Sunday, June 6, 2010

Take Action

In my quest for inner peace, I find that I am a lot more aware of things that make me unhappy. This is wonderful because my new awareness forces me to deal with the situation rather than let it continue to piss me off.

As Eckhart Tolle says in the Power of Now, "Wherever you are, be there totally. If you find your 'here and now' intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally."

I find it's easier for me to remember these gems when I can relate them to a recent personal example. In this case, it would be my bathrooms. Neither my partner nor I are good with staying on top of bathroom cleaning. The toilets are gross -- disgustingly gross. Their grossness grates on my nerves. I hate them, I hate using them, I hate myself for being so lazy and I even start resenting my partner for not cleaning them. The longer I let the cleaning go, the more my anger builds up.

Then it finally dawned on me, I was wasting a tremendous amount of time making the toilets my enemy. Rather than stressing about what I should be doing, I decided to just clean them. So I did. And it felt good. It felt good to not be angry about it. Now, every Friday I clean all four bathrooms. I don't wait for my spouse to do it. I don't even tell him that I'm going to do it or make him notice that they are done. I just roll up my sleeves and do it. I get to them before they get to me.

A friend of mine approaches life like this. Focus your energy on what you are doing rather than stressing about what needs to be done. Stress is wishing you were 'there' instead of 'here'. Taking action is empowering. I don't like being miserable and sorry for myself.

Taking no action can be just as empowering too. The key is acceptance, once again. If my choice is to do nothing, then I should accept my inactivity and laziness fully. Enjoy it -- be as lazy as you can. My problem is that I can't -- my mind says that I am wasting time. The innerconflict prevents me from enjoying the moment. This is silly though, because it's impossible to stay lazy forever -- shit needs to get done. Obviously, this is something I can work on. I look forward to the challenge of staying present. But I digress, my toilet battle was a good lesson in empowering myself with action rather than making myself the victim with complaining. Victory!

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