As adults, we hear parents often talk about the peer pressure for our children and we remember it from when we were in high school. And now it is about the "Jonses", the new gadget or Jimmy Choos. But did you ever think about who started it all? Who is in control of the buzz? Who are the Jonses anyway? You are. Kinda cool if you let it be. Now listen to that good inner guide. Let it be the spin doctor that guides your choices and see how it feels after a week or a month. Try being verbal, be open to the responses. Try being quiet then, and just actively listening. Meditate on that. A lot of fear can come up. Fear of change, fear of obstacles, fear of inability, fear of humiliation, fear of injury, fear of being wrong, fear of differences, fear of failure, fear of loss, fear of being unloved or unliked, fear of criticism, fear of missing out on something... so many things. It becomes difficult to just flow.
For example, as I was sitting in the Y this morning I thought I would take advantage of a little quiet time between things so I began updating some files. As I began to do this I could feel my eyes starting to sink into my head. "Coffee" was all I could hear. "I can't do this now", "I'm going to fall asleep" and on and on. It sounds silly. And it certainly isn't a big fear, but that nagging habit creeping in. A little thing that over time can become a bigger thing. The tendency to want to quit and give up to the cafe around the corner was lurking. I had plenty of sleep so I knew it was illogical to feel tired so I willed myself to muster the energy. I thought about one of the things our instructor Adrienne - who always seems to have tons of energy - talked about the day before. I closed my eyes for a moment and invoked a thought like a trigger to my happy place, my place of endless energy. I chose to sit there and work it out. I found I could do it without the crutch and the wasted time of walking somewhere else. I finished the changes and uploaded the files to a client website I was working on, closed the laptop, smiled to self and thanked the Y guy as I walked out the door to my next appointment.
The power of choice is a big one. The choice to be open and receive is an option, but how often do we choose it? If we are "open", that could mean we receive the bad with the good and what if the "bad" is, well, bad? It is a risk. Now think about being a child. (This came up a lot during yoga training also) Adrienne pointed out the difference between being "childish" and "child like". Children make friends, push buttons, test limits - but do we ever stop growing? Sometimes we find out as an adult that no, we don't. We don't stop growing yet we are stuck in a rut. And furthermore, the *change* is causing *fear*.
My next meeting was with a reporter who is doing an article on the new census report that shows the new diversity in Naperville. What this means to the community varies. To some, I have heard, this means "the place is finally getting interesting". To others, it means people that look different, sound different, eat different foods and have different habits and traditions are moving in and it is disruptive. I think that might be code for 'it's a little scary' too. Certain questions are bound to arise like: 'How will this change my community?' 'What does this mean to me and how I like to live?' Now think about children again. Unless told to do otherwise, children will play with other children no matter what their color or religion or language. They may fight and push buttons and then circle back around and play some more. But they don't have the tendency to hold on to the negativity ... unless that negativity is nurtured. The question from the reporter was, where does discrimination and prejudice come from? And while there's no short answer to that question, it still does all come back around to fear and the unknown.
I remember some time ago City Council was asked to support a Diwali celebration in Naperville. For me, that would be great! I have always wanted to go to India, but I can't afford that. But I could go to this cultural festival and share this experience right here. City Council was just learning what Diwali was. It was difficult to discern between the cultural aspects and the religious aspects of the holiday. After all, what is the Santa House? What is Saint Valentine's or Saint Patrick's Day? What is Mardi Gras? It is funny how we can forget the origins of things and it reminds me of a part in the Gandhi movie where the Indian man is sitting on the train next to a priest and he says something like, "so is it true that you eat flesh and drink blood?" All you can really do is giggle at the misinterpretation. To think, we consider ourselves so dignified, but when this man hear about our traditions he thought us to be cannibals!
My question then to my journey is what choices and reactions will I choose to nourish? When will I choose to wait before reacting? How will I really align my actions with my higher beliefs?
After all, it's all just a journey. It's all good. Believe it.