Break Out of Any Rut ~ by Guy Finley
I can never get out. (sigh) My life is ruined.
No job. I'm Mr.Mom. Doing laundry all day.
No more manliness. Bet Wife cheats on me. She
has the job, the money. I did this to myself, too.
It would seem that the task of providing for ourselves and for those we
love brings with it a certain kind of dissatisfaction. Most of us must
go to work every day and perform repetitive tasks that are rarely of our
choosing. And when these unwanted routines run--as they do--through our
reality, it isn't long before our growing resistance to them leaves us
feeling weary, if not burned out!
Even if we're lucky enough to make a living doing what we wish, what
feels good one moment can become a grind the next; we all know the drill
whenever we start feeling stuck. Resistance to our situation swells in
us like a cresting wave, and moments later we're carried into a world
without gratitude, enthusiasm, or hope. Now add to this sad scenario the
fact that this resistance itself becomes a part of our routine, and it's
easy to see why we often feel as if we're stuck in a rut!
Yet, not everything is as it seems. Looking at life through the eyes of
resistance is not unlike looking at our own reflection in a pool of
troubled waters; everything gets distorted. In fact, when seeing our
lives through the narrow bars of some unwanted state, nothing is the way
we see it.
Yes, it may feel as though we're stuck in some rut, but our Original
Self can no more get stuck in a rut than sunshine can be glued to the
floor. So, the first step to releasing ourselves from any sense of being
in a rut begins with seeing this truth...
The real nature of what we call our "daily grind" is really just our own
mind telling itself, over and over again, how much it wishes things
would change. Or how lousy this is. We aren't making that 'second'
reponse or effort to see how GLORIOUS the "EVERYDAY" is.
This brings us to this next important lesson. It comes to us in two
parts, but tells one story much as an oak tree grows out of an acorn.
First, our present level of mind can only place and hold its attention
on one thought or feeling at a time. Secondly, as goes our attention, so
comes our experience. So if you want it to be better, ASSUME THE POSE.
Fake it til you make it.
For example, we can see that, whenever we give our attention to
something beautiful--a field of spring flowers or robins romping in a
birdbath--we experience within us the delight of what we've given
ourselves to see. But as we're about to learn, this same principle holds
true when it comes to how we make ourselves feel when looking at
"scenes" in our lives that we don't want to see. Let's gather the
details behind this important discovery.
When we feel stuck somewhere, in a rut of some kind, to what do we give
our attention? As a rule, what we see in our mind's eye is the
circumstance we think responsible for how we feel in that same moment.
Although this pattern of placing blame on conditions outside of us seems
wise, a closer look tells a completely different story. In fact, this
way of looking at our situation is a part of the very rut we wish to
escape! Remember: No condition outside ourselves can create a rut or trap
us in it. It's impossible. Use the next friendly fact to prove this important idea...
Ruts don't create the cattle that follow them; cattle create ruts by
blindly following one another, slowly grinding down the ground upon
which they walk. If life seems like a grind, it's only because we're
following around the same level of thinking that makes it so. Blaming
outside circumstances for trapping us in a rut is like blaming the
television for the boredom we feel while sitting watching nothing but
It's time to break our ties with anything in us that would rather
complain about its situation than go to work to change it. And it
doesn't matter where or how we feel stuck--whether we're living under
what seems an impossible situation, making too many self-compromising
choices, or feeling like a prisoner of what seems an inescapable past.
Yes, our condition may feel real, but any reason our mind gives us about
"why" we're stuck there is a lie! Great nature herself proves the truth
of this when we know where to look!
Nothing in life repeats itself in exactly the same way: not the seasons
and not the path of the stars that drive those seasons, let alone the
eternal genesis that sits behind all of creation. More simply stated,
life never travels the same road twice. Like a bed of roses bathing in
streams of sunlight, not a moment unfolds where some new impression
isn't raining down upon us, even as it wells up from within. So any time
it feels as if we're captive of some condition outside us, this sense of
self has to be a lie, because nothing in real life remains the same!
Living in the grip of this illusion is like sticking our finger into a
bucket of ice water on a beautiful summer day, then not wanting to go
outside because we're sure it will be too cold to play!
So, the first step to breaking out of any rut in life is to no longer
enable the parts of us that keep walking in them while wishing they
weren't so deep! Learning to watch our own thoughts and feelings--to be
quietly attentive to what the mind is attending to in each
moment--ensures that we won't fall into these ditches, because our
heightened level of attention keeps them from being dug!
We wouldn't allow a small child to wander around, unattended, in a
working construction zone; in such a place, danger is everywhere for the
mind that can't see it. Nor, for the same reason, should we allow our
own mind to just go and do whatever it wants. Even though it remains
largely unseen, life on earth is a kind of invisible construction zone,
a ceaselessly active "creative zone," in which dwell a host of psychic
forces, light and dark alike. The extent of their power to influence how
we experience our life depends upon our awareness of them. Again, as
goes our attention, goes experience.
Trying to reclaim our attention can feel, at times, like trying to pull
a willful child out of line just as it about to get on its favorite
amusement-park ride. This interior struggle can be very difficult at
times, because, as hard as it is to believe, there is a momentum to all
things--including our misery over feeling stuck. Such misery doesn't
just love company; it wants to continue with its life. Nevertheless,
persist! Each moment of reclaimed attention gives us a stake in the
freedom it grants. For encouragement along the way, just notice how,
each time you bring your attention into the present moment, it's you who
gets the gift of being made new. That's the way it works. And you get
these MINI-BURSTS of freedom, which repeat until they become
permanent and you've busted out of the rut.
See how many times you can catch yourself just as you're about to go on
the "ride" of not wanting to be where you are--of not wanting to do what
you must. Then deliberately step out of that long line of repetitive
thoughts and feelings. Take your attention off what you don't want, and
bring it into the new moment--as it is. Practice makes perfect. And if
you have to fake it, do it, to MAKE it. Be grateful for how it is. Be
glad for the relative perfection of THE EVERYDAY. As I tell
complainers, 'be glad it ain't the Congo!''
This new and higher level of attention connects you to the present
moment, the living now that is one and the same as your original Self.
The interior task of working to remain attentive in this way grants you
entrance into a world free of routine, without ruts of any kind--because
no one has ever been there before you. You are Columbus, Pizarro,
Marco de Polo in YOUR LIFE. On your planet. You are the first to
discover the gold in the place where you stand, right now.
*some extra comments in blue from POSTER lady Anita Sands Hernandez
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