Friday, December 7, 2007

What's it gonna take?

What's it gonna take to be so present that I reliably do what I said I was gonna do?

I say I'm going to practice singing, then I do something else. Three days later I say I'm going to pay my bills, then I do something else.

The point isn't that I'm being "bad" when this happens. It's not that I "should" pay my bills that day, or sing that day. The point is that I said I was going to, and I meant it - so what the heck happened?? It's as if I turned on my blinker, turned the steering wheel, and nothing happened.

Well, actually something happened - I went straight, maybe I hit something, and I certainly didn't go where I said I was going. In any case it wasn't what I said would happen, and not what I put effort into. Isn't that weird??

So what's it going to take to be fully alert, present, and "connected to my wheels" so I'm actually the one who says how my life is going?

The irony of this, of course, is that I've spent the past year SAYING how my life is going to go, and succeeding. Nothing could stop me, because everything was at stake. I was, quite literally, living as if my life depended on it.

This reminds me of something from the "est" training (precursor to Landmark): "A game is what you have when what's not so, is more important than what is so." A current example might be CalvinBall, where they make up rules on the fly - none of it is real, it's all an agreement about what's important. Of course, Calvin & Hobbes supposedly know it's all made up, because they change the rules whenever they want, and it goes the way they say.

And est continued: "When what is so becomes more important, the game is over." Like, Calvin & Hobbes are just there, standing at what used to be the goal line. Except now they're just present.

I'd say, when you know what you want but you're not getting there, it's a pretty sure sign that you're playing CalvinBall and you don't know it.

I want to get back to where I was when I was sick. Isn't that weird? But - and I'm not making this up - as I wrote this post, in the background there was an episode of the TV show "House," about a cranky doctor, and in it, a character was ticked off because his diagnosis of terminal cancer turned out to be false. "I've never been as present and alive as I was these past few months - and now you took that away from me." Yeah well, you and I know nobody took anything away from him - it's all in his mind. Mine too.

So the question is, what's it gonna take, to be that present all the time, so I actually do what I say? I know from recent experience that I get a lot of joy when it goes the way I said.

More on this in later posts.


  1. Sorry to add a comment to an ancient post, but I just discovered you (thru and after only 3 posts I'm already hooked.

    Regarding this particular post: Nicely put, and I love the Calvinball reference. I can't say I've ever been through anything like you have, but I would imagine that it was easier to follow through with things before because you were only setting goals that were very important. Even if it were simply to pay the bills, back then you might have had extra incentives such as getting your finances in order in case - worst case scenario - your family would soon have to take them over. Now (or in 2007 when you wrote this!) you might say "I'm going to pay the bills tomorrow" but something more important/interesting might come up, and if so, it's only going to affect you a little. I imagine it's a bit like washing up on a desert island. Initially one would work hard to find food and fresh water and build shelter. All those things are critical so one would not procrastinate or get sidetracked. However after the necessities are taken care of one might become less focused - "I was going to weave a hammock today, but instead I think I'll look for large shells to use as a cup and plate." It all seems natural to me, but I understand how one could miss the focus, drive, and importance that each action held.

  2. Sorry to add a comment on an old post?? Are you nuts? :) Bloggers LOVE comments, especially on old posts. There's a thrill to hearing that something you said connected with someone.


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