Building A Life From Which You Do Not Need To Escape - Part 1: Laying The Foundation
What does that statement mean to you? Seriously, before reading on please take a moment and simply reflect on what that statement means to you. What does it mean to build a life from which you do not need to escape?
It is likely that for most people that statement evokes thoughts about places, people, jobs, tasks, time, or money. In general, when faced with a statement like that, many tend to think about the places, people, and things that make up our external life. What places, people, things, do we crave and what would we avoid if we could? However, many also think about their internal life and the thoughts or feelings they crave or would rather avoid. What about you? In your internal life what do you crave and what would you rather avoid?
For most who have successfully played the game of craving and avoiding in their external life, they tend to end up realizing that there is nowhere in the external world in which they can escape from themselves. After all, you are the common denominator in your life, and wherever you go, there you are. Therefore, even if we can create an external life from which we do not need to escape, we also need to create an internal life from which we do not need to escape.
So, one who cares to build a life from which they do not need to escape might ask, should I start with my internal life or my external life? There may not be a right or wrong answer to that, as long as you attend to both. However, for those who have experienced that feeling when you have convinced yourself that this next vacation was going to be something that it turned out not to be, or that they would be “happy” whenever they got that new job/promotion, or bought a bigger house, or made their first million, or met the partner of their dreams, or retired, and it did not turn out that way, they may be inclined to start with their internal life first. Many have bought into the idea that if they can create the external life they want, that will lead to having the internal life they want. However, that has often proven to be false.
With that said, for the remainder of this post we will focus on creating an internal life from which we do not want to escape. Some common questions might be, where do we start, how do we get there, when will we know when we have arrived? So, let’s explore those questions.
Where do we start?
There is only and will always be only one place to start, right here, right now. Whether you choose to start this journey right now reading this, tomorrow, or whenever you finally get to that favorite vacation spot, or make your first million, you will still be right here, right now, in this moment. In other words, the answer to this question and the foundation for anyone wanting to build a life from which they do not need to escape, is PRESENCE. Start exactly where you are and whenever you wonder off, simply start again. Our ability and willingness to be present in this moment, without wanting to escape it, is key. But wait, hang on a minute! The primary reason we want to escape is because we generally don’t like what we are experiencing in this moment, and you are suggesting the first thing we do is be right here with that?
Yes, our ability and willingness to be present with whatever we are experiencing, is separate from that which we are experiencing. And let’s face it, whether we like or dislike whatever we are truly experiencing, if we can’t actually be present with it how can we expect to ever truly appreciate it?
How do we get there?
The funniest thing of all is, we are all already there, we are all present in this moment, yet unfortunately many of us struggle to experience life that way, because it takes PRACTICE to do so. Hang on, let’s clarify this. So, we are already where we need to be, yet we often don’t experience life that way, because it takes practice to be where we already are?
Exactly! How much time throughout an average day would you say you are able to attend to and be with whatever you are experiencing in your life without trying to change it or avoid it? How often are you able to simply be fully present with whatever your experience is, without trying to escape from it? Do you often find yourself escaping into thoughts about the future or the past, instead of being present with what is right here now? How often do you practice the art of being present? Our answers to these questions impact our ability to appreciate whatever type of inner or outer life we might want to build. Practice is key.
When will we know when we have arrived?
You have already arrived! The question is, are we willing to practice presence with the type of PERSISTENCE it takes to learn how to accept and appreciate whatever we are experiencing in this moment? This does not mean we have to settle for whatever we are experiencing, or surrender our ability to create what we want. Quite the opposite actually, if we can’t be present in this moment with whatever is going on, without trying to escape or avoid it, then we have most likely already surrendered our ability to create the life we want. Persistence is required to overcome those habits.
PRACTICING PRESENCE PERSISTENTLY is the foundation for building the life that we want. There are many wonderful ways to intentionally improve our ability to do this, and the Solace team are here to walk that journey with you!
Please stay tuned for Part 2 of Building A Life From Which You Do Not Need To Escape.