I have to admire the courage of people. Even the most ordinary person with an ordinary life faces so much challenge. And they get through it. Well most do. One person threw themselves off the cliffs at Bondi and another 3 at “The Gap” near North Head last week. That’s an average week – for some, events just add up and it’s all too much. I wish there was something we could do to stop that choice but whether it’s a cliff or over eating or alcohol, or just plain hurt, some people do give up.
Facing challenges is a part of life. I wish they’d put that in the manual. Chapter 3, You will always have something to deal with.” Maybe it’d be too confronting and that idea might even put people off trying. The most they (scientists) study the brain the more then accept that some people are good at stress and risk while others aren’t. Those that are good at it get themselves into bigger problems than those who aren’t good at it. For example: a woman who is good at stress and risk might leave a job, start and business and refuse to accept a mediocre relationship. As a consequence she’ll be facing money challenges, emotional challenges and spiritual challenges, while her counterpart with more risk and stress aversion may stick with the job, stay in mediocre relationships and struggle along with life by eating a bit more than her body needs and potentially drinking more too.
I’m probably somewhere in the middle in business but right at the edge in relationships. Relationships are important to me because I really do love love. Whereas, I really like money. It seems the more you love something, the more you’re willing to pay to have it. That’s sort of a Zen idea. In Zen, the first thing you are questioned on in meditation is “how much do you want it?” This leads to another question which is “how much are you willing to pay for it?” Which in Zen terms means “how much are you prepared to sacrifice” rather than how many dollars. But it’s the same question whether it’s business or relationship, “how much are you willing to pay for it?”
When I do my vision each year I ask myself that question over and over because as the year goes on, I’m often surprised at how much I do pay for it. For example: this year I wrote in on elf my visions that I wanted to take two new groups up to the magic of Nepal, inspire another group with that magnificent energy and open more hearts with the Mountain Spirit. I was clear about that intent, did my BE, DO, Have and set myself on the path. Three days later, something clicked in my back and I haven’t walked further than 20 meters a day since. There’s a part of me that could easily be disheartened. And that part of me surfaces, daily, wanting some air time, looking for sunshine, wanting nourishment so it can grow. But I know, once it starts to feel validated, it’ll be like Ebola virus. It’ll spread. So, in theory one would say “get out of my head.” but in practice, it’s more of a wrestle.
Doubt’s a bastard really. It sneaks around and does its thing without even being noticed. Like it’s on tippy toe, skulking in the background just dampening things that little bit. But it’s enough to make changes that sabotage or at least self handicap outcomes. For example: at 4.00am I usually get up and do my daily thing, but when there’s doubt, I go to bed later and get up later. I might even cook a steak at 8.00pm and always with a good reason. I might even start to feel more tired and therefore need more sugar in my food. (I’m basically sugar free). None of these changes come with an announcement “hey, Walker, forget that dream, get real with life.” No, they just come creeping in the back door like a cockroach in the dark.
One time I was married, my sixth, and the cockroach snuck in under the back door. I started to imagine how good it would be to be single, again skulking in the background, not lurching into the foreground. Then I started getting annoyed with my soon to be ex, and then talking to her, and she to me, about whether we were perfect for each other. What started as a tiny stone dropping from a cliff snowballed into a decision to divorce. I really wanted to be in a relationship but doubt snuck in and in the end, I fed it, nurtured it, gave it sunshine and even pruned it. I ended up cultivating it. And of course, bred it into reality.
Another time I had a great business and that doubt started niggling and once again I fed it. And, what was a perfectly good money spinning, easy business to own, turned into a problem and then a disaster and then something that I spent years fixing. It was totally the doubt virus. The bug under the back door that caused it. The placebo.
I’ve practiced many different ways to deal with this. I’ve been diligent at times with hard arse thinking that dynamited doubts and sprayed cockroach poison over the back step. I’ve tried meditating, and self hypnosis. But really, all that is perfect for goal management and focus, it does nothing to kill the weeds of doubt that sometimes are like the match that lights the bush fire.
I know know how to deal with that match. I’ll share it in part 2 of this post.