Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Back To Baseline

As a coach, I get to meet all kinds of people. I listen, I get really quiet in my own head, I listen some more and then I observe and start noticing what’s going on. When people have a lot to say, it can be quite confusing. You think you’re going one way, and then you find yourself somewhere else and pretty soon, you might feel lost. What you’re experiencing in those cases, is the feeling of being lost that the client feels themselves. What’s ironic in these instances is that the person brought this on in attempts to bring clarity to their situation. Our well-woven stories, our history, our analysis of what happened and why it happened, our conclusions, our justifications, these are all done to bring clarity. However, the more we do all of these mental gymnastics, the more cornered we feel, the more myopic we become and the less clarity we have, the more desperate we become.

No wonder, meditation is practiced by so many. It is done to quiet the mind, the mind that we so proudly exercise each and every moment of the day, at meditation time, we put it in time out, or so it feels to some of us. It feels like a punishment, because we have valued our incessant thinking throughout our lives. In fact, it is rather scary to “not think”, if you’ve never done it before. The silence can be deafening, if you are not used to it and if you do not value it. We have been trained to place value on action, on doing anything, and this goes with thinking as well. Not doing anything sounds crazy or unimportant. That’s because, we think we have to stay in this vegetative state forever. We don’t.

When you truly go to the “no-thing” place, where everything stops and there is real silence, you go to baseline. When you come out, you are now acting, not reacting. Meditation allows us to find our baseline, so we can come from neutral to do what we truly want to do. It doesn’t have to be meditation, working out or running has the same effect on many people. These are daily practices we can do to find our own baselines. Major life transitions come as a result or a need for finding our baselines. People who do major life changes, or pick up and move to another part of the country or the world with no plans in place, are all doing this because they’ve lost their baseline. What’s happening financially to the world we live in is also going to get us to our baselines. That is the immense gift of these times we are living in. If you step back and look at the big picture, it is the cycle of life, we expand and then we contract, and on and on it goes. The key is to not get lost in our expansion, to know where to contract back to. That place is where we are continuously seeking. When we get comfortable to knowing where it is, and trust that we will find it, when we want to, we can go about our business of expanding again. So, I wish us all a smooth search and find of our baselines in these wildly tipsy times!

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