December 15, 2017

How “No Big Deal” can help us Stop Self-Sabotaging our Lives.

Over Thanksgiving, while waiting for lights to turn green, I read an article by one of my good friends, Ari Moshe Wolfe, an evolutionary astrologist and intuitive guide.

Though I usually find his writings profound, this particular one struck me deeper than usual.

The message: NBD—It’s “no big deal.”

I’m what we might call a peak-experience chaser. I’ve run from the mundane, continuously, for the past two decades.

I’ve worked over 50 jobs, visited over 20 countries, hiked many of the national parks in the United States and lived abroad. I’ve also run from anything that smells of the ordinary, particularly full-time jobs.

But there’s a hidden cost to chasing the peak experiences: disappointment.

What goes up, must come down. In comparison to the “peaks,” everything else is a valley: boring, banal, ordinary.

(Ordinary might as well be a four-letter word in my vocabulary.)

The problem becomes, when finally catching up to the extraordinary—a peak experience, or some realized fantasy—I make it such a big deal that it sometimes ruins it.

This occurs most often when meeting (okay, ogling) a woman that fits my fantasy: dark features, slender build, incredible smile, artful way of moving through the world.

She’s like a hidden gem, so when I see her walking down the produce aisle at Trader Joe’s, I’m not able to be myself.

I’ve spent so much mental energy making her into a very big deal that when I do meet her, my brain circuitry is instantaneously fried.

The power of NBD as a practice, is that it helps us, as Ari says, to stay grounded when we do find ourselves reaching our limit.

So, today, while meditating, I tried it.

It was amazing to watch/witness the process unfold. Usually, I sit there and after my mind wanders off completely, I wake up, as it were, and bring my focus back to my body, my breath, the here and now.

A few minutes later, it happens.

What is it, you ask?


The promised land of every amateur meditator; a state of bliss when everything, all the chaotic voices in our head, dies down, and all that’s left is the incredible, perfect, unencumbered now.

Yes, I know you’re not supposed to “grasp” or be attached to results while meditating. But I can’t help it! When I get there, naturally all I want to do is stay there.

But you can probably see the problem, can’t you? It messes the whole thing up! Now, instead of being present, I’m in my head, thinking, I’m doing it! But then anxiety and fear roll in. I’m in my mind thinking about how to stay here, worried about losing here, instead of actually being…here.

Then, I’m not here anymore. I’ve lost here.

Can you feel the pain?

It’s rooted in an attachment to an outcome: a peak experience.

Today, however, when I hit that state during meditation, I just kept repeating, “no big deal.”

Now don’t get me wrong. I still believe it’s a big deal. Just like when I meet my next fantasy woman in Trader Joe’s, I’ll still believe it’s a big deal.

But this newfound realization of my tendency to turn desired outcomes into a big deal, and how it mucks up getting what I really want, actually creates some space for me to choose otherwise.

I can now use it as a mantra, if you will.

My blog just went viral!

No big deal.

Huffington Post just published my piece!

No big deal.

My Tinder crush wrote back!

No big deal.

You got a callback for a huge acting role!

No big deal.

The client wants to hire you for a big corporate speaking gig!

No big deal.

He wants to take you to Hawaii!

No big deal.

You found your dream house!

No big deal.

You see, just realizing when we’re making something a big deal is enough. Consciousness is key. It gives us an opportunity to get a little ground under our feet and not float away.

No big deal.

Try it. Notice when you’re making anything in your life a big deal, and say it with your inside voice. Or you can be totally cavalier about it:

Pssshhh, no big deal.

My guess is that your experience of self-sabotaging will go way down, while a feeling of being grounded in a deep sense of inner peace will produce more favorable results.




Author: Alex Obed
Image: Giphy
Editor: Travis May
Copy Editor: Callie Rushton
Social Editor: Lindsey Block


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