Stick with me here on this train of thought–
On Wednesday I attended a lecture by two wellness coaches that focused specifically on what we feed our bodies. In addition to advice on increasing our vegetable intake, there was emphasis on entirely omitting sugar and caffeine because they have no nutritive value and are actually harmful to our body. No surprises there. They said that sugar has no redeeming value. (I question that. It tastes good.)
When the box lunches were passed out after their talk, I noticed a sugary lemon bar in the package. I was curious to see if the presenters would indulge. They did. Hmmmmm.
Scenario #2: A friend shared about how upset she got at a driver who cut her off. She silently cursed him, let off steam and pumped herself up with the adrenaline created by the offense.
What do these two events have in common? We’re human, for one, and we do what feels good in the moment. Eating sweets feels good, but has long-term deleterious effects. Feeling angry and righteous, in the moment, feels energizing and powerful, but ultimately drains our energy for what’s important. Each of these examples illustrates a short-term satisfying behavior which interferes with long-term happiness.
I’ve been whining about my learning curve during an online training course I’ve been enrolled in for several weeks now. I keep hoping that if I’m cantankerous enough someone will descend from the sky, hold my hand and walk me through every excruciating detail I’ve been unable to master on my own (getting the contact form onto a new weebly.com site, for instance). My short-term tantrums are not bringing me the long-term satisfaction I’m looking for in conquering the material I signed up to learn.
What does work is, not surprisingly, chunking it down into bite-sized pieces, reviewing the modules and audios several times and the most dreaded of all, asking for help.
My daily meditation for July 28 reads:
A stonecutter may strike a rock 99 times with no apparent effect, not even a crack on the surface. Yet with the 100th blow, the rock splits in two. It was not the final blow that did the trick, but all that had gone before.
It’s not the lemon bar or the flipped bird that puts us over the edge. It’s the ongoing acceptance of behaviors that don’t work in our favor. My daily tantrums are not yielding what I want to achieve. What does work is a lot of positive self-talk to get me through the challenge. “Let’s spend 5 minutes looking at the links from this module, Janie.” “Go into the linkedin community for 10 minutes now and really give this thread your full atttention.” “Take a breath, and begin again.”
Slowly, this rock of resistance will be split in two, and I will be successfully offering webinars to my audience. Allowing myself the excitement and attention derived from complaining in no way moves me forward. Griping can feel satisfying in the short term for its release and energy charge. But it’s not where I want to live.