In our community, we’re told to release control and allow things to occur as they may. But then we’re also told that we have a choice. We can choose to think we are worthless piles of poo or we are radiant butterflies flying through rainbows. So we’re essentially being told that we can choose our path and live our dreams, but we should also not try to control that very much.
With these two totally valid beliefs circulating the mindful community, it’s not surprising that we often feel paralyzed. What the heck should we do? Move and shake? Sit and watch?
That stuck, confused feeling you’re having is your brain basically shorting out because it doesn’t know what you want. So let’s start there.
Deciding what you want is really the hardest part of anything. Mainstream media, social media, and society in general doesn’t make it easy for us to land on what it is that we want.
So how do you get there? How do you decide what YOU want, not what your parents or your partner or society wants?
When you locate a pattern during your meditation, it usually means you need to make a decision about how you interact with that thought.
To be blunt, you need to shut up and listen to yourself for a few minutes every single day. The act of locating your deepest desires does not come from a certain number of yoga classes or teacher trainings. It’s already there, inside you, waiting to be rediscovered. You just need to get quiet enough, regularly enough, to make space for that super smart, crazy, sexy, cool voice.
This means getting up a little earlier than you already do every day and making a simple meditation practice a part of your daily life. Give yourself 10 minutes. Just you and your breath, observing the thoughts and experiences you’re having. At first everything will probably sound like to-do lists and insecurities and annoyances and donuts, but after awhile, it gets quieter and quieter and you will start to notice patterns in your thoughts.
When you locate a pattern (i.e. you keep thinking about something over and over and over and over again) during your meditation (for me, it alternates between “How many burritos is too many burritos?” and, “Will I die alone?!”), it usually means you need to make a decision about how you interact with that thought. Do you want to keep it? Change it? Let it go? Only you know the answer to that. And once you have that answer, it’s on you to make it happen.
And then there you are, in the driver’s seat. Deciding what you want and creating space for it to happen. Will it always go your way? No. And that’s where that practice of releasing control and allowing comes in.
The hardest part about all this is making the time for yourself and believing you’re worth a few minutes of introspection every day. If you have time to stalk your kids/ex/friends/Justin Timberlake on social media, you have time to get quiet and listen to your own dang thoughts.
Tatum Fjerstad is professional napper who can’t handle that Justin Timberlake loves another woman. When she’s not imagining what her life would be like with JT, she is mostly a human being teaching other human beings how to be okay with being human. She does this through movement, meditation, and writing. Tatum is here to be helpful, honest, and make you laugh, obvi. To learn more about how she does this, follow her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, and at tatumfjerstad.com.