Sit down, be quiet, listen

We overestimate the power of action. And we underestimate the power of attention.

If you’ve worked hard to change or improve, but still fallen short, you may believe that you need to work on yourself or hide that persistent flaw. You don’t need to improve. You don’t need more willpower to fight the flaw. Instead, you could become much more familiar with how you do that thing you do – that problem, flaw, or persistent pattern. Familiarity without struggle and without judgment leads to new choices. 

Principles

  • We are living in a time of great stress, division, and change. It is a time of great uncertainty, opportunity, and possibility.
  • The circumstances that make up our lives may be more complex than we can easily adapt to.
  • And yet we are noble animals, capable of choosing how to live rather than responding to instinct.
  • We seek peace and satisfaction. Or is “ease” a better word? If we know how to find it, it still disappears. If we rarely experience it, we’re often striving to get it back. 
  • It’s possible to wonder what’s wrong with the way life works that we cannot sustain a sense of satisfaction.
  • We all play a part in this complex, striving way of living. That means that I alone am not the problem or the solution. And neither are you. We’re in this together.
  • But only I can do something about me. Only you can do something about you.
  • There’s nothing inherently wrong with you or me. But it’s common for one of us to think there’s something wrong with the other. (Sound familiar?)
  • No matter the size or scale of problem we’re working on, we have to look to individuals – you, me, each of us. I am part of the problem and part of the solution. (See above.)
  • We experience all of the above and express it in what we say and do every day. We can’t help but feel it and react to it. We are in it; we are it. 
  • To be able to see things clearly, including ourselves, we need to be quiet. 
  • When we are quiet, we see that we are full of busyness, restlessness, advice, questions, commentary, complaints, and opinions, all without saying a word. When we are quiet, we find we are not still.
  • When we cultivate stillness, clarity follows. 
  • How big a relief might it be to sit still, to be quiet, to listen, and to pause – without doing anything? What would it be like to try?
  • What would it be like to come from the clarity that follows more and more every day?

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