If you have seen the film “Night at the Museum” (part 2), you may remember the scene when Amelia Earhart (Amy Adams) says “why would you do anything unless it is for fun?”. Coming from a person who was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, only to disappear following her dream, it really stuck in my mind… and in my heart. Because she followed her dream to the end, literally.
We are so accustomed to doing things because we have to. I bet you that if you look at the moments when you feel unhappy, in 99% of them there is a single common reason: because you are doing something that you don’t really want to do.
I have definitely observed myself in those sadly too abundant acts of blatant self-sabotage. I have watched myself cheating myself by not doing something that I most dearly would like to be doing, postponing the urgent and fiery call from my soul to finish instead a task that “needed to be done” or that “I should be doing instead” or that “I promised someone I would do”.
But in doing so, I know that I have taken away a moment of brilliancy from my life – I have robbed myself from a glorious moment of inner peace, from feeling the intense satisfaction experienced when we tap into the power of our present time. And so, we continue to refuse to receive the gift of love from the universe hidden in those small sparks of inspiration… with the excuse that we need to survive or that someone has power over us, or that we owe it somehow, thus settling for guilt-induced mediocracy… at that moment, and the next, and the next.
These days I am starting to catch myself in those moments. I have made the decision to make them fewer and fewer. Rather than forcing myself to finish a task by “working harder” at it, I actually stop and “feel” whether I could be doing something more constructive with my time in terms of joy and happiness. That’s to say, to follow my intuition or guidance at that moment. And little by little I am succeeding at redirecting my destiny in many noticeable ways.
If the task feels heavy and it can be postponed, I postpone it. I stop to feel what other task I really could be doing that would make me happy or what other task I would like to be doing. I try to “do less” and to slow myself down as I go along my day to allow the hectic ripples of stress to settle, a stress produced by some unknown subliminal but gripping fear and which provokes uncontrolled surges of activity.
The resulting effect can be compared to that of raising stormy waters settling peacefully onto a smooth pool of quiet transparent waters where the Universal guidance can be reflected.
We can’t stop doing everything and we can’t stop doing things that bother us all the time, at least for now or until we slowly change our lives to accommodate “us” rather than everyone else, but we can start making small choices about the not-so-important tasks, thereby creating a focus and a momentum – a gap in unwanted activity – with the intention to move our lives “backwards” – back to their origin, when we were children and our attention was absorbed by playing, learning and understanding the world around us.
Like the TAO says, “the most important part of the home is the space between the walls” – the most important thing in our overly structured lives is the space inside ourselves.
Otherwise it wouldn’t be a home but a huge cement block. But our lives are not cement blocks in which nothing happens inside and which are heavy to carry. And if we don’t create empty gap-moments of meditation, contemplation, pondering and proactive creation to re-centre ourselves, we will struggle for ever.
If we don’t give to ourselves from the pool of life that we were individually granted and we spend all our energy giving it to others because of contracts we signed and arrangements we made, we can only feel some vague pleasure, which we call well-being and security. But either way, it is all an elaborate excuse so as not to become the bigger version of ourselves.
And that is not the way it was meant to be: we can either die doing what we love, like Amelia Earheart, or we can die anyway… and not having even noticed that we never truly loved.
By Dr Ana Garcia PhD