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WW #030: The painful dichotomy

This week, we’re going to the dark side…

We’re talking about the part of the work where it might be necessary to channel your inner Cognitive Contortionist (yes I just made that up).

The truth is, there is a lot of hard stuff happening in the world, and inside many of our lives. Many of us are wanting, craving, yearning, hoping or praying for our reality to be different. Or maybe we’re not, but we’re resentful about it on the inside.

Can you think of some specific examples relating to the circumstances in your own life?

You have what you have. But what you want, you don’t have.

In this setup we have what we want playing off against what we have.

That’s a dichotomy (...I am going to suggest it’s a false one, which I’ll get to). It’s painful to reside in this space of not having.

Worse yet, living in a set of circumstances and wanting it to be different is an almost sure way to slow down our progress into what we desire for ourselves and our lives, because an enormous amount of energy is leaking out as a result of the resistance we have to what is.

This mechanism is not some metaphysical abstraction shrouded in mysticism.

It’s physics.

Just like the only way a Tesla battery charges while driving is when we’re braking, i.e. resistance. Except, unlike the Tesla battery, our energy is not usually captured and stored for later use.

It’s escaped the system and no longer ours to invest.

To simplify this idea, let us say that our judgement of our current circumstances is what creates the resistance.

judgement = resistance = braking

Want to go faster?

Don’t brake.

No judgement, no resistance, no braking.

I’m not saying you have to love where you are. But I’m going to invite you to consider, as I have before, that where you are right now is exactly where you need to be. This is an invitation into neutrality.

As Byron Katie famously said:

“When you argue with reality, you lose, but only 100% of the time.”

Release your judgments over the circumstances being bad, or wrong, or not okay.

Release your brakes.

Take that energy, and choose to put it toward endeavours productive to the outcomes you desire.

That doesn’t mean it’s not okay to feel angry or betrayed or let down or hard done by. All emotions are valid signals from our inner world. You have a set of circumstances which likely elicited an emotional response which gets to inform the actions you take as you move forward.

Learn to feel your emotions, acknowledge them, let the energy pass (or even allow them to fill you up if you want to step into Cognitive Ninja mode!). Then move on.

If you can’t do that on your own, maybe a friend, a partner, or someone in the helping professions can support you with that. We can learn this at any stage in our lives.

Let’s come back to the reality.

You have what you have.

You are where you are.

If that’s a difficult space to be in, I have oceans of compassion for you.

And what I also have, is a firm belief in your power to shift your circumstances. I believe that can happen more swiftly for you if you choose to be exactly where you are, and start from there.

When you can accept that, you can also accept that you are no longer trapped in a dichotomy.

I say it simply. I know, it’s not easy. But I also know you can do it, because in my work I get to witness this often, including in the lives of people who promise me it’s not possible.

I have unwavering faith in your ability to find your inner resources and step into personal leadership.

…feeling brave?

Drop me a note here and share with me what you’re deciding to be okay with today, so that you can lead yourself out of it with more energy and more intention and more love.

Walking the path with you,

TL;DR - Accept your current circumstances as they are and reclaim the energy and personal power needed to support your growth beyond those circumstances. “True success is peace in the face of anything.” - Peter Crone

P.S. I’m excited to be in planning mode for 2023, and I would love to hear from you about what is most useful to support YOUR personal development. Which topics would you like me to share more about? Would you like more tools, stories, exercises, video content, live workshops? I consider you part of my community and I want to make it as meaningful and useful for you as possible.

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Feeling called a little deeper into the personal development realm? Here are some ways I can help:

  1. A close cousin of of dichotomous thinking is either or thinking. Read my earlier edition of Wellness Wednesday on Either/or or both/and if you'd like to learn more.

  2. Are you looking for personal support as you go through a life transition, plan for something new, or decide once and for all to change the relationship you have with yourself? Apply for a 1:1 Power Hour session with me where we can explore the possibilities of working together. I'm now taking consultations for start dates in 2023.

  3. Are we connected on LinkedIn? I share regular content there and open some really interesting conversations with my community. Will you join us?


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