The Gift of Limitation

“It is amazing what can happen if you force yourself into a limitation.”
Iris Scott, Fingerpaint Master in 60 sec docs

Life can seem like a series of limitations.  We often don’t have what we think we need or want.  (Notice the word *think.*)

But, as it turns out, what we have is exactly . . . what we need.  Because we have it.  In the moment, we can perceive something as a limitation, or we can become friends with it – stop fighting against it.  This is the only way to find peace.  Because peace happens in the moment and no where else.

We can either let go and fall in love with what’s in front of us, or not.  “Forcing ourselves into a limitation” is another way of saying “let go,” or “accept what is.”

The gift of limitation can turn out to be peace and/or joy in the moment.

Sometimes being backed into a corner, or up against a wall, also yields great creativity and inspiration.  If we let it.

 

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Why “Giving Up” is a Good Strategy

We all deal with difficult circumstances at some point in life. Money woes, relationship trials, career dilemmas, health issues; the list is long and all too familiar.

What this post aims to address is why giving up the internal (psychological) struggle is worth it.

What’s the Problem?

If everyone experiences challenges, then what’s the real problem here? If our circumstances and stories are played out over and over and over across history (because, let’s admit, there is nothing happening to you or me that hasn’t already happened a million times to a million different people), then why struggle with them?

Why continue to suffer when the story is so utterly stale and boring? It doesn’t make sense! I don’t know about you, but I only watch a great movie 2 or 3 times. After that, I’m cool. Got it, moving on. Right?

Why do we humans keep playing out the same old stories over and over again? Why do we continue to struggle when the story of struggle is SO yesterday’s news? Isn’t there something else to do down here on planet earth to do?

(Take this moment as an opportunity to admit that most of us put up a mental fight with our circumstances most of the time. It’s the normal way of the world.)

Here’s one, small example of how we get stuck in our own mental struggles:
Ask yourself – I am reeeeeallly the only one who has ever gone through this particular situation? (ie, “this problem”)

Then ask yourself:

Can you absolutely know that that’s true?
And how alone and stuck and tired does that make you feel to think that way?
What kind of awesome would you feel if you could let that “problem” go?
Who would you connect with?
What ideas and solutions would you discover if you could “give up” the idea that you are suffering alone?

Sometimes I think that the only real problem is the psychological struggle we humans put up against . . . oh, you know . . . everything and anything. You name it, we will find a way to struggle through it. Even the “good” stuff!

Which is why I think “giving up” is a good strategy for getting through life.

Surrender

Most spiritual disciplines extol the virtues of surrender. Why is this? And what do they mean by surrender? Why is surrender such a key element in major spiritual practices? Is it because psychological and emotional surrender is the only place we can truly experience peace? Why do we need to experience peace?

These are big questions with answers that can only be found inside yourself.

You could say, however, that surrendering to the circumstance at hand is a lovely place to start dealing with any “problem.”

You could say “giving up” is the open field of sunshiny freedom where truly creative solutions and wisdom frolic about and beg us to dance.

That’s a lot to digest. So, take a smoke break here if you need it.

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Time and Healing the Voice

When I was cleaning my office the other day, I found a fortune.

You know, one of those little white slips of paper that we all look forward to inside a Chinese fortune cookie?  It was under a chair, and looked as if it had never been touched let alone folded inside a cookie.  Strange.  How did THAT get THERE?

It read: “Time heals all wounds.  Keep your chin up.”

Because this little piece of paper was a random fortune found under a random chair, it got my attention.  I have been thinking about time and healing for weeks now.

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Facing Pain, The Greatest Teacher of All

#howthelightgetsin

“Most of us do not take these situations as teachings. We automatically hate them. We run like crazy. We use all kinds of ways to escape — all addictions stem from this moment when we meet our edge and we just can’t stand it. We feel we have to soften it, pad it with something, and we become addicted to whatever it is that seems to ease the pain.”
Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heartfelt Advice for Hard Times

There are a lot of books out there dedicated to the subject of managing pain.  Psychological pain, I mean.

One of my favorite authors on the subject is Pema Chodron.  She was a huge part of my healing after divorce and through finally reckoning with the reality of my life.  Pema isn’t afraid of pain.  She reminds us that painful situations are not the problem.  Our thoughts and beliefs are.

One of my preternatural gifts is the ability to face horrific emotional pain, learn from it, and move on.  That’s also what I enjoy most about my work – helping others face feelings that seem insurmountable.  Although, lately I’ve been deeply challenged by this little thing called life and have had moments where I wasn’t so sure I could keep going.  (My reason for wanting to write about this subject.)

Life feels like a lot of work. Because it is.

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How to Get S**t Done and Feel Good About It

“Done is better than great.”
~Dr. K. Sherrod

I’ve been running on this idea that “done is better than good” ever since reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.  (Please reference my Big Magic posts if you haven’t already.  Her ideas liberate the creative mind.)

I’m upgrading “done is better than good” to “done is better than great”.  Because, and let me be totally vulnerable with you, I have spent most of my life shooting for GRRREAT which has stopped me from completing many, many creative projects.  If you set a goal of P.E.R.F.E.C.T. then you’re liable to 1) give up in a heap of tears and shame 2) flitter around in fits of avoidance and business (read: busy-ness) or 3) just keep working and working and working and working and working and never get jack s**t actually accomplished.  Bottom line, you never hit the “finished” line.

Again, let’s remember: done is better than great.  Dr. Sherrod might go a step further and say that “good enough” is indeed good enough.  I personally love how saying “good enough” feels!

Please be aware, I’m not advocating for crappy work.  There are few people out there who take the above concepts a bit far and produce work that deserves a few more minutes of attention.  (Just a few, dude, pleeeeease just 10 more minutes of your time.)  And let’s face it, there will be people who say the same thing about this post too. So be it.  At least it will get published or to it’s finished line.

What’s the point of all this “good enough” talk?

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