Sunday, May 29, 2016

I Choose... the Pause (Part One)

I Choose… The Pause (Part One)

Hi everyone!

Yesterday was Day #1 of a bit of a challenge that I’ve set for myself for the next 30 days.

It’s been a couple of months since I’ve actually felt physically well, so I decided last week that I would do a 30 day “life cleanse.” This involves three very specific things.
  • First, a deliberate choice to change my food choices (pretty drastically). This was originally all I was going to do, specifically for health reasons. But then I thought, if I'm going to do something that feels this big to me (no chocolate. no sugar. no wheat. minimal dairy. this is a big deal for me.), why not go even bigger? Which brought me to the next two...
  • Second, a “Facebook Fast,” which means no Facebook activity, other than two posts each week that I am committed to and that people count on.
  • Third, no television. This includes YouTube, Netflix and DVD’s, too, which is going to be my challenge, because I don’t actually watch that much television, but I’m usually on Netflix all day long when I’m at work.

Basically, for these 30 days I am removing those things that only serve as distractions—those things that keep me from making the changes in my life that are necessary for my own physical and emotional well-being, and my spiritual expansion and fuller expression (i.e. “personal growth”). I am taking a break from those things that keep me from knowing my own self as deeply as I’d like to.

And—oh what a coincidence—it just so happens that the last day of this experiment/experience will be June 26th, which is the 16-year anniversary of the day I left Portland—and my domestic violence life—behind me in favor of a new way of living. I did not plan this timing, which is why it feels significant to me.

Those two days that I spent on the Greyhound bus, moving forward into a Grand Unknown, served as a big, significant “pause” for me, back then. In fact, it wasn’t just a “pause.” It was also a pivot-point. I spent those two days observing my own behavior, very aware of every single choice I was making, and getting to know a “me” that I had never recognized in myself before.

I did not try to control ANY aspect of that experience, except for the choices I was making in each and every moment. And this was actually pretty easy to do, because I had taken myself completely out of the familiar, and placed myself in a position in which I had no idea what was going to happen next because I was so far outside the realm of anything I had ever experienced before. In that, I found that I could clearly see the kinds of choices that I would “normally” (habitually, by default) make out of fear, and I was able to deliberately choose something other than that.

I stood in that “pause,” in that “space between the notes,” in the “turning of the page” moment, which contains no content, and I paid attention to the choices that my habits of thinking would try to make. In that pause, I discovered that I could leave what was past, in the past. I would change the tune. I would write a different story. Even when "what was past" was something that had just happened five seconds before.

I would make a new choice, based on what I wanted the “new me” to be like.

During that experience, I did my best to be both patient and compassionate with myself, recognizing that the discomfort of that Grand Unknown was an amazing Gift that I had given to myself, and that how I chose to handle every single challenge was completely up to me.

This month, I will be doing this exact thing. Back then, I had no agenda except to learn who I really was and to move forward from there. The same is true in this new adventure, the biggest difference being that back then my actual life was at risk. This time around the only thing at risk is my comfort zone, my habitual ways of being that keep me living a “same shit different day” kind of life and that don’t allow for anything new or expansive to happen.

Because this is a 30-day thing, and because day 30 happens to be a Sunday, I figure I’ll just make it a five-part series, just for fun. :-)
I Choose… the Pause (Part One)

This week as I remove major "habits of distraction" from my life, I stand in compassion for, and non-judgment of, myself as I breathe my way through the discomfort and deliberately notice the choices that want to be made purely out of habit, and purely for the purpose of remaining comfortable and safe (and small). I stand at the edge of the void before me, and I simply be willing to let things be as they are for now. I choose to trust this beginning phase of the Pause.

I’m not going to ask you to join me in something this drastic (unless, of course, you feel Called to). I do suggest, though, that you do some version of it, whatever that means to you…

For me, this “same shit different day” life is definitely being shaken up in a big way. What is one thing you could do to give yourself your own gift of a little bit of chaos?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, so please do respond if you’d like to!

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