I will revisit courage exclusively for a week often. I will also include it as an aspect of everything going forward. This week the attribute I will focus on is enthusiasm. This is another mountain with no top. However, I have found myself like a flea in a jar. Fleas once tired of banging themselves against the jar lid and the sides will stay inside the jar with the lid removed. I keep a lid on my enthusiasm also. I wonder if a larger jar will help.
One of the tasks this week is to take a vow of silence for 48 hours. I will do it all at once beginning Wednesday afternoon. Before then, I will ensure my environment supports the adventure. This year for Lent I am giving up ‘because’, ‘why’ and ‘is’ from all I say and write. Wednesday is the day I fast as well. With the vow of silence, I will add two more days of fasting to it for a serious investigation in what my mind chatter has to say.
The inquiry while silent is more important than a swing thought in golf. Some of the ones I will look at are:
What am I pretending not to know?
What was I not willing to do?
What am I not willing to do?
What stories do I keep telling myself to stay stuck?
The mind is a strange and wonderful instrument. The investigations people made of their minds fascinate me. William James thought he had recorded the ultimate mystery under the influence of nitrous oxide. On returning to his normal state, he eagerly consulted the paper on which he had scrawled the great message. It read:
Man is polygamous.
Woman is monagamous.
The first quote I found that hooked me on the journey for self is by Fitz Hugh Ludlow:
There is no self! There is no I. There is merely a shifting mosaic of moods and thoughts, changed like a pattern in a kaleidoscope every time circumstances shake the instrument. This ridiculous object has been strutting around saying I this and I that and all the while it has no more I than a scarecrow and no more will than a puppet.
I decided to affect the instrument by shaking the kaleidoscope on purpose. Upsets are only reactions to some firmly held belief triggered from a certain point view. The most common point of view being, this shouldn’t be this way or this should not happen to me. Using Ludlow’s analogy, I became adept at sliding through as many points of view as possible looking for one that massaged my funny bone or provided something more empowering than anger, sadness, guilt, unworthiness, fear or any other emotion I felt stopped me. I eventually found I carried hundreds of ‘expectations’ for how everything should be, turn out, operate or exist.
I soon realized I could alter the expectations to agree with the outcome. This habit of coming from no emotional attachment has proven it is not the perfect solution however. It gives plenty of space to everyone but misses an intention for success. The answer is creating agreements with everyone. As an answer, this does not have a lot of power. As a habit, it tends to scare many people away. As a practice, it requires engaging it newly every time.
It’s not what a thought is but what a thought does. – Dusan Djukich
I let my subconscious sleep this morning and took my morning walk without checking it first. I sensed I was missing something as I walked out the door. When I woke the subconscious while walking it wanted to know where the cell phone was and it was annoyed about not leaving the house having prepared for our return as my usual habit dictated. I have been wondering what was useful about the subconscious. It’s alarming is often annoying.
Is there some way to train the subconscious to elicit enthusiasm on demand?
A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease. – John Muir
When you discover your mission, you will feel its demand. It will fill you with enthusiasm and a burning desire to get to work on it. – W. Clement Stone
This week’s mission is to discover anew ability to use and the sources of unbridled enthusiasm.