Moments of Clarity: Let Go of the StruggleSometimes, in the noisy confusion of life, we find small moments of clarity that help us to understand the patterns we are creating for ourselves. These moments, however, are usually only found in times of silence, stillness and solitude, which may account for why they seem so few and far between for many of us. Finding those quiet times in days that are filled to the brim with the daily noise and activity of life is often difficult. But such times are essential to our own wellbeing and our connection with Self.

It’s a lack of clarity that creates chaos and frustration. Those emotions are poison to any living goal. ~Steve Maraboli

In my last article I talked about the dangers of focusing on your “cants” rather than your “cans” and why getting stuck on all the reasons why something can’t be done, rather than looking for reasons why it can be done, is a choice. And I talked about how this particular negativity trap had resulted in my utter lack of productivity and ongoing procrastination funk.  But I had a few moments of clarity the other day that helped me to realize that the reason I’d been mired in this mess was that I’d become caught up in the struggle; I was so tangled in my own frustration that I had completely lost my focus and sense of balance.

Dwelling on the negative: just don’t do it.

As the end of the year was looming on the horizon, I became focused on all the things that I still hadn’t gotten done that I had wanted to. And as I realized that it was just not going to happen (there just physically wasn’t enough time left to get it all done), it really started to bug me because I knew that I could have gotten a lot more done, but didn’t. And I started questioning why it is that I do that… why do I not do the things that I know I need to in order to make the things I want to happen, happen? Me? The one who knows how important action and organization and focus are to getting anywhere! I write a freaking blog about this stuff for heaven’s sake — how could I, of all people, have let this happen?

Dwelling on the negative simply contributes to its power. ~ Shirley MacLaine

I’ll tell you how it happened. I’d been so busy doing and doing and getting less and less productive and more and more stressed out over how much I’d been working and how little I actually had to show for it, that I completely lost my inner harmony. I didn’t even know what I wanted anymore, and I didn’t know how to pull myself out of it. Which is when I realized that I had to stop. I had to remind myself that getting angry with myself or dwelling on my negativity wasn’t going to help. I had to remind myself that focusing on what I don’t want only brings more of it to me. I had to remind myself that if a client came to me with this same issue, I would be a hell of a lot nicer to them than I was being to myself, and that I would be working to shift that client’s focus to solutions rather than problems.

Moments of clarity come in stillness and silence.

So I reminded myself that when I get stressed out and frazzled like this, I need to just stop and breathe. Because it’s in silence and stillness that we are able to find those moments of clarity that return us to ourselves. I needed to take the time to meditate and just be. I had to stop struggling and learn to accept the frustration before I could let it go.

Become totally empty Quiet the restlessness of the mind Only then will you witness everything unfolding from emptiness ~Lao Tzu

So in those blocks of time that I would have so recently dived into headfirst, with frantic action to “get things gone”, I instead sat with my frustration, moving into it and allowing myself to fully feel it without judging it, or judging myself. It wasn’t easy. And it didn’t happen right away. But once the frustration had been fully allowed, it faded away and I realized that it no longer had any power over me. Frustration became irrelevant. And clarity and calmness returned. Centredness returned. As it always does when I seek the stillness and silence within.

Life lessons: it will keep happening until you learn from it.

This seems to be a lesson that I still haven’t fully internalized yet, because it’s one that keeps cropping up over and over again in my life. I know how messed up I get when I lose that inner balance, when I lose that connection with my Self. And yet I never seem to realize that I’m in that red zone until I’m in crisis mode and have no choice but to shut down and find the stillness that way. I’m still trying to figure out what I’m supposed to be learning from this, other than to pay more attention to what I’m feeling at any given time, and to really commit to making daily meditation more of a priority in my life. Because the moments of clarity that I’ve found when I give myself the gift of this time are priceless.

Clarity reveals itself in moments of silence, when the mind is still and the clutter subsides. ~Nathalie Thompson

Taking the time the time to maintain my sense of internal harmony and balance, while still trying to get everything else done that I need to, is something I’m still learning how to deal with. The agonizing frustration that comes from fruitless action is so hard to deal with sometimes. But it comes from losing your alignment with what you want for yourself and losing your focus on that larger vision. It comes from losing your connection with your core. I’ve learned that the best thing to do when this happens is to just stop spinning your wheels. Stop and be still so you can find your centre again. When that happens moments of clarity begin to surface, and the little synchronicities and “coincidences” that help you along inevitably start happening again. But you have to stop pushing and let go of the struggle first.

photo credit: cc

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