“Life isn’t too short. It’s just that we don’t make the most of our experiences.” Shihan Jim Sakkas.
This was something that my husband said to me last week. He was preparing for an interview with Helen Marshall, the creator of Primal Alternative. What he said about this got me thinking. Could he be right that for most of us, life isn’t too short, but we simply waste the experience that we call life?
I believe that we actually have to make a choice to live our life. It’s human nature to be lazy. To choose the couch over the walk. To choose the takeaway over cooking dinner. To choose to sit in front of the TV at night instead of learning. To stay at home in our comfy PJ’s instead of going out with friends.
Now don’t get me wrong, there is no judgement here. It’s simply that we have to see we’re designed to conserve energy, to remain the same, to not do something different. Essentially because that would have risked our survival as we were evolving, and it kept us safe as part of the tribe.
But in 2021, we don’t have to be like that. And in fact I would argue that we have to become consciously aware that this is what our natural instincts will be, and we become really skilled at overriding it!
Today I want to share a few things have really helped me to understand this, and to see that the experiences I have in life all come down to me and how to choose to see them.
Firstly, I’ve learnt to distance myself from that habitual and evolutionary part of my brain that says, “you can’t be bothered, don’t go, you’re insecure, you can’t do it, you’re not good enough”.. blah blah blah. I don’t know what yours says, but all our brains say something like that to all of us from time to time! What was helpful for me to start to dismiss those thoughts was when I started to see those internal conversations as my room mate. Did I really want to live with an unhelpful and often rude room mate like that? Would a really friend ever say those things to me? So the first step for in getting more ‘experience’ from my life experiences came when I stopped listening to my limiting beliefs. In a sense, I evicted her.
Secondly I started to really see that even if those limiting beliefs turned out to be true, so what???? What was the worst thing that could happen? Rarely what we imagine it would be. Often we don’t put ourselves out there and into more experiences because we’re afraid of what other’s will say, what they will think of us, or that we will fail and look stupid. Well I know now that I would rather look stupid than not even do it at all! Looking stupid is completely subjective, and since I evicted that unhelpful ‘room mate’, I have no fear about being stupid. Because I am no longer focused internally, I’m focused outwards. To life.
This leads nice to what I saw next… that all those little voices are made up anyway! Yep. They’re not there to guide or help. They’re there it stop and hinder. See them for what they are, stop engaging in them, and watch what happens. What naturally happens when we do that is we let go of any made up expectations of how things should look or turn up. Instead we show up to life as it actually is, instead of what those little voices in our head think it should be.
I experienced the gift of being able to show this to my daughter who turned 17 during the week. She came home from school on her birthday feeling blah and deflated. She said she didn’t really know why, but she had felt in a bad mood all day. I am not afraid of my kids experiencing the range of emotions, because that is a part of life. And we have a psychological immune system that equips us to deal with this. So I simply asked her, was it possible that the day just hadn’t turned out as she had hoped it would? That it hadn’t matched her expectations? Because usually disappointment comes when life just doesn’t go the way we expect or want it to. She agreed that that was probably what happened.
So I asked her, and I now ask you… why should life go as we think it should?? Letting all of that go and just showing up to what is frees us to just experience. And when we just experience without making internal comparisons, we will be able to experience the richer and deeper parts of life.
Lastly, I’ve seen that there is always ‘something’ gently guiding me in life through. I have a deeper knowing that there is something far greater than me guiding all that goes on in life. I feel it like a gentle hand on my back. Knowing this has allowed me to take the hands off the wheel of my life so to speak. I know that I can never fail, and that life is full of experiences. I know I can trust my wisdom to guide me and always show me the way. Will I always know what to do in every situation? Eventually, yes. I may not see it straight away, but I know that if I can step back and allow things to settle, I will be shown. Until then, it’s not that I don’t know.. it’s more than I just haven’t seen it yet.
I would love to know if any of this resonates with you.
Remember, it’s not the number of years you live… it’s how you live.
Love Tracey xx