The act of contemplation creates the thing contemplated. — Isaac D’Israeli
Normally, I don’t expect much from business presentations. I especially don’t expect to learn the secret of life! I’ve been to a lot of seminars over the years and oftentimes I feel like I can tell you what’s coming next from the presenter.
Last week, however, I went to one by Greg McCann, a professor at Stetson University. At one point I was looking ahead in my handout when a statement from Greg grabbed my attention. He said, “Do you want to know the secret of life?”
Of course, with a group of reserved business people, it was quiet. “I’d like to know,” I yelled to myself. I could use that secret about now; I sure haven’t found it by myself in all these years! Then Greg talked for a moment about attending 10-day meditation retreats and I knew something different was coming.
He said, “The secret of life is dropping emotional resistance.” Simple as that. It was one of those moments when I heard exactly what he was saying and I agreed completely. The primary impediment to anything I want to do, be or have in life is my resistance to it.
Resistance is a function of fear. Fear of getting too large for the current container of my life and having to change my situation. Fear of reaching again and falling short–better not to strive at all. Fear of what others will think of me. Fear of. . .
One of my teachers years ago taught me that fear is the absence of love. So, instead of focusing on my future with fear and apprehension, I have to replace fear with love. Only then can I possibly lower my emotional resistance.
Now, as often as I can remember, I choose to find things that feel good when I focus on them. The voice of my granddaughter on the phone, playing a great song on my guitar, the upcoming work I get to do, or the pleasure of one of Chef Pamela’s (www.spoonfeast.com) meals for a moment shifts my attention away from my fearful thinking.
It’s like a workout in the gym. Every time I do it I develop the strength and capacity to feel positive emotions for longer and longer periods of time. When this happens, as someone once said, “The intensity and duration of my periods of insanity diminish.”
The secret of life: pull thoughts away from negative topics to the best of your ability. Even practicing for a few moments a day will expand your capacity to replace fear with more love. When fear is lessened, resistance is lowered as well. More of the things that bring us joy have room to enter.
The secret of life, while it’s not going to be realized overnight: drop emotional resistance one little bit at a time.