Friday, May 11, 2007

More play, less distraction

Sounds unusual, but I propose more playfulness!

There is nothing I hold more important than awareness of "the problem" whatever the problem might be. I am a huge proponent of practical realism. Taking time to understand what is going on in my own life both in external circumstance and internal mental geography is my ongoing passion and lifelong quest. I practice and teach taichi in order to study myself, my tensions, my reactions to stress, and hopefully help others to do the same. I write morning pages every day. I take classes that challenge my thought patterns and habits. And I contemplate a great deal whenever I have time between patients and classes... Sounds so serious, doesn't it?

Distraction and entertainment take us away from our problems. All sorts of activities can be used in this way: overwork, late-night parties, sex, video games, surfing the internet, overeating, a great deal of academic study... We can summarize by using the word addiction.

We use these addictions to escape - to run away from what we perceive to be difficult. Maybe it is a situation we are running away from; ultimately we are running away from ourselves: our fears, our hurts, our disappointments and our pain.

How can you find a solution to a problem without knowing what the problem is? Most of us don't even realize we have a problem to solve! If we don't solve the problem, it turns out that we end up in the same situation over and over again: maybe different people involved, maybe different circumstances: but the same emotion again, the same stuck place. If you don't know what I am talking about, wait another decade of life... you will see what I mean. Simply putting off solving the problem means that the problem doesn't go away, just revisits in other guises, or gets worse.

Becoming aware of these places and accepting them is the first and most important step in transforming them. Trust that you are strong enough to face your fears, your hurts. Sit with the problem, or share it with someone wise that you trust.

At first it will seem that you are not the right person for the job: the problem is too big or too scary. With some patience, you will learn how to unlock this scary place, defuse its power over you. And in that moment, you are empowered to be creative.

Creativity is your birthright. It is the godhead within. It is your partnership with the divine. You are amazingly creative, it is you that created the difficulties for yourself and it is you that can solve them.

When creativity is unleashed in this way, it doesn't stop at solving problems! That's just a reactive role: no, now it takes on an active role! You find that you start manifesting your deepest aspirations, that you start to create the life you want, rather than wait for it to happen. You take the bull by the horns more and more fearlessly: indeed after a while the alternative of not grabbing the bull doesn't even present itself!

And therein lies the playfulness.

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