I remember when I saw Captain Kangaroo at CNN a few years ago. I had dropped in for a client lunch and he was making an appearance on one of their shows. My client shared with me how he had made a company-wide, good morning broadcast on their voicemails. What a special treat.
My mouth fell open when I saw him just two tables away. I might as well have been looking at the real Santa Claus. Captain Kangaroo had been one of my childhood heroes and my heart swooned just a bit when I saw him. To me, he had represented all that was kind and good in the world, and just for a moment I longed to return to those simple times when I thought everything was perfect and the future promised more of the same.
Remembering this experience reminds me how our minds tend to paint yesteryear more favorably than it probably was. If we're thinking of old relationships or just an era of our lives, our minds tend to edit out some of the factors that motivated us to move forward.
After living a certain amount of life it can become too easy to resist what's next, to shy away from risk, and to long for simpler times when we didn't have to face the challenges of today.
Excepting movies like Source Code (fun movie, by the way), there's no way to go back. And though you may not think you resist anything positive, you'll find you don't realize just how much you resist until you begin a regular practice of tuning in for a "Guided Direction" and letting go of fearfulness.
Try a meditation today and focus on trust -- practice trusting yourself, your insights, and God. Mentally flip through the areas and situations of your life and turn them over for guidance, making it your intent to know the right and best direction for yourself. Practice letting go of fears and flowing forward. As you do, begin to notice how much of your day you spend carrying resistance or in a general malaise of fear, and how much of your day is spent effortlessly flowing forward with trust and guidance.
If you're like most people, much of your time is spent resisting the outside influences you encounter every day and the fear of what might be next. Less of your time is spent tuned into a sense of guidance and flowing forward. However, with a bit of mindfulness it's easy to switch gears and to fall forward with trust, wisdom and faith. Simply make it your desire to be tuned in, to know your path and to let go of needless fear.
Looking back and other forms of resistance tend to slow down what's next, or even derail it altogether -- whereas relying on a clear sense of guidance can shorten the distance between where you are and where you want to be.
The first key to moving away from resistance as a habit is to take notice of the direction of your focus. If you focus is on the external, it's very challenging to find any sense of divine guidance. And without a guided sense of direction, it becomes hard to make peace with the past and to find the motivation to move forward. When your focus in internal and focused on listening to and honoring divine guidance, finding the next right step is far easier.
The second key is to develop an egoless willingness to learn and improve. To move from where you are to where you want to be, you will need to learn something new. Because what got you here won't be enough to get you there. If your focus and intent are to learn, you'll look for opportunities to improve and you'll move ahead quickly. If not, every suggestion will feel like a criticism and moving ahead will prove difficult.
Develop a practice of meditating for at least an hour a day, 30 minutes in the morning, 30 minutes in the evening. During part of your meditation, envision a large bonfire in front of you, and toss everything that frightens you into the fire. If the future frightens you, figure out what potential nightmare frightens you and throw that into the fire. If you're afraid of making mistakes, throw that fear into the fire. The idea behind this visualization is to release your fear and to open yourself up to guidance instead.
Then pray to know your path, to be guided to your heart's desire and to know the right next steps to get there. Pray to have the courage and insight to take those steps when called to.
Treasure your good memories, and take a note from nature as it flows forward so effortlessly into its next season. Spending time resisting, consciously or not, keeps us rooted in places we ought to have moved beyond already. Flowing forward requires a mindful practice of tuning into the right direction for us and a practice of letting go.
What you have today is a result of what you've thought, believed and acted on yesterday. If you want something different tomorrow, start thinking, believing and doing differently today -- starting perhaps with a practice of trust, faith and letting go of fear.
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