What is the core of your life? What is it that gets you up in the morning? The real bare bones when you strip it all away. Whatever came to you just now, strip that layer away. Go deeper. Your idea of the perfect life. Your dream for a better future. Your belief that there is some time when all those things you think are supposed to align actually do. The story that you will see the person you talked to today again tomorrow. The myth that there is anything you are in control of external to you. Death as an advisor. What are you choosing?
In response to this story I often hear that it is a morbid and depressing perspective. I find it hard to not hear the truth in any story recently so I can admit to the dark nature of such thoughts. I tried to look away from them and not listen. But their underlying truth kept slapping me in the face until I had the courage to observe. Observation is the eye of awareness and it is with such a gaze that I can integrate death into my life. For life is the other half with which we balance the knowing of death. I must depersonalize and admit to having fearful thoughts if I am to integrate and release them.
The scarcity mindset of time emerges from the act of counting, labelling, and numbering time. We might feel rushed, always busy, or like we are counting down until some time in the future. This includes checking time or thinking about it. Timelessness feels much more at ease and requires that one releases their hold on the clock. Don’t worry, it’s all on time. The only moment is now and it is absolutely abundant. Release the stresses of time. Give yourself permission to just. Find stillness. You are never missing anything.
Integration brings new awareness at a higher level of both complexity and simplicity. Merging paradoxes and half truths. Letting the awareness of the potential for anything in your life to change at any moment dance with the knowing that your time is eternally abundant. Honor your Self right here and right now. I know it can be scary to choose yourself. Who knows where you will end up. The beautiful part is that you will always find balance when you choose yourself because when you do you are saying yes to the now. And now is the only place you will ever find what you are seeking.
When I opened to observing all that I could, I saw extremes. I am the student who crams like crazy for weeks, really wanting to be outside, binge drinking to near death when classes are out. I am the worker with two jobs and a list of things he would rather be doing, partying on a short vacation until his body is incapacitated. I am the dieter celebrating an exertion of willpower into health with a junk food binge. I am the closet rebel who quietly indulges in guilty pleasures behind closed blinds. I am the partner who thinks of sleeping with every attractive person because I don’t feel free. I am free. You are free.
Feel your freedom in the present moment. Own your choice. Release the victim mentality of casting blame externally. There is no such thing. It’s all you. Including that person you are interfacing with. Now what do you choose? Observe the immediate consequences and trust yourself. What do you need to do/say/be/think/feel/hear/etc to remember your inner peace? Do you feel justified in your choices because you think you deserve them due to some past sacrifice? If that sacrifice was something you did not really want to be doing, it is likely you are experiencing behaviour extremes. Bouncing in and out of “work mode” and “vacation mode”.
Work and Vacation Mindset
These are two “modes” that I was operating from for many years and both likely started sometime when my schooling did. My time was dichotomized. Over time my distain for work mode grew while my enjoyment of vacation mode intensified. As I felt more tired, unfulfilled, and uninterested in work mode (this includes things anything that I wasn’t enjoying, not just work), the vacation mode captured more of my attention and focus. How could I be present at work when I am counting down the days until that party on the weekend? A little over a year ago I took the plunge into the total freedom of time – absolutely no commitments, no responsibilities, no schedule, no appointments – an external environment of timelessness in which to practice and integrate the feeling within. This is when I really began noticing the two “modes” operating within me.
Fully immersed into “vacation mode”, I began to notice its thought patterns. “Go ahead, indulge in that sweet treat, you’re on vacation!”. “Sure, crack another beer, it’s a holiday today!”. The list goes on. I also became aware of how often I used “time” as a scapegoat (external force) for what I was choosing to do. “I can’t go to that thing, I have this other thing going on”. Well, you could. When I had no schedule or place to be at any particular time, I became highly aware that I was choosing where I was at every moment. If I was turning down an opportunity, it was because I was choosing to. Freedom was something I always had for it can never be taken away. We give it away with our words. Thankfully, we only need our words to remember it again. No more victimization.
Observing the Observer
Much of my experimenting over this last spin around the sun has been involving the integration of these two perspectives; the work and vacation modes – the scarcity and abundance of time. As I move into greater alignment with the unification of these supposedly extreme behaviour choice attitudes, I am more empowered to make different choices, which often result in less extreme experience fluxuations (think of a rollercoaster and the track is just little tiny ups and downs).
I am on vacation and can always choose to celebrate. I am also working and can choose to do work that I enjoy so my focus is on the present process. I might not be alive tomorrow but I balance that with the gratefulness of the gift of today and the abundance of life in which I am always immersed and a complete part of. I am able to honour my body with its present moment feedback and make choices that reflect greater alignment with self care. You are never missing anything if you are present with where you are now. There is never nothing happening.
But that is just a story…