Let’s play the ‘what if’ game.
What if I told you that the way you were going about trying to solve certain life problems was creating that drain? That there was another way you weren’t aware of yet? And what if you knew your first reaction was going to be, ‘Say what??’ Would you keep on listening? Keep on reading? Let’s see.
What if you heard that to “let go”, you had to first be holding on? That to relax, you had to first be tense? That to be aware and present, you first had to be unaware and absent?
Your initial thought might be ‘how ridiculous!’ But your own experience will verify its truthfulness – and the beginnings of a practical wisdom.
Letting go, relaxing, being present and aware come to us through the counter-balancing experiences of holding on, being tense, absent, and unaware.
Yet we all strive for the unreachable goal of a positive and pleasurable life without negativity and pain.
The idea that there is sustainable success and prosperity
without any ebb and flow has blossomed into a cultural belief.
While we intuitively know this cannot be (at least in this level of reality), we strive to create it anyway, and forget our world is afloat in opposites, or “polar pairs”. One kind of experience always ends up drawing out its opposite. But since we don’t recognize this, we keep working beyond our limits, pushing too hard against time and space, and getting stuck in the fast lane, even when we don’t want to be there.
I’m so stressed I can’t think!
My work with hundreds of corporate executives, small business owners, and self-employed individuals revealed a consistent unconscious belief that success and prosperity requires sustained performance and creativity. This idea alone generates enormous daily stress. It also became obvious that everyone is struggling with one or more of four fundamental inner conflicts:
- success vs. failure
- praise vs. blame
- gain vs. loss
- pleasure vs. pain.
Did you notice these conflicts exist as polar opposites? Polar pairs are very problematic for us. We all want some form of gain, praise, success, and pleasure. But very few, if any of us, want loss, blame, failure, or pain; yet, these are all a part of everyone’s life.
We’ve all spent untold hours plotting how to avoid this darker side, eradicate it, bargain with it, transform it into light, or just deny its existence. Even if we are conscious enough to know better, our unconscious minds continue on.
Trying to eradicate what you don’t like translates into a waste of your time & energy.
Why? Because these polar pairs are like old married couples; they can’t be separated. These polar opposites are connected by virtue of the fact that each uses the absence of the other to define itself. Pleasure is the absence of pain. Pain is the absence of pleasure. You can’t fix this predicament. You can only become aware of it and then manage it.
How do you test whether your unconscious mind is in control? As you read these words, if you feel your body contracting at the thought of experiencing loss, blame, disgrace and pain, or you feel yourself reaching for the experience of gain, praise, fame and pleasure, your unconscious mind is still hard at work.
Through thirty years of guiding people, it is clear that managing inner conflicts from a different point of view is powerful and life-changing.
Getting the knack for managing these kinds of internal conflicts shifts confusion into clarity, and turns stress into a useable energy that profits your body, mind, heart, soul, and bank account.
To move with the ebb and flow between polar opposites, you need to be aware of holding on to the pole you want (pleasure, gain, praise, success), and how you feel about letting go of it and allowing it’s opposite (pain, loss, blame, failure) to enter your experience. This is the hidden harmony of life itself.
When you can say ‘yes’ to whatever is in front of you, you will gain:
- Peace of mind on the inside
- Guidance for living your life more effectively on the outside
- The experience of a more relaxed success and prosperity.
Meanwhile, may you become aware of these 4 fundamental conflicts and verify, for yourself, how they drain your time, energy, and possibly, money.
May your days be filled with awareness, gratitude, and joy for the sheer wonder of being alive and on this incredible journey through the Here and Now.