The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism remind us that all suffering comes from resisting what is, having an attachment to needing something different. In Pema Chodron’s book, “Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears,” states, “We have absolutely no tolerance for uncertainty.”
Yet, life is constantly in flux. Nothing remains the same. Therefore, mighten we significantly lessen our suffering by increasing our tolerance for ebb and flow, unpredictable actions of others and whatever we consider problematic?
Ah, but easier said than done? Indeed. And worth every moment of practice.
My recent practice involves noticing my most minute and huge mood shifts and reactions to my interactions with others. The moment I feel even the slightest tension within me in response to a conversation with someone, I take a pause.
I then allow myself to become aware of what’s causing the tension: I didn’t like feeling ignored, I feel “less-than” as I listen to someone else’s success, I feel fear . . . . whatever energy, thought or feeling seems to be causing me even the slightest suffering. I then simply breathe and allow the energy, thought or feeling to be.
Instead of causing myself tension around feeling ignored, thinking I’m “less than” or feeling fear, I simply notice the energy, thoughts or feelings. When I can give myself a bit of time and breath around the tension, then the tension simply dissipates because I’ve made a conscious choice to allow and accept, rather than resist.
And then, I don’t spend the next hour, day or lifetime taking action from feeling ignored, “less than” or afraid AND the tension of not wanting to feel that way!
Care to join me in this life-affirming practice?
Feel free to post your comments . . .
I skipped out on writing a Sacred Space Notebook ezine last week so that I could enjoy a little personal sacred space. Uncharacteristic of me, I did it spontaneously. Normally, I like to plan retreat time.
This one called me. I could have ignored the call and powered through, but I decided that at the very least it would be a good experiment, and I’d be less attached to doing things in a rigid structure because I am “suppose to.”
And, early reports are good. No readers died without me. Very few unsubscribed! As for me, the freedom felt so delicious, that I am now doing the first hour or two of my work every day in my big office, the 330 acres of park two blocks from my little office!
With all of this wonderful space – both time and acreage – I need a bigger notebook to capture all my creativity. I’m not only recharged, I’m on fire! And now, fanning the flames daily in the open air, or at least with the car window rolled down . . .
Amazingly, by choosing to skip writing one article, I’ve since written several pieces. And, I have new ideas for articles, talks and an ebook, I coached my clients more deeply and I had three conversations in one day with potential new clients – two of them spontaneously!
Ahhhhhhhh . . . the power of a little bit of breathing room . . .
Care to join me in this delicious and effective business-building strategy?
Feel free to post your response in the comments . . .
Last week, we talked about becoming willing to step past the fear of real conversations with potential clients and not taking a “no” as personal rejection, but rather as practical information.
By focusing our conversations on what’s most important to our potential clients, we more consistently relax about the conversation AND make it easy for them to become clients.
So, how do we know what’s most important to them?
We ask directly. For example, since one of my primary focuses involves helping my coaching clients attract more clients, I will often ask in an initial conversation something like, “So, tell me a bit about your biggest challenge in attracting clients. And, what is working best for bringing in new clients?”
If you are a career coach, you may ask something as simple as, “What's going well in your job search? What have you found most frustrating about finding your ideal job?” If you’re a health coach, you might open a conversation with, “What's your strongest habit for keeping yourself healthy? What keeps you awake at night right now about your health?”
Then once you move into the meat of the conversation, you can continue to ask clarifying questions like, “So, I hear you saying that plenty of people ask about working with you and few hire you. If we could put a structure in place to help them know the value of working with you, how valuable would that be for you?”
As you listen both on the surface and deeply, you cannot also at the same time feel self-conscious about whether or not you can “get this person as a client.” And, you will clearly hear their situation and know if you are the best person to help them and specifically how you could help them – it truly is that easy!
Try it out! Use this approach for yourself and feel free to share your results in the comments.