Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Reconciling NOW with Earth

As anyone who has stopped by here can testify, I'm a big believer in the experiential, in being fully present with whatever snippet of life happens to be transpiring right in front of your nose.

Taken to its extreme, it becomes problematic for those who also want to be proficient at getting along and getting what they want in this world.

Of course, my railings are about those at the other end of the spectrum, so focused on the "gimme gimme gimme" aspects of life-successes that they are flying by the real truths life offers in a small voice which is easily drowned out.

Balancing the BE HERE NOW mantra with the mega-successful, jet-owning, four-houses-in-prime-locations-around-the-globe aspiration that lots of people have is not a is darned close to impossible.

Here's the thing: balance starts with the assumption that one wishes to find a place in one's life where conflicting motivations can coexist. Some of us have no such wish! Halellujah, good for you, please tip your waitress generously and the valet will fetch your car for you as soon as you exit to the right. Be the monk, be the Wall Street millionaire. Your choice. Bless you and safe journey.

Others of us seek a peaceful place where these motivations can lay down arms and be calmly accepted.

It's for this audience that I'm scribing today.

Beginning the balancing process is simple. Stop judging either presence-in-now or achievement-and-acquisition as good or bad.

This is important, because no one wants to balance good and evil. I like to think of it as healthy and not. It is healthy and life-enhancing to pause and relish a rainbow. Equally, it is enjoyable to do a job well and be rewarded for it. So, there are aspects to either which are fine, healthy, enjoyable.

Take either to the extreme, and you make living among the regular folk problematic.

The next step is to recognize that balance doesn't mean stasis. It means maintaining a flow which includes yin/yang, earth and sky, NOW and GIMME. Both present, sometimes one at the fore, sometimes the other, but both clearly part of your life. Think pendulum. It swings one direction and then back the other, but the average point at which it resides is the center. It doesn't stay there (unless one allows it to stop, and that would be death, so let's not focus there for now), but it passes through that spot with great regularity.

What happens with those of us who want to live a spiritually centered life and have less desire for things and acquisition of them is that we get anxious when the pendulum swings out of the area where we are comfortable.

Exactly the same reaction occurs when the Type-A person discovers a sudden urge to let down their guard and pause to enjoy the clouds passing overhead. The pendulum has swung into foreign territory and uncertainty reigns.

Here's the secret: patience. Just wait, it will all return to where you are more comfortable.

It helps a bunch to keep this back-and-forth nature of the flow of life in mind when trying to understand and get along with folks of the other tribe. Even someone seemingly very different in their motivations and goals will, at times, be on the exact same page as you are.

Touch them then.


Lynilu said...

"Even someone seemingly very different in their motivations and goals will, at times, be on the exact same page as you are."

That describes my relationship with a friend, one I care greatly about. Bless his heart, he just can't figure me out! I am certainly not trying to confuse him, but I'm so different from people with whom he has chosen to share his life in the past, that he is often befuddled.

Finding those moments when we are on that same page is an exquisite experience. In those times, we have a lot of fun and there is a sweet closeness. And then he realizes we are in the never-never-land of compromise, and he flees back to his comfort zone in the world of controlled behaviors.

Fortunately, those moments are becoming more frequent and lasting a bit longer. I sometimes wonder why the heck I'm even hanging in there this long, but I genuinely like him and enjoy those times when we are on the same plane.

Sometimes it feels like a lot of work, and there have been other people who didn't seem worth the effort, so I let them drift away. Interesting, isn't it, Rick, that we occasionally bump into someone who seems to elicit that kind of connection, and we are willing to hang on for the bumpy ride?

Martha Giffen said...

Basically, it's nice when we can take time to smell the roses. As a typeA, I can totally relate to what you are saying. I am learning how to be "in the moment" and it is making for a much better, calmer life.

Rick Hamrick said...

Lyn--I'm convinced that the kind of person you are talking about, a person with whom we have barely enough in common to justify a friendship, comes into our lives because there is growth which will come from the relationship.

And, it's a two-way deal: your friend is in it for the growth opportunity, too!

The cool thing is, we don't have to worry ourselves with what the growth is about, as it will take place naturally. We may realize after the fact why we needed to meet the person, but it's perfectly alright if we never do.

Martha--just as you are finding the benefit of more peace in your life from slowing down now and again, I'm learning that it is fun to press the pedal all the way to the floor and go full out.

I don't have to wonder if I'll be able to slow down after going full speed. My natural tendency is to move at a more-relaxed pace. It's something to learn because it is necessary sometimes to give it all you've got, and because it is a balancing aspect to my relaxed nature.

Sheila said...

I just have to chime in here.

There are two rules for happy living.

Don't give somebody something they can't have.


Be willing to have anything.

Sheila said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Angela said...

Wonderful post, Rick. I'm enjoying reading back now that I'm back on-line.