So much of our lives are about doing things.
We get up in the morning and even before we’ve had a chance to wash our faces, we have turned our phones on, checked emails, maybe spent a few minutes reading inspirational (or not so inspirational) news, perhaps we fed our cats and dogs …etc.
By the time we are having coffee, we have completed a tremendous amount of tasks and are bound to spend the rest of our days performing a million others.
I like to invite you to take a deep breath, right now, and remind yourself that you are a human-being not a human-doer.
I like to invite you to ponder on the following question: What if I could spend just a few minutes at a time, every day, being what I wish to be, instead of doing a lot of things I wish I did not have to do? What would my days look like?
“In the absence of clearly defined goals we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until we ultimately become enslaved by it.”
~ Robert Heinlein
Who wants that? No one. We all want to live a fulfilling life, filled with activities we have purposefully placed on our calendars. Ideally, the trivial tasks, such as washing the dishes, going to the doctor for a general check-up and doing laundry should not set the stage for our days.
These tasks, I would suggest, should fit in between the activities that matter most to us. To create a shift on how we perform our day-to-day activities starts with our ability to re-frame the way we ask questions. In order to do that, we must change how we frame our own sense of self, our being-ness.
When I tell my clients that I am not interested in their to-do lists, at least not initially, it is because I have learned that unless we can become the person in our vision in the present moment, chances are that a whole lot of doing will not create the permanent pathways necessary for our growth.
Whether the specific dream is a loving relationship or to become debt free, before taking on action steps I suggest we become familiar with the feeling tone of the person we will be when that is manifested.
You simply cannot be an irritable and angry person and attract and maintain a loving relationship. You cannot be careless and ungrateful and have a great sense of freedom around finance. Our being-ness is the gateway for taking our dreams from a state of ideas to a physical state of reality; being can be done while we are sitting at our couches.
This is what I call the new age couch potato.
In this version of couch potato, what may look like lazy idling is in fact a time to practice our mind shifting for the new, transformed self to emerge through us. When rockets are sent to outer space, they often get off the correct track and have to be constantly brought back into alignment in order to reach the desired location and stay in orbit in the desired pattern.
With our being-ness, it is the exact same process. We may be sitting at our most comfortable love chair and we can, from where we are, shift courses in small increments in our thinking to get us to our final destination. If I catch myself being anything other than what I hope to create, my dream, I take a chance to reconnect. This process is what I meant by saying we must re-frame our thinking—changing the frame of reference from our current self-image, to a place of openness and endless possibilities.
I went a Dharma (Sanskrit, the law that regulates the order of the universe) talk and meditation class a few days ago.
The teacher spoke of the mini karmic cycles that we create everyday when we let our thoughts get off track. She was speaking of stories we create about something past and the projection we create with the story. If the idea is to stay present and to be creative so that we can receive the gifts of our dreams, than we must teach ourselves to stop this day-to-day karmic cycles. The shift is small, but the ripple effect tremendous.
Some of the most brilliant minds to have walked our world, including Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison, took the time to reflect. In fact, Einstein is known to have suggested that if he were only given 60 minutes to save the world, he would spent 55 minutes defining the problem—thinking up the question, and only five solving it.
To re-frame a question is to give yourself time to look at the problem from a number of angles.
You may have heard the saying: The quality of our lives is in proportion to the quality of the questions we ask. This is likely what Einstein was referring to. In his biography, he writes of long walks he would take while thinking up the problem. He would be so entranced with the question that he would often times find himself lost, not knowing where he was or how he ended up there.
You and I can do that too, even if the problem we may be trying to solve does not involve the linearity of time and space.
Thomas Edison would travel to what he called the “land of the solution.”Many thought this referred to Edison’s daily cat-naps. He was not napping. In fact, he was meditating on a question, not unlike Einstein, but doing so with his eyes closed, in his favorite rocking chair. This was his version of couch potato.
The practice of being still is not only good to exercise our ability to stay focused, but perhaps to stay with (instead of running away from) our feelings.
This practice, of sitting at our couch—not zoning out on television, food, pot or alcohol—but simply quietly imagining the exact life we wish to create. This practice creates a forward momentum in our lives and allows us to create a schedule that is not a collection of disconnected to-dos, but a single string of activities that reflect our desire to be the person we wish to be.
Like Mr. A. Einstein and Mr. T. Edison, we can use this time of quiet relaxation on our comfortable couch (or rocking chairs) to help us get clarity on a big question that will help us get closer to our dreams. In quiet silence, we can immerse ourselves in our vision and connect to the matter around us.
This invisible stuff that is filled with energy is the greater intelligence where all of our answers lie.
I have heard Bob Proctor teach that there are no questions without answers; that a rhetorical question is simply just not possible. There is our lack of awareness, of our consciousness of the answer. Not very long ago, for instance, we did not think that there was an answer to flying.
It took the Wright brothers to crack the code and create the first airplane, but the answers were in fact always here. So, what if we could immerse ourselves with a question and just imagine the possibility that the answer exists and all we have to do is become immensely curious and faithfully open for the answer to surface on our own conscious mind.
I am often asked how is it that I get so much done.
My answer is: I spend time creating patterns so that by the time I get up and do something, I have already determined the experience of that action in my imagination. So in fact, a lot of my doing happens while I am sitting on my comfortable couch, petting my dog, perhaps listening to recordings or reading books; but often times, just simply, imagining life as I wish it to be and my being-ness in that life.
It may look like I am doing nothing, but I am creating more than most people who are very busy—I am asking big questions to take myself closer to my vision.
The world cares about results, not being busy, so look at your results. If you are doing a lot but accomplishing little, take a pause and sit at your couch to reflect upon the course you are in and the course that you wish you were in.
How can you make the shift so that your rocket is back on track?
In my hours on my couch, I have created some of my most profitable, deeply rewarding ideas and ultimately my most successful results. I cherish my couch time. When I am not actively trying to do anything other than to stay with my vision and my dreams.
If this is not a practice you already enjoy, you can start in small increments. If you sit at your couch daily, perhaps you may wish to replace some of the television time with the quiet thinking time. Learn to ask big questions, learn to re-frame your thinking and to be the person in your dreams.
Ten minutes here and there, will slowly replace hundreds of hours of tasks that are not driving your life-rocket to the vision you have of your own final destination. Try it out!
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Asst. Ed: Meagan Edmondson/Ed: Bryonie Wise