Is giving up excuses like letting go of a relationship? Maybe so. Rather than trying to distract yourself from your ex by diving into a new relationship and adding to your emotional baggage, what if you learned to build your life up all on its own? What if you could feel the sorrow of letting go of a dream and begin to build up new and more solid living experiences or maybe you could let go of a fear that interrupts your life and holds you back from fully experiencing the joy and vibrancy that is available in this time?
This is the time of living out loud and without excuses. I would like to say fearlessly but that isn’t accurate. You do not have to be fearless to cease, at least for the most part, letting fear define your life experiences. This is not a unique idea, we have heard the saying, “feel the fear and do it anyway” but rarely do we learn how to do this, how to stand up to the Goliath of our minds. Who would you be without this fear, how would your life be different, and in what way would you find deeper meaning and connection with life and people?
You might be wondering how to stand up to the Goliath of our minds? Say you have never ________ (held a snake, pet a dog, gone to a movie by yourself or dinner at a nice restaurant alone, thrown a party for yourself) and you have very good reason for this never __________ (snakes are terrifying and poisonous, you were bit by a dog once, everyone would look at you and wonder what was wrong with you that you were alone, parties are expensive and what if no one would show). Take a moment and think of some never that exists for you and the reason your never exists.
These are valid excuses for not doing something. They also continue to feed the fear in your mind. But what would happen if this fear didn’t exist for you? Some people share your fear and others do not. Is it important to know why this fear exists? Maybe or maybe not; knowing how Goliath came to be might not be pertinent, but cowering from Goliath is pertinent.
Oh, did I say cowering? Did I call you a coward? Does it not feel like cowardice to be afraid of snakes or dogs? You might be thinking, “TONS of people are afraid of them, they bite and kill people every year, every day in fact.”
“Is that so?”
Damn, that is that Buddhist monk/meditation stuff talking again. Of course, you can’t hear the tone in this written phrase but it is said not with a challenge or judgement or disapproving sound. It is spoken with true inquiry, “Is that so?” and this is where meditation comes in. If you have read much of my blog or know me personally, you were probably wondering when meditation would come up. I suspect there could be a drinking game where a shot is consumed every time I suggest meditation and double shots for when I say “Sit with it.” But that wouldn’t be very meditative, then, would it? Learning to sit with your thoughts and see the emotions that come up and the places in your body that get tight or have a feeling when you have those thoughts, that is the doorway to living without excuses. Learning to be mindful, to sit for 10 minutes and breathe in and recognize the thoughts and feelings and see how they can try to overtake you, see how just the thought of holding a snake makes your stomach lurch and chest get tight and head feel swirly. Notice how the feelings arise in your body even though there is no snake here and now. And let some part of you be that which notices the feelings even as the rest of you might threaten to become overtaken by these feelings. Notice how you put up resistance and practice releasing that resistance and accepting the fear into you. Accept the fear and just sit with it (double shot!).
There are many teachers to guide you specifically in the way of living without excuses. The reason there are so many is because there are so many unique ways to manifest excuses. It is like the mind can be quite savvy at hiding behind excuses, especially when they are clothed in what appears to be rationale, thus there needs to be many different ways to shine the light into those dark excuse-laden areas. There is only one light, one truth, and there are many ways of experiencing it. So try different teachers, Pema, Eckhart, Byron Katie, even your dog or cat can be great teachers as long as you are willing to be a great student. Remember back in school, late-homework-excuses never amounted to much then and they don’t now.
So, what excuse do you have that gets in the way of pursuing the dream that has been put on your heart? Are you ready to move on from your ex, ready to build up your own beautiful and wild life? Great! Now, if you will excuse me, I have some magic to go create.