscious breath can walk you back to love. Hey, you're already breathing anyway. I'm not saying Just breathe. I'm inviting you to pause often, especially when you get a whiff of fear or feel pain or contraction in your gut or chest or wherever, and direct the breath toward those sensations. Breath is the only balm you can apply from within. So watch the breath go all the way out, watch the breath come all the way in. See if you can do that without running off somewhere mentally and, if not, go again. Let the breath bring you back to now, back to love, back home to yourself. Open, again, through the breath, to life, to love, to voting for an outcome that most clearly aligns with love.
When I speak of voting for an outcome that aligns with love, I mean much more than what you do at the polls, though that, obviously, matters so much.
You vote for an outcome when you fantasize about an outcome, so consciously visualize the victory you want. Don't picture worst-case scenario. Don't picture people at their worst. Don't imagine horrors and insanity-run-amok. Do imagine peace, joy, relief, expansion. Do what you know to do to feel those things in your body. Access memory to make this real. (Hint: what election results in the past brought you a sense of amazement, hope, we-finally-did-it? Feel that again.)
Are you feeling separate and alone in this? Don't allow such a thing!
Consciously align with all the good souls (and I'm not calling anyone else bad) who genuinely want love to prevail on our planet. This issue and this election and its results are all much bigger than you, and will impact our entire planet. So connect to what's bigger than you, and believe (or experiment with believing) that you can energetically tap in to an agenda of love that many beings are holding right now. Vote for love by aligning with all beings who vote for love.
To support my own alignment, I composed an alignment prayer that follows a formula offered by a wise woman of a bygone age, Florence Scovel Shinn. (And let me here give a nod to Tosha Silver, whose excellent book Outrageous Openness made me aware of Florence's The Game of Life and How to Play It.) Here's the prayer:
If it's aligned with divine order for hate to preside over the U.S., then I offer no resistance, and I pledge to keep showing up with an agenda of love. But if it's divinely ordered for love to prevail, if love is divinely ordered, then may the hatred, bigotry, fear, and misogyny in our cultural and global atmosphere dissolve and dissipate in the face of this greater force. I align with that force to vote for love and to call forth a majority for love.
Should we be good spiritual beings and take a moment to consider the possibility of detachment from outcome?
Look, fact is, you can't force a certain outcome anyway. When you speak of what must happen or what can't possibly happen or what would automatically mean total we're-f***ed-bedlam-and-annihilation if it happened—can't you just feel the resistance in that? Don't you feel yourself go right out of alignment, right into fear? So hold your vision (hold it firmly), and keep voting for love. Keep breathing. And ... let go of the actual election results. Try out any way you see to do that—which could be by using the alignment prayer in bold above. Remember to bring it to now: you won't detach in one fell swoop forevermore. Detach right now, for now, and go in again when it's called for again, maybe in the now two seconds from this one.
I don't know about you, but I'm going to hold to love anyway, no matter what the outcome. My hold on love is imperfect but not flimsy. I know when I'm out of love and I aim to get back in as quick as I can. Part of how I do that is by minding my feeling states. So notice your own dread. Notice your tensing body parts alerting you that you're holding the outcome again with a white-knuckled grip. And from there, bring more consciousness to the breath, release your muscles, release the outcome to the powers that be, and declare again that love is the greatest power of all.
That's another thing Florence Scovel Shinn seemed to point out tirelessly: that there is only one power, the power of love. She offers this affirmations-style (she loved affirmations), and you might benefit from some that she penned. (Do what you will with the G-word in her thoughts. If you read her work, you'll see there's no rigid religion-based way that she uses it.) Check out her affirmations for the divine plan, which could support you as you anticipate the election, vote, wait for results ... and keep aligning with love.
I'm with you, and I'm drawing great solace from knowing you're with me.
Love & blessings for the U.S., for planet Earth, and for all concerned,