This is the sentence of the week. The one small question that my clients and myself will befriend during our waking hours, when it’s all too easy to get caught up in daily routines, habits, expectations – when life easily and unconsciously flows from one commitment or distraction to the next, only slowing intermittently, without pause. In asking this question of ourselves, we aim to re-introduce the inner us back into our own lives.
Imagine you’re walking down a busy street, hundreds of people around you. Don’t just read this, actually imagine it.
Again, imagine you’re walking down a busy street. Hundreds of people around you, all moving in different directions. You notice someone standing still. They’re not playing with their phone or trying to find something in their bag. They’re not lost, they’re not confused. They’re standing still. Amidst people rushing past, all desperate to get to one place or the next, this person is separate from the flood of motion. They are standing still.
What’s your first reaction to this person? Concern, curiosity, amusement? What if this person is looking directly back at you?
Sometimes a pause, for us and for those around us, can be more effective than the most intense efforts of action. We must be this person that stops and looks directly at ourselves. Being still, whether physically, emotionally or mentally, is deeply liberating and entirely within our power. By asking ourselves, in any given moment, Is this acceptable? we’re essentially pausing the unconscious part within us that would usually continue on, regardless. By pausing, we’re questioning the flow of life and taking the time to remember and realign with our own inner tides. And, becoming aware of the present moment allows us to become conscious witness to findings that would otherwise remain masked until a time of reflection, after the moment has passed. Findings, like the thought in our actions, the millisecond decision-making in our impulses, the intention behind our desires.
So it’s why this week I suggest that we, as often as possible, ask ourselves ‘Is this acceptable?’ Not, What is the next best thing I could be doing? or How could I have done that better? but, What I’m doing right now, is this acceptable? Is the food I’m choosing to eat right now, acceptable and aligned with how I want to treat my body? Is the work I am producing the best I can do, right now? Is the level of attention I’m giving to the person talking to me, acceptable for the good, present listener I want to be? If the answer is yes, then continue. If it’s no, then maybe work on that.