How are you? Happy? Sad? Distraught? The question can be far more insightful than we realize. I chewed on this for days hiking through the Shailung region of Nepal last spring. The question of “How” is more than just about a current emotional state, “How” also refers to a quality of being. Maybe the better question is, How are you in life? Now the inquisition is far more probing into what kind of person are you. If we are more reflective on the manner in which life is met with, then all is revealed.
I have observed that, in general, its either intentional or reactionary, methods to dealing with life. Being reactionary, with an emotional knee jerk is most common. How often have you heard or even said, “It’s just the way I am!” Well, of course you “are” that “way”, because the emotional trauma has control over how you react, it is the decision maker in all aspects of your life, not you. For the true “You” to be in control you must be intentional with life. Like an artist is intentional with each brush stroke, as an author is intentional with each key stroke for every letter of every word. Living an intentional life requires a commanding grasp of the self. An intentional life, is one of awareness, that brings clarity and freedom. The key to an intentional life is understanding the choices we make, understanding what influences our choices.
“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct you and you will call it fate.” C. Jung.
Making the unconscious conscious is necessary to be in control of your life. The first step is clearing the muck of emotional quagmire from the lenses of perception. It is easy for the past to color our interpretations of what is happening, to and around, us. A true tell tale that our interpretation of circumstance is off is when we take things personally. Feelings of personal vendettas, victimhood, “why me” are clear indicators that emotional trauma is directing the way through life, not the true self. The cultivation of an Objective Self Observer is key to understanding the nature of one’s reactions. The “OSO” is the bedrock of the self, and is at it’s strongest when centered. When emotional trauma is triggered, there is no commanding grasp of life, all motivation is focused on “soothing” the beast of emotional trauma, self medicating becomes the priority, just to shut the beast up!
Growth can be painful and your comfort will kill you. The process of moving out of old reactionary patterns to conscious intentional action is precarious at best. Discerning the pain from the past, when we are triggered, or discomfort from the present, when we navigate new waters, is no easy task. At times it’s easy to feel as if your damned if you do and damned if you don’t. But, the honest answer is that after breaking new ground, keeping the “OSO” in place, the new waters become familiar. Staying in the “comfort zone” will lead to more suffering. Being intentional is necessary during this phase, the danger is reverting back into old patters for comfort, to mitigate the pain from growth. If one is not clear about what that pain is about, one can easily be masked as for the other.
A gentle discipline of meditation is essential to cultivating an OSO. If the mind is like a pond, and the daily activities and stresses of life muddy the waters of perception, how can anyone be clear about their choices? Sitting in stillness or observing nature without thought or judgment stills the mind. The mind is like a mirror that all circumstance is reflected upon, to keep the mirror clear, stillness of the mind is necessary. Only then can living an empowered intentional life be maintained.
If you are interested in how to make your OSO stronger and more effective, please make an appointment. Thank you, take care and stay Chi-full!