It took me a while to process this recently. Christmas was definitely not what I imagined when I started this journey. I was really thinking that "If I had my motorhome back I would be happier." or "If I was at my Uncle's place" things would be better. I too was stuck in the "If X then Life Would Be Y"
Now really it isn't my fault, and it isn't yours either.
We are bombarded with messages through books, movies, marketing, TV that tell us this product, being in this relationship, having your life look this way will make it all better.
The truth is, true satisfaction happens in the moment and is independent of any outside stimulus.
For all that I didn't experience this holiday, one thing that I have never experienced before on Christmas was spending time in a hammock watching a movie and not freezing my bits off.
This is the adventure I will choose to be satisfied with.
At the end of the day it comes down to getting flat on each of these statements:
- • I can fully accept my current state.
• Nothing is wrong here.
• There is something the present state is better than.
• All your problems are brilliant and elegant solutions.
• Where I have shame I am actually grateful.
• Where I find hope I also find hopelessness.
• I can surrender 100% to what is
• There is nothing I can do to belong more or less
• There is nothing I can do to be more or less loved
• Right now is better than where I want to be.
I hear you saying, “Yeah Jeff, that is easy for you to say.”
Trust me, some of these statements have made me angry also, so I have taken my latest setback and given some examples.
[size=Bigger]I Can Fully Accept My Current State[/size]
Ask any 12 stepper and they will tell you that the first step is acceptance. Often this is a rough step. It may not be where you wanted to be or thought you should be but here you are.
Truth is, your choices brought you right smack dab where you are.
It doesn't mean that it is time to beat yourself up. It is just where you are on the map of your life. You wouldn't look yourself up on the GPS and beat yourself up for being where you are.
It just is where you are.
[size=Bigger]Nothing Is Wrong Here[/size]
This statement has taken me many years to fully comprehend. I remember when a good friend of mine, John Considine first introduced me to the practice.
He said something like, "Take on the idea that nothing is wrong here."
The first thing my mind did was compile a list of all the things that from my view were, from my income all the way to my partner and I weren't doing much in the bedroom.
Even now, I have to take a deep centering breath before I can embrace, "Nothing is Wrong Here."
There may be things that I would like to optimize, there may be conditions that I would like to be different, but in the end, it is like a rainy day. It isn't wrong.
We give our lives meaning. Can you remember a time when you played in the rain, maybe walked with a lover, or even as a kid jumped through the mudpuddles?
Now, there are experiences that I prefer like a nice sunny walk on the beach rather than waiting for a bus in 15 degree weather, yet, neither experience is "wrong".
We have a choice. We can scream at the clouds for the rain falling down, or we can grab an umbrella.
[size=bigger]There Is Something the Present State Is Better Than[/size]
On September 14, 2021, I drove into some water in my 5th wheel and got stuck. I had just left Orlando where I had enjoyed some time with a good friend of mine, Gabriel Taylor, and was in the Osceola National Forrest where I had planned a couple weeks of peace.
The place I originally found had a road closure. So I quickly found another place using Google Maps.
I spent 14 hours in the water worried about crocks and water moccasins, not sure how I was getting out, not sure of what I was going to do when I did.
Today is better than that.
I bought a motorhome with the insurance money and six hours into my journey, ended up blowing the motor in the mountains.
Luckily, I somehow made it to my niece's place, working from her couch. It wasn’t the most ideal situation, and we made do. When their roommate’s son needed to move in, I ended up going to the mechanic’s place where I was originally staying in my motorhome, but then got moved into the house when the neighbor decided to report me to the city.
Looking back on the last couple months, I am so glad that that I am not still in the water, that I have had wonderful people allowing me to live my dreams, and that I have been able to spend some time getting super clear on what it is that I want.
[size=bigger]All Your Problems Are Brilliant and Elegant Solutions.[/size]
So this statement takes some work. Ask yourself, “What solutions are your problems solving?”
After talking about how where we are is better than where we were at one point, it is a little easier to understand that this is an elegant solution but it is a little deeper than that.
Currently, I am still waiting for the motor on my motorhome to be fixed which can be ready at any moment. I am now at the mechanics which allows me to still work and save on internet costs. I have a whole floor so there isn’t the problem of being in the way as there was at my nieces. Lastly, having the motor redone ensures that I should have something solid to drive cross country with.
[size=Bigger]Where I Have Shame I Am Actually Grateful[/size]
So there has been many places lately that I have shame. Being an entrepreneur and not always having a steady income is always challenging. It gets compounded when you are in a space that no one is comfortable with you being there. (We will talk more about this in the next couple of days.)
I am grateful for the skills that I have that allow for me to be nomadic. I am grateful that I have people that are there for me. I am grateful for the time to do some inner soul work. I am glad for the time to really look at what I want and be able to fully go after it. I am grateful for the lessons in vulnerability.
[size=bigger]Where I Find Hope I Also Find Hopelessness[/size]
Stay with me here. I am not saying that you shouldn't feel hope. Can you take on the idea that anywhere you are finding hope, you are saying that now is not ok or that you don't believe you have power.
Often, it is our hopes that show us our fears, that which we may feel that we can't ever obtain.
You can hope and dream or you can set intentions and plans.
[size=bigger]I Can Surrender 100% To What Is[/size]
What do you think of when you hear surrender? Do you think white flags and giving up or do you think handing it over so you can live another day?
Most of the time the battles we fight are unnecessary, made up in our head by voices that we inherited 7 generations ago. What if we can stop fighting everything? What if we could say, "This is the moment and there is nothing wrong?" What if we could say, "I disagree here but I respect who you as a human." Or maybe make the choices to detach with love if you can't find respect for that human?
Surrender doesn't necessarily mean that you do nothing, it means to stop giving energy to that which the current strategy is not working.
[size=bigger]There Is Nothing I Can Do to Belong More or Less[/size]
Belonging is such a tricky subject because it is completely an energy thing. The truth is, there is nothing you can do to belong more or less than to just choose if you belong or you don't. (Well unless you are physically being tossed from a club then you can sober up a little bit lol)
Most of the time the feeling that you don't belong comes from some form of "not good enough". Even more specifically, "I am not as good as them." The truth is, there are things that may be true about such as a sport, musician, or even orator; that doesn't mean you don't belong in the same space.
I have a few questions to ask yourself when you are feeling as if you don't belong:
1. Is there a sign saying that this is for someone that excludes me (girls locker room, employees only, ect)
2. Has someone asked me to leave?
3. Am I in danger?
Then most likely it is just the voices saying that you don't belong - smile and start a conversation with someone other than yourself.
[size=bigger]There Is Nothing I Can Do To Be Loved More or Less[/size]
It's true that some people are going to love you and the haters are gonna hate. There is nothing you can do to be loved more or less. I mean bringing some flowers now and then might bring some appreciation and remind a significant other of feelings they have for you, but true LOVE according to Dr. Helen Fischer, is a combination or chemicals and commitment.
Really Bonnie Raitt was right when she wrote, "I can't make you love me if you don't"
You have nothing to prove.
You are perfect, whole, and complete.
You don't need someone else to validate you.
Loving you first sometimes means getting out of relationships and situations that are no longer serving you. It could mean not chasing a relationship and finding the love between you and you because as RuPaul always says, "If you can't love yourself, how the hell are you going to love someone else?"
[size=bigger]Right Now is Better Than Where I Want to Be[/size]
So why is right now better than where you want to be? Because in this moment is where the power lies.
So often in life, we are thinking about what could, should, and would happen instead of focusing on what is right in front of you to do. We want to change the current circumstances, or think that we can feel better when you have more money, the better job, the next client, that perfect relationship.
Yet, you don't need any of those things to FEEL better. At the end of the day, that is what this whole series has been about. Having the feeling of satisfaction in this moment instead of waiting for the perfect circumstance to show up.
That circumstance could come or it could not but if you are always looking for that to bring you happiness you will always be searching.
Sammy Hagar said it best:
"The more things you get, the more you want
Just trade in one for the other
Workin' so hard, to make it easier, whoa
Got to turn, c'mon turn this thing around"