Opinion: Wisdom Workout

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A Peek Inside

‘Tis the season of commercials and glitzy marketing strategies. Multiple 30-second commercials attack us with pumped up volume until our senses are dulled.

What if this season we begin to step off the treadmill and take a moment to quiet down and look inside to see how we want to experience this holiday season?

There are prices to pay for taking control of our lives. We would have to give ourselves permission to choose on a moment-to-moment basis what is best for us. We may begin to realize how shut down, numb and out of touch we have become. We may be shocked at how clueless we are about our deeper feelings, beliefs and core values. We may discover that we don’t know where we are going or why.

These insights can trigger feelings of being wrong. Not the “I’m so sorry, I used the wrong fork” wrong. It’s the “you who were born wrong” gut-wrenching wrong.

Take heart. Free-floating fear and anxiety may indicate it is time to do some soul searching. Access and activate your heart smarts.

Our heart, our feeling nature, knows everything that is hurting us; causing distress. The problem is we don’t stop long enough to ask our heart for its knowledge. We rely on our intellect to run the show. The result of our one-sidedness is endless forging ahead with no time to stop, listen and choose new directions.

Why consider feelings since they are often messy, inconsistent and contradictory? Better to suck it up and keep on keeping on.

Here is why it is important to check in on a deeper level. Fear, anxiety, sadness, grief, anger and fatigue all hold important information, if we will listen and act on what we hear.

Let’s put it this way. Have you ever had your feet send you a message that they hurt? You get the message but you decide you don’t want to take your shoes off because you’ll just have to put them on again when it is time to leave. Instead of addressing the hurt, you punish and blame your feet. Does this strike you as a bit crazy?

We do this with many things in our lives that don’t work for us. The information is there, ready and waiting for us to take ourselves seriously.

Honest, sane, responsible, caring, considerate, do-the-right-thing behavior is at a premium in our fast-paced world. This season puts even more demands on us in the form of social and business obligations.

Take some time out to have a heart-to-heart talk with yourself. Tune out the external clamor and turn your awareness inward.

Check in and see if you are mercilessly driving yourself through the holiday rush. Quiet down and see if you can embrace an attitude that would allow you the maximum enjoyment of this special time of year, minus the hype. You have your own ability to respond to this season by establishing an intent that you want to actualize, underneath all the marketing noise and nonsense.

Maybe you can mend a neglected friendship or take time to let someone know how important he or she is to you. Choose someone who is a single parent with children and help with Christmas expenses.

Open your heart to yourself. Peek inside and be open for some surprises. It could be the best present you get this year. From you to you, with love.

Susan is a Laguna local since 1986 and is a leadership development author, trainer and clarity coach, Reach her at susanvelasquez.com.

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