This train's on Indian time. What's your excuse mate?
Ahhh…you’re back for more, eh?
What’s happened since we last spoke about delay and resistance? Did you start that blog? Kick off that business? Fire your stockbroker? Un-friend the deadbeat “friends” on Facebook?
To those of you who simply say, “screw it, I’m just not going to do it right now no matter what my attorney or Vishnu says”, you’ve embraced resistance and procrastination in your life. The bigger problem is for everyone else who’s in denial about resistance.
The language of resistance.
Resistance is putting things off in your life which you need to be doing but are not, for some strong underlying reason. It’s why you don’t take the garbage out until 4:59 a.m. (1 minute before pick-up time), why you never go to your in-laws house for dinner and why you keep library books with you until you receive an ‘intent to sue’ letter from the library. It’s why you don’t go to the dentist, why you stopped going to church and why you’ll never go on a diet.
The problem with resisting action is that it’s easy to overlook the language we use to delay. We can be incredibly creative in putting off tasks. Language is one cue that can help show us how clever we are when resisting action.
While the examples I share below may be over the top, the 21 trigger phrases I suggest (they’re italicized and underlined) are phrases we may be using regularly to resist action.
Which of these phrases have you said to yourself lately?
1. I really should become an A-list actor and do a movie with Brad Pitt. (My friend, Amy, just wrote about why you need to stop ‘should-ing’ your life away.)
2. I need to give up my Wall Street job and save children in Sudan.
3. If I had enough time, I would start a business that would allow people to post photos of their faces online and then create a social media platform where they can connect with each other based on shared likes and interests.
4. If I was a millionaire, I’d hire Tim Brownson to move into my guest house and be my life coach and spiritual advisor.
5. If I only could wake up in the mornings meditate, I could find inner peace and reach enlightenment by the end of the year.
6. I could run a triathlon if I really wanted; I’d do 3 a year and probably set some world records.
7. I’d like to travel to France, climb the Eiffel tower, walk over to the Pierce Brosnan-looking businessman staring out into the streets of Paris and tell him that we were destined to be with each other.
8. If God had wanted it, I’d have a house golf-course side in Palm Springs too.
9. When I meet the right agent, publisher and editor, I should be able to start writing my New York Times best seller.
10. If I had gone to school for that, I would have probably dropped out of Harvard and started Microsoft in a garage.
11. Once the housing market rebounds, I’m going to save up a little bit of money to buy a couple rental properties in the Florida Keys.
12. I need to stop working until 9 p.m every night and see my 2 year-old twins a couple nights a week.
13. One day, I’m going to start eating vegetables, lose 100 pounds and audition to be the guy who replaces Jared on those Subway commercials.
14. I love the idea of going into work at the post office, telling my boss to ‘stuff it’ and start that around the world overnight delivery service I’ve always dreamed of. (Actually, I know a blogger who did just that, with some slight variations of course). Milo said goodbye to the civil service, gave them plenty of notice about his departure and now is a full-time freelance copywriter. He didn’t just love the idea but he made it happen!)
15. I must forgive my third grade teacher for beating me in class every week when I was growing up and I must stop casting spells on her via this voodoo doll I had shipped over from the Caribbean islands.
16. I’m going to stop partying every week night til 2 a.m. at the clubs, spending my hard-earned money on booze and late night Denny’s runs.
17. When the new year rolls around, I’m going to stop smoking, turn vegan, drink organic water, cut out carbs, move out of my Mom’s basement, go up and see my Mom weekly and get a job!
18. If I knew people, I’d be in the U.S. Senate too and would have been Vice President by now instead of that Joe Biden guy.
19. My dream is to quit this waitressing gig in my hometown of Otis, Kansas and perform those country western songs I sing around the campfire to a live audience. (What if your dream was to quit your job, move to Japan and become a ninja? Yeah, I know someone who did that.)
20. Once the kids are grown, I’m going to give up my career as a trucker and really get serious about raising goats and selling them.
21. I would like to travel the world and teach people languages when I retire in 20 years. (One globe-trotter who didn’t wait 20 years and is teaching languages while she travels is my friend, Maria. If you want to learn Spanish online, she’s a Skype call away.)
We can’t knock out resistance in our lives unless we learn to identify the language we use to resist. That was my stab at common resistance phrases I’m familiar with and hell, may have even used at different points in my life.
Did I miss any? What words or phrases do you use to resist taking action in your own life? Let me know in the comments below.
By the way, do you love goats? If you do, check out what rush hour looks like on the Costa Rican farm that I’m living at, Morning Rush Hour on the Farm. Also, check out a recent guest post I did on Bjorn’s blog, Culture Mutt.
* Photo by Passetti
A view of the rainforest outside my window
A big hello to my 4 readers, 3 twitter followers, 2 brothers and myself:)
Just wanted to let you all know that I’m thrilled about having my first guest post on my friend, Tim Brownson’s blog, A Daring Adventure. Tim is the funniest blogger I know on the blogosphere so I’m glad I had an opportunity to post on his blog. Tim’s also an excellent life coach! Before you jump off that 30th story building, call 407-334-4692.
I enjoyed writing the blog post and am enjoying all the comments and thoughts about the subject – how to get out of bed in the morning to meditate. Seriously – getting out of bed in the morning is the hardest part of a meditation practice. I offer some great tips about how to do it including my favorite way – #6 Have some monks spend the night in your bedroom to kick off your early morning practice.
If you need some helping waking up to start your practice, please visit today’s guest post here: A Daring Adventure guest post.
For the rest of you who have no interest in meditation and came to this website looking for how to live a virtuous life, sorry! But do enjoy some photos from my current Costa Rican adventure.
Yes, this is what I imagined paradise would look like.
A street scene of nearby San Vito in Southern Costa Rica (near the Panama border)
The church in San Vito is in the central area of town.
Are they hiring at the local San Vito bakery?
Is the train delayed? Or are you resisting getting on?
You’d like to start a TV show – 29 minute meals – in competition with Rachel Ray’s 30 minute meals! Or pitch American Fiddle to Hollywood – a spin-off of American Idol for fiddlers.
Or start that new insect stamp-collecting hobby where you collect stamps with insects from around the world and then go into the Amazon to dig up those very insects to match the stamp.
Or start that new ‘career’ in your ‘family’s ‘trash-collection’ business in Jersey.
You get the idea – you have big dreams. Ambitions. Goals to achieve in life.
What are you delaying today?
There are new ventures and projects that you want to start in your life. In fact, you may have already started them but are having trouble pressing forward after kicking it off the ground.
When I delayed doing something in my life, like kicking off this blog for example, I found many obstacles and challenges that delayed my blogging.
♦ I had a full time job so of course I didn’t have time to blog.
♦ Web and graphic designers cost money so I had better save up some capital before launching my blog.
♦ Who’s going to read my blog anyways except my writing coach, blog coach and therapist? (Kidding folks, at least about 2 of those 3 people). Maybe I should kick of my blog after I made some blogging buddies.
♦ I couldn’t actually start blogging until I had a theme, logo, tagline and full time office staff to answer my media calls.
♦ Why should I associate myself with a group of people who probably spend lots of hours locked up in dark rooms with their laptops commenting on other blogs and checking their Google analytics? Maybe there was more fame and money in getting into the tabloid business and working for Rupert Murdoch?
♦ Who cares what I have to say when everything that I want to say had already been said by Tim Brownson at www.adaringadventure.com with more wit, humor and intelligence and Sandra Pawula at www.alwasywellwithin.com with more clarity and wisdom.♦
♦ I should only blog after I publish a book then I can blog about how to write a book!
♦ What if I started succeeding and had an international following of readers, and couldn’t get through airport security checks due to the throngs of fans and paparazzi? Should I find out how much it would cost to hire personal bodyguards?
As deranged as it sounds, these were some real reasons I didn’t start blogging.
How about yourself – what are you delaying? What are you putting off? What are you making excuses for?
What did your dog eat today?
What did your mother-in-law serve you for dinner last night that made you feel like you were poisoned and you couldn’t wake up at 3:30 a.m today to start training for that triathlon?
Resistance speaks in the language of delay.
As you can see, most of the excuses I had for delaying the kick-off for my blog was not really a legitimate reason.
For example, if I was mobbed by the paparazzi as a celebrity blogger, I could always have certain friends of mine fill in as security guards. (A couple of them have had to leave jobs with the Secret Service but that’s a whole other story. They’re heart’s in the right place, man!!)
If only 3 people were going to read my blog, I can almost bet my blogging coach and writing coach would each know one other person who they could cajole to read my blog (maybe their wife or Ruffo, their dog!)
I soon realized (not really – it was a huge delay before I realized this) that the excuses I was making for myself were not so much different delay tactics but a form of resistance to embracing my blogging journey!
I was scared, nervous, doubtful and embarrassed even. Of what? Having my words seen publicly? Having my thoughts displayed to strangers? Bearing my soul to outright criminals who are hoping I accidentally post my credit card numbers on this blog!!!
Be aware of delays to kick down the door of resistance.
What the hell am I talking about?
You know. Stop hiding under the bed covers.
Stop the delays!
Stop resisting yourself!
Stop the madness!
Stop reading this blog. (I beg you – please read this blog)
Stop saying you can’t or you won’t.
Stop saying you will or you shall.
Stop saying you don’t have time or you’ll do it later.
Face the resistance. Acknowledge the resistance. Confront the real reasons you’re not doing what you need to be doing.
Then kick down that door of resistance.
(Disclaimer: I mean don’t kick down any doors or break any part of your apartment…this is just a figure of speech folks.) Thanks Janet for inspiring this post!
* Photo by Carlos A. Zambrano
Is Costa Rica paradise on earth?
I didn’t know much about Costa Rica before coming down here to visit my friends in this lush Central American country. Now that I’ve made it down to Costa Rica, I’d say that Costa Rica is paradise on earth!
What’s the deal with Costa Rica?
Costa Rica is everything that I had heard about and more than everything that I had imagined it to be. Lush greenery fills the Costa Rican landscape like a permanent stunning backdrop. The proximity to the Equator and plentiful rain has created a vibrant natural environment shared by a myriad of greenery, vegetation, and animals. Even San Jose, the capital and big city, is filled with lush greenery all around it.
I was born and raised in the tropical Equator-near peninsula of Malaysia which is not nearly as lush or green as it is here Costa Rica. The Costa Ricans care deeply about the environment and protecting the natural habitats for their wildlife and tropical rainforests.
I’m staying in the Southern tip of Costa Rica near the Panama border near a region called Biolley on a friend’s farm. The farm is occupied by many goats, cows, horses, sheep, dogs and people. I’m enjoying spending some time down here improving my Spanish, helping out on the farm, doing some writing and embracing the beautiful Costa Rican landscape. The cabin I’m staying in feels like the penthouse suite overlooking the natural rainforests and waterfalls below. Photos can’t really do the landscape justice but here’s my attempt to show you what the view outside my window looks like.
Vibrant greenery and blue skies
A paradise in the rainforest (or where I'm spending a couple of months:) )
Valentina and baby Marigold
Nature inspires reflection.
*I’m spending May and June 2012 in my friend Jennifer and Bruce’s Finca de Lilo. The closest national park is La Amistad National Park. Jennifer regularly blogs about her coffee farm at Biolley Buzz.
Are you a green-tea drinking, yoga-practicing, Hybrid-driving soul-searcher who spends your free time meditating at awareness-retreats; doing Hanuman-like acrobatic postures at yoga retreats; and dancing like a possessed Lord Krishna at kirtans?
Are you a regular alms-giving, Biblically-versed, choir-singing evangelical disciple who goes to church every Sunday without fail, attends Monday night Bible-studies in spite of Monday night football and Friday night fellowship in spite of the Jersey Shore reruns?
Does your Sanskrit, Jewish, Arabic or Hewbrew name translate to “the great one”, “our savior”, “the creator of the universe” or “the divine one and only”?
Are you spiritual or do you need therapy?
If you answered yes to any question above, you are most likely a highly religious human being. If you answered yes to any two of the above questions, therapy is most likely needed. If you answered yes to all three above circumstances, please let me know which psychiatric hospital you’re residing in.
Yes, you’re living on a spiritual plane but not many of your neighbors, friends or family are. And why the hell not? Why do people run from spirituality like their hair’s on fire?
7 reasons why spirituality gets a bad rap:
1) Dogma and tradition of religion. Many can’t relate to stories of the ancient world. Modern science and our increased sophistication raises doubts about seas parting, angels singing, and miracle healings. Spirituality tends to be wrapped up in religion and religion is outdated, archaic and far removed from the realities of the modern day.
2) No instant gratification. Every gadget and comfort of the modern world gives us instant pleasure. We watch television and are intrigued. We can instantly purchase real farm animals for our social media farms. We can order books with a click of a mouse, chat with our relatives in remote parts of Uganda or order flowers that can be delivered on the same day. The benefits of spirituality can take months, years or lifetimes to materialize.
3) Not practical to daily life. Spirituality has a difficult time fitting into our everyday lives. In a dog-eat-dog world where corporations are focused on the bottom line, spirituality seems to get in the way of making money and succeeding in the material world. There’s never enough time to run all the errands, answer every text message and email, and watch every episode of the Jersey shore.
4) Leaders gone wild. Our esteemed spiritual leaders are supposed to lead and inspire. Yet, like all humans, they fail too. Fallen televangelists, shake-you-down con men and spiritual gurus of old and new seem to be distracted from the spiritual journey. Their own journeys to enjoy the modern comforts of life, corruption and sensuality have turned off spiritual-seekers altogether.
5) Controversies & Scams. Controversy (along with wars and persecution) have accompanied religions and spiritual practices for ages. Controversies have risen about the abuse of power in religious organizations, sex and child abuse charges, and lawsuits about church or temple management. Scams have usually revolved around ripping off the congregation, embezzlement and even money laundering.
6) If it doesn’t make money, it doesn’t make sense. It costs money to run a place of worship like a temple or church. While the church-attending and religious minded amongst us have grown up making our weekly alms, more people are tightening their belts. If one approaches spirituality as a financial investment, they will soon realize their investment is better off in the stock market! Regardless of how priceless self-awareness can be, most spiritual practices cost money.
7) Looney-toon practices. Many of the practices of modern day spirituality get at self-awareness and enlightenment. With so many practices out there, some practices become questionable. Sacrifice killings, possessed trances, tantra, end-of-the-world zealots, and most “herbal” practices, make many look at spirituality with suspicion and doubt.
How do you view spirituality and religion? Do you run away from spirituality like your hair’s on fire?
For my book on spirituality and staying resilient during tough times, click here for Is God Listening?