Monday, March 24, 2008

If you don't like the shape of your ice cubes, change your ice tray.

In AA one often hears, "To keep doing the same thing over and over, and then expect the result to be different is insane." But that's what we do. We read something about how to live life better, like what we've read, close the book, and continue as we did before! Why? Why does our behavior stay the same? We like the new concept, but fail to include it in our living. Susan Greg says: "... thoughts, beliefs, agreements, and assumptions are energy patterns. As long as we hold onto them, we will continue to get the results we have always gotten." It's the underlying beliefs we have to change--the new ice cubes will take on the shape of the new ice trays. We have to work on our underlying beliefs, values and attitudes, the behavior will follow automatically!

Here's what she says in Mastering the Toltec Way:

"Making Things Non-Negotiable

"We never negotiate our need for air. We never put off our next breath until tomorrow. If we want to continue to live, breathing is non-negotiable.

When I first started studying the Toltec tradition, I had a white index card in the corner of my bathroom mirror with a list of four non-negotiable things I remember getting out of my warm bed many nights to finish that list.

"I was fortunate to realize early in my studies that action is the key to change. I watched people talk about how much they wanted to change, yet their lives remained the same. On the other hand I watched other lives blossom and grow. I observed that some people took consistent action while others didn't.

"Insights, knowledge, and profound experiences will do little to change your life if you don't take different actions. As long as you put star-shaped ice cube trays in the freezer, you will always have star-shaped ice cubes Our thoughts, beliefs, agreements, and assumptions are energy patterns. As long as we hold onto them, we will continue to get the results we have always gotten.

"What four things-if you did them every day-would make the most difference in your life? My list is (1) write, (2) meditate, (3) look in the mirror twice a day and tell myself how wonderful I am (and believe it), and (4) go to the beach to connect with my divinity.

"Do you want your life to be full of happiness and joy or pain and struggle? The choice is yours It depends on how willing you are to make a few things non-negotiable and do them every day."

I have a few cards pasted on the wall next to the mirror where I shave: "Do things without impatience," is one. I know that sounds negative, but it's personal. I use impatience as a signal to tell me when I'm not in the moment. When I'm impatient I know I'm either in the some moment that's still coming or in one that's been and gone--whatever, I'm not enjoying what I'm doing or I'm preoccupied with something else and I'll mess this one up. So, get back to what you're doing or stop before it's a mess.

Another one is "If you wait for the perfect time to start--you'll never begin. And if you don't like the outcome, do it over or scrap the idea." We've made some changes to the north side stoep. I had some old tools lying around, broken, rusted, never to be used again. On the spur of the moment we did something with them--Brenda varnished them and we hung them on the wall! I like how it looks:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

any old comment from Paul