“Action, in the context of consciousness, will free you.” — Frank and Matt
During the early days of COVID, I spent no shortage of time pondering and contemplating what exactly was unfolding. Primarily, I looked at and considered everything through the lens of fear.
– What is the truth?
– Where are the lies?
– What are the partial truths?
– Where is corruption occurring?
Flooded my mind.
Given vast sources of information, to derive answers, this is quite the mental and emotional experience. In those moments, the magnitude of what was unfolding, terrified me. I couldn’t fully understand it, nor could I control it. The ‘trusty’ survival brain had kicked in.
It was difficult for me to regulate myself back to a state of ease, as I watched the world implode. My mind raced around in circles of what is, isn’t, and could be. Exhausting. Terrifying. And often, infuriating.
I wasted many hours trying to make sense of something beyond my capacity to comprehend in its totality.
The result of hours fearfully deliberating?
Not much further than where I began, other than a lot of wasted time and energy. As far as I can see, nothing in the world changed because I spent all my time thinking about it. At least, nothing changed for the betterment of humanity.
I was, however, making movement in the world through the work with my clients (not focused on COVID). But in the context of COVID itself, nothing. The distinction: I didn’t spend countless hours in mental routines when it came to creating value with and for my clients.
A quick aside, skepticism can be healthy, when we can detach from survival as a the primary motive and consider something beyond it. (I recognize I was fortunate to have the essentials to living, affording me the mental, emotional space to consider such questions.).
Through many near death experiences, I learned one thing about me. I do stupid things when I am afraid. “Stupid” given that my actions may not make the most sense given the context of what I say I want for my life.
I did something stupid during the early days of COVID. I wasted countless hours and precious brain energy. I wasted it all ruminating about what I could not fully nail a truth to, nor control.
Stepping into critical thought, though, these exercises would have brought new conclusions. I would arrive at new conclusions about democracy, emergency readiness, and housing vulnerability. But I couldn’t from this survival frame.
I gave up my own power to control my responses to life’s events. I gave up my own power to make new, intentional choices, given the new data. I froze and wanted to collapse. It felt all too much.
Had I done well to regulate my mind, slow my breath, and be fully present, I would have. Then I would have stepped back from self protection and developed new ideas and understanding. From this place, new action becomes available.
This exposed for me a few gaps. One being the edges of my capacity to self regulate, coming back to lightness and ease, regardless of life’s events. Two, my tendency to fall prey to my own reactiveness when events can not be fully understood. Those gaps both lead to no, or ineffective action.
These realizations, for me, were eye opening. They were frustrating, humbling, and freeing at the same time. It was a full range of experience for me.
This experience is a part of the legacy I am writing right now. Forever stamped into the history of the human experience. How I was thinking and acting in those moments, affected the whole. Even if it seemed the opposite.
Each of us is living a legacy right now. Whether we know it or not.
If you are reading this article:
Maybe you have achieved conventional success. Now, you might be living a chosen purpose, or one you connected to spiritually. Or, you are looking beyond your purpose and what moves you forward, to your legacy. You are holding the end in mind, being created now.
From this view, you know that every thought, word, and deed, right now, is leaving your footprint.
You might be reading this while in dialogue with yourself. The conversation may be about what is reasonable or acceptable for your life’s work. This dialogue can take the form of endless rumination (sound familiar? Re-read the above story), leaving you exhausted and nothing tangibly changing. All the while, the clock keeps ticking.
This has been my experience in various moments. What I know is this. When I am afraid, I am of no use to myself or others around me. I either take no or ineffective action. I stay living in my mental dialogue, while draining precious energy, and wasting time.
As I get older, the most precious things to me are my time and energy. Both being finite. Where I put them is precious to me. I don’t want to waste them on meaningless mental gymnastics.
Here’s the challenge. Fear is a normal part of our experience. It’s all and only about self preservation. And while it’s useful to not step out in front of a moving bus, paralysis by analysis, can be a death sentence. Literally, and instantly, in the case of the bus.
In the case of our life’s work, time moves more slowly than the bus. We are not always connected to how we are using each moment of the day. We don’t as readily notice the time ticking away. Yet, at any given moment, we are practicing something. In the early days of COVID, I was practicing mental gymnastics, lost in the belief I was somehow being useful. Nope. I was excellent at creating my own stress, though.
If we are not aware of what we are practicing at any moment, we may be a ship that has lost its way to port. During this period, it felt reasonable for me to sit and contemplate, fearfully, about COVID. However, just because something seems reasonable, doesn’t mean it’s useful to me or anyone else.
As we step through our lives, we may not consider how an unreasonable life could be of the greatest service to ourselves and others.
Think about the countless nurses, doctors, service workers, and more showing up every day amid this pandemic. Whether saving lives, or supporting society to continue functioning, they showed up. Afraid or not, they showed up in ways that, for many, would be unreasonable. This includes me, too. While I was in a mental hamster wheel, they pressed on (and still do).
It might have seemed unreasonable to put you and your family’s life on the line. And yet, for many of these people, and yes, even in the service industry, there was a deeper desire to be in service. It was not simply about them and their paycheck. It was not simply about living what is always easy, comfortable and ‘reasonable’. Countless people put their lives on the line, in ways that might seem unreasonable, to be in service to others.
Those that served on the line in hospitals, and all the various places, this will forever be a part of their life’s tapestry. They will never forget it. We can’t all be nurses and doctors, though. However, we all have the power to contribute in unique ways. An unreasonable life can be the new norm we adopt to design and intentionally live our legacy.
It might seem unreasonable to…
Dedicate your life to helping one million people experience their own spiritual awakening…
….Unless you are the person that decided it’s not unreasonable, like one of my clients.
It might seem unreasonable to…
Dedicate all your time, money and energy to building a community of entrepreneurs. A community focused on the vision of elevating business to shift humanity…
…Unless you are the owner of that company (Shift/Co), or are one of the many community members, like me.
It might seem unreasonable to…
Dedicate your entire life to mastering your mind, being more in your body, and creating from the depths of your soul. Then, using the arising gifts to help others dedicated to expanding human potential…
….Unless you are me, because it no longer seems unreasonable to me.
In all three of the cases above, what might be unreasonable to many, has become reasonable to a few.
Consider what you deem reasonable versus not in the context of your life’s work. Then, consider where those decisions were made, and by whom.
From there, consider, what’s the unreasonable legacy you are ready to create?
[IF this is an important topic for you, reach out and let’s have a conversation. Whether you are in the phase of identifying, creating or deliberately living your legacy, reach out. Our conversation will be a part of the tapestry that you are creating at each moment.]