Monday 2 June 2008

Be Led By What You Are Trying To Avoid – My Little Experiment

I recently read an interesting article by Karen Deborah Farris with the above title. I have often thought that we should listen to what our inner voice or gut instinct is telling us, especially as sometimes it is pointing us in the right direction when our stressed-out/screwed up brain is not. This article turned that thinking on its head. It made the point that sometimes when we resist doing something it points to something deeper. Farris suggests that we go against the flow and when we feel strong resistance to something, we should just take the plunge and do it. She says that when our fears become our guides, they lose their grip on us and instead lead us to two things: flow and synchronicity. This is the idea that things will start happening more naturally and that the world then conspires to help you in big and small ways through meaningful coincidences that occur in your life (synchronicity).

This idea did go against the grain a bit for me, because I place a lot of emphasis on going with what my instincts say – this has been a powerful way of getting to the heart of things for me and also protecting myself from things that look harmless at face value (Ever met a person that puts your hackles up, and then you find is the nicest person in the world, only later to realise that maybe they are not so good-hearted after all? Your instinct was telling you something and you didn’t listen). Despite this I decided to give it a go.

My first resistance didn’t take long to pop up – work, another batch of typing. I surfed the net a bit, went and got something to eat, look around a bit, then I remembered the advice to be led by what you are trying to avoid, so with a sigh I decided to get cracking. I actually got through a satisfying amount of work and felt happy enough to leave an amount for the next day.

I went through this again with Little Lady’s Arabic lesson which is always hard work for both of us and I tend to leave off until I can’t anymore. I asked her to get ready as soon as I got home and we got started. It was still hard going, but at least we got it done.

Overall I found that "being led by what you are trying to avoid" leads to more work which I am not too sure about. But it’s a useful mode of thinking to get through a lot of things that you need to get done and are weighing you down. It was especially good to help me do a few things that I really wanted to do but was being gutless about, although it did get me scared witless even approaching them.

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