Jan 13 2013
Recently a cluster of similarly themed messages have been flocking my way (I call it a learning ‘cluster flock’). The current message that keeps recurring for me is this: it is my choice to enjoy or not enjoy life. Little pesky fears about my health have been buzzing around me like gnats. In response to that, I recently awoke with this thought, “Just enjoy your life right now. No matter what may happen in the future, DECIDE to thoroughly enjoy today.”
An hour later Tom came home from Toastmasters and told me that someone there had read a piece from the book, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl (the quintessential “Choose how you want to feel” guy). He was in a concentration camp with a young woman who knew that she would die in the next few days, but in spite of that, she was cheerful. He asked her how she could be so cheerful and she said, “I am grateful that fate has hit me so hard. In my former life I was spoiled and did not take spiritual accomplishments seriously.” She pointed out the window where she could see one branch of a chestnut tree with two blossoms on it. She told him that she often talked to the tree, and the tree spoke to her, saying, “I am here–I am here–I am life, eternal life.”
Later on that same a day a friend of mine told me that the Cat Stevens song, “If You Want to Sing Out”, was playing in her head over and over. One verse goes like this: “If you want to live high, live high. If you want to live low, live low. ‘Cause there’s a million ways to go, you know that there are.” It was contagious and started playing repeatedly in my mind too. I’m finding that when stuck in the trance of stinking thinking, that song is a perfect trance buster; it wakes me up to the awareness that I have a choice about how I want to feel.
I had the opportunity to try it out recently when my Chopped Liver persona was beginning to gather momentum. Tom and I hadn’t seen each other yet that day, and when I walked into the room he was watching TV. He kept watching TV, and eventually looked up at me and said a tepid “Good morning.” That was the view through my Chopped Liver filter anyway. I addressed what I was feeling, and as we talked about it, I could feel dopamine and adrenaline flooding my body, feeling so good to feel so bad, so right to feel so wronged!
But I chose to bust that trance by singing in my mind the Cat Stevens song (adding some of my own words), “If you want to feel stuck, feel stuck, if you want to feel free, feel free. There’s a million ways to be, you know that there are.” (I then owned with Tom how when he walks in the room and I’m on the computer, I feel reluctance to interrupt my focus — exactly what I was accusing him of doing!)
To complete this cluster flock, I recently saw the movie, Nicholas and Alexandra. At the end of the movie the Russian czar and his family were imprisoned in a holding room, unsure of their fate, and in a moment of total clarity and joy Nicholas resoundingly exclaimed, “It is so GOOD to be alive!” Yes, it is! I choose to thoroughly enjoy this moment, this day, this life!
How about you? Have you had a cluster flock of learning lately? Are you faced with a choice of feeling good or feeling bad? I’ll leave you with Cat Steven’s trance-busting words (you can be creative and substitute your own words if you like):
If you want to live high, live high
And if you want to live low, live low
‘Cause there’s a million ways to go
You know that there are.