Opinion: Wisdom Workout

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A Sense of Mastery

Imagine that you are traveling along a winding road that represents your unique life path. You are simultaneously riding two horses, like a circus performer who has mastered the art of standing with a foot on each horse. The horse on the right is named Looking Good and the one on the left is Feeling Good.

Looking Good and Feeling Good need to synchronize their pacing so that you, the rider, get two main benefits: position power in the world from Looking Good. and personal power and inner solidity from Feeling Good.

The problem: Looking Good has a tendency towards domination and over-control. Looking Good hungers to be right, good, smart, stable, better than and a winner at all times.

Looking Good strives to be the lead horse, demands positive accomplishment and is relentless in the pursuit of more, bigger and better results.

Feeling Good gets fatigued with Looking Good’s inability to be satisfied. The push for perfection is frantic and anxiety producing. Sometimes Feeling Good intentionally slows down in silent protest. You’ll know it because your ride becomes uncomfortably precarious and you are over-stretched.

Feeling Good has dreams of sauntering down the path on a pristine day, stopping occasionally to nibble clover on the side of the road. Feeling Good loves variety and loses vitality and zest for living when subjected to Looking Good’s constant demands to hurry up so that they never lose their competitive edge.

Looking Good was trained early to be a racehorse lined up at the starting gate and packed in next to all the other horses intent on the same goal. If you didn’t win, place or show, you could be sold off, overlooked and/or put out to pasture. That thought is unbearable, so Looking Good keeps blinders on while chanting a litany of past accomplishments and future unfulfilled goals to keep pushing and forging ahead.

Looking Good and Feeling Good continue to carry you today, so let’s assess your ride. Is Looking Good setting your pace and leaving Feeling Good in heavy resistance? Is your Feeling Good horse feeling very bad and resentful with a chronic attitude problem?

It may be time to call a truce between your Looking Good and Feeling Good horses by setting the intent to be authentic rather than perfect.

Take the reins and give Looking Good and Feeling Good a renewed purpose to become equal partners in the creation of a smooth, satisfying ride.

Let go of seeing your life as a never-ending problem to be solved. Embrace a new reality to thrive. Use your feelings as an internal compass to let you know how Looking Good and Feeling Good are communicating. Validate your accomplishments. Pace yourself. Become aware of your unique rhythm, timing and tempo.

Wholeheartedly rein in your runaway need for unrealistic perfection while encouraging your feelings to add vitality and emotional sincerity to everything you pursue.

As you learn to be both productive and emotionally solid, your sense of personal mastery will expand and evolve naturally.

Susan is a local author and personal development facilitator. Connect with her at: susanvelasquez.com.

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