Whenever you find yourself at a crossroads or blocked by an obstacle, the first, best action is non-action.
Stop, and be still.
This action allows for all the information to settle and catch up to you and where you are.
Action before you know what is best, is reaction, and is usually part of a Habit Reaction Pattern. This will generally get you more stuck or going down the wrong path.
Some people instinctively know and can see the multilevel aspect of circumstances and therefore can act quickly in emergency situations – this is not reaction but instinctive knowing action.
An Instinctive Knowing Action and a Habit Reaction are different from each other. The former feels right, but doesn’t have any fearful or emotional charge to it, the latter is emotion-laden and can feel automatic (reactive) and be linked to historical experiences.
The Instinctive knowing action feels calm and has a degree of unattached certainty; the thing that needs to be done now.
The habit reaction pattern feels like a repeat of a previous experience and the person is generally not feeling calm when they are participating in it.
The process of mindfulness actually increases the ability to instinctively know, and with practice can expand the needed space for being still while condensing the needed time for instinctive knowing action. Mindfulness increases instinctive knowing through paradigm shifting and understanding, the aha experience where everything fits into place
The more your habit is mindfulness, the greater and swifter your capacity to evaluate all the information and act instinctively.
Moving through an obstacle, an obstructive cycle or a stuck place requires the following steps.
First, stop and be still. Breathe. Center yourself, get into the present moment; Connect within while simultaneously viewing what surrounds you.
Second, look/observe and listen to the environment and your inner landscape – your sensory impressions and feelings. What immediate knowings are present. Increase your awareness, pay attention, and make note of what you see, feel, and experience.
Third, notice to what you are drawn or repelled. This is important because often in stuck situations what is required is going toward that which you fear. Using mindfulness is important here to help you ascertain whether these pulling and pushing feelings are part of a habit reaction pattern or an instinctive knowing.
When dealing with an obstacle the problem exists in the stuckness and the need to transcend, go around, or move through, where there appears to be no path. If you have the ability to discern what seems to have more energy then you can go toward that, allowing your instinctive knowing to guide you.
However, if you have a habit reaction pattern that signals fear as an emotion in response to change then be cautious in treating the fear at face value. The fear may be interpreted as stay away or a cue to move forward toward it. If it is part of a habit reaction pattern, the fear may intensify as you step forward but there may be no objective information to support the fear, there may be only emotional charge and history.
Fourth, Apply mindfulness. Mindfulness is the key to assessing this issue.
Mindfulness focuses our attention and our intention so that we can increase our own centeredness, perception, and perspective of the obstacle or stuck situation. Surprisingly it also has the effect of slowing down time by setting us in the present moment.
Let’s use commitment issues as an example for a stuck or obstructed situation.
A person has a habit reaction pattern to feel fear and run in the opposite direction or take a defensive stance when faced with a potential for committed relationship. This is a pattern imprinted in reaction to his earlier negative experiences in relationship.
The inner habit reaction equation may be something like this, commitment = self death or loss. The intensity of the equation relates to the degree of fear the person felt at that alpha relationship that created the habit reaction pattern. This equation is an oversimplified description of one previous relationship that was in some way made definitive to the person.
The equation was developed to avoid the pain that came with that relationship. The inner habit reaction keeps the person from living in the here-and-now because it takes over as soon as a risk is perceived, disallowing the opportunity for the individual to see his own behavior and responsibility in the pain caused in the earlier or any subsequent relationship.
The person feels fear and reacts as if the situation is dangerous, as if it is exactly the same, as if the past is happening in the now. This sets up the power of the habit reaction pattern and the instantaneous/automatic reaction quality. Often the individual is unaware that he is acting under the influence of a habit reaction pattern. He may feel he has great instincts but in reality he is cutting off his connection to his instinctual sensory system.
He may desire a committed relationship but because of his habit reaction pattern he finds himself continually having to survive relationships that feel dangerous, so isn’t able to participate in a committed relationship. He feels powerless to change the cycle and only feels powerful within the habit reaction pattern. He desires something that he feels powerless to attain because of the habit reaction pattern. It’s a paradigm that keeps him stuck; shifting his perspective, shifting the paradigm allows him to see his way through.
Increasing his attention and intention, placing himself in the center of the situation and re-viewing his perceptions and perspective – all mindful actions – allows for the opportunity to view the situation in the present moment unfettered by the habit reaction pattern and story of the past. It places the past in the past, and by doing so allows for a more mindful whole-istic perspective from that event to be incorporated into himself and then applied to the present situation.
This allows for the illusion of the obstacle or stuckness to shift so that the way through is presented in a clear and obvious way.
In order for the illusion of the obstacle to shift, the paradigms, perspectives, and rigid belief systems must shift to fit the actual present moment situation. This internal shifting allows for the unfettered presentation of the way through.
Mindfulness allows you to see the way.
See you tomorrow.