In the grand scheme of things, I/we tend to worry about stuff that is way outside the span of our control or has already happened and we can’t change history. We do reinvent the past through our faulty memories or a desperate need to reconcile our actions and thoughts but we don’t rewrite it. Worrying is a wasted enterprise in most circumstances yet we can become masters of it. I wonder if worrying begets worrying. If we begin fretting about one thing does it make us more likely to fret about another and a another? Is it possible that we open a floodgate of concern?
I admit that I can be a worry wart if I let my mind go there. Even knowing that the outcome has been decided or I have no influence over the result doesn’t curb the anxiety. If I begin thinking about finances and have concerns about a purchase that I made last week and winder whether it was wise, I am soon wondering about my health or my kids or the state of the world. Full blown, out of control worry ensues and a gale of unnecessary anxiousness begins swirling through my head and I am soon swooning.
I can’t seem to hold the nagging nettles at bay through logic. It doesn’t help to say ” Stop worrying. There isn’t anything you can do about it. Whatever will be, will be.” Rational thought and reasoning doesn’t seem to work. I have tried to blow up the worry with hyperbole. ” What is the absolute worst thing that could happen if …?” ” I blew that chance and I will never get another” ” This headache means I have a tumor”. Intentional exaggeration creates exasperation and rather than showing the ridiculousness of the effort to change the unchangeable it opens a cavern to fall into. I can feel my heart rate rise and my palms get sweaty when I try to trick the worry away.
I have found that breathing through the anxiousness and becoming still and focused on something else lifts the scales and I begin to see reality. I perceive the same circumstances without the edge of concern and fear. I don’t ignore the situation but breathing and meditation brings a softness to the knife edge and the physical and emotional scars don’t get as deep.
My meditation practice is sketchy. When I do it, it is unstable. I fall into a delicious rhythm and then find myself down a rabbit hole of thoughts and need to pull myself out. Breathing in through my nose 1,2,3,4 hold 1,2,3,4, exhale 1,2,3,4 repeat I quell the demon. Listening to the air, feeling it in your nostrils, acknowledging it flow through you arrests the cycle of concern and allows me to catch up and be present, not regretting the past or plotting the future.
Worrying takes my breath away and breathing takes away the worry. I like the symmetry of it.
Make Today Remarkable, by breathing,
I think it is worth restating, the future isn’t the past. Yet, so many clients conversations lead to the opposite conclusion. ” I know things are changing but why can’t it be like it used to be?” or less overtly ” It is getting so hard to keep up”.
The recurring theme is that we recognize change is upon it – don’t like it much, can’t comprehend the pace and speculate that tomorrow will be a variation on today. The first to don’t matter and the third is likely wrong.
You can not like change all you want but it doesn’t slow or stop it. It only slows or stops you and will eventually leave you behind. It will leave you behind way faster than you imagine. If you think it will take a year for something to take a foothold – it will be adapted and adopted in a month. If you believe that you have 5 or 10 years for your work, product or service before it becomes obsolete – think1 to 3 years. Tomorrow will only look as much like today as is necessary for us to accept the paradigm shifts. Technology allows and encourages new models (AirBnB, Uber) that have become normal and then be usurped by the next shift. We are storing up memories in placeholders like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest so we are ready for the next iteration that completely surrenders biological to digital (or something stored and represented at the molecular level).
I am choosing to embrace and play with as much of the changes as possible. I am choosing to see the apps and intrusion into my life as cool. I am choosing to look for the next wave so that when the big next earthshaking transformation happens, I might be able to stay on my feet.
The future isn’t the past. Three years from now there will be elements of our lives that we are living comfortably in ways that we can’t imagine today. In the 5 minutes that it took you to read this, someone had an idea that will make how we do something today seem like we are cavemen. The difference is that it won’t take millennia to make the change a reality.
Make Today Remarkable, by embracing something radically new,
As the planet rotates my yesterday recedes over the eastern horizon following the other 22280 yesterdays. My memories of yesterday seem crystal clear and last month’s remembrances carry a pretty accurate representation of the events, as I saw them. After a year, what I recall from a vague period or a specific date is likely clouded by the ‘time in between’ as much as what neurons are firing in my brain. I have written about what I ‘vividly’ recall about where I was on 9/11 and November 23, 1963 but recognize that there is a lot of unintentional fabrication based on my worldview, my learning, my desire, my ego and what those I love remember. History is so much a matter of perspective even if it is recorded in the moment. When I attempt to recapture a day, an hour, a moment out of the 32 million minutes I have lived it is inevitable that the surrounding snapshots influence the picture I am grasping to bring forward.
Does it matter? If my recollection of any event that I was a part of is shaded emotionally or even blatantly different from someone else’s perspective, does it make it any less real? My faded recollections of a misremembered childhood hold joy, sadness, pride, embarrassment, astonishment, curiosity, fear, adventure, boredom, celebrations and challenges. The burden of proof for my memories lies in my heart and in my head and I’m not sure that any other measure is more accurate.
Tomorrow Horizons 3 – thinks about the window between the time that we see the first glow of the sun hitting our eastern horizon, at an acute angle through to the. Edge of black as the horizon disappears from our vision.
Make Today Remarkable by recalling a special memory,