pushing against.

Jerry Seinfeld was hanging out with John Oliver in his Comedians in Cars with Coffee show…and he asked John if he was enjoying himself…John said something like, ‘Yes..you have all of me…I am completely here.’ 

So. That’s the win. To be ‘all here’…completely present…tapped in…fully alive.

If life has brought your attention to difficult emotions that seem to show up unexpectedly and stick around much longer than what seems necessary, then paying attention to the feeling of being present is a great starting point to get you back in control of big feelings.

Often we get caught up in a cycle of ‘pushing against’ – our focus is on what we perceive the problem to be. This could be a person, a life event, the traffic, the weather, a system (school, police, finance, politics, etc) – it could be anything that is perceived to be external…you give it power because you can observe it…you can prove yourself right over and over again. 

When we get so caught up in a problem we can find ourselves in a state of lack or limitation – and can feel powerless in our capacity to do anything about it. We have handed our power over to another…they or it is in charge of our happiness or level of satisfaction.

Here are three ways to build your skill of self-awareness and begin to notice if you are fully present in a moment or stuck in thinking habits of ‘pushing against’….

  1. Key word = stuck. Do you find yourself in a familiar situation often? Maybe the characters and setting change…but it’s a very familiar dynamic. Whatever we focus on attracts more of the same. We can choose to focus on a problem or a solution.
  2. Is the story you are telling in your mind one of judgement (there is a clear right and wrong), comparison, or criticism? This thinking habit builds on the concept of lack – someone has more than me, does better than me…and there is only so much…if they have it then I cannot have it.
  3. Is your mood or state reflecting a mindset of fear and doubt? Any level of this thinking habit can activate our nervous system into responding as if we are in danger. This is where symptoms may begin to show up like headaches, anxiety, mood swings, etc.

Once you begin to recognize patterns or themes…you can change them. When you have moments like John and Jerry – own it…settle in with it…enjoy it. Notice what’s happening: is your mind clear? your heart open? do you feel satisfied?…content?

Does it make sense that feeling good is our natural state…for the simple reason that it feels good?

Be kind to yourself and assume that you have a natural way of being exactly who you are. Notice when you are pushing against and see if you can switch to a better feeling thought (one that is easy and makes you smile).

You tell the story. Do you want your story to be one of possibility or one of never enough? We are interpreting our life experience constantly – is the story you are telling reflecting a life that is happening for you or does your story react to a life that is happening to you?