Sunday, January 16, 2011

Untangling Your Knots

As I was putting away the Christmas ornaments today, I came to one that almost sabotaged my peace of mind and joyful efforts.

It all began with a strand of painted figs that were joined together with translucent nylon string. In removing this decoration from the tree, I was very careful to keep the figs away from each other. However, when I started to wrap it around some tissue, the string got invisibly hooked on one of the figs. I tried to undo the obstacle with no success.

In fact, things only got worse, and soon the whole strand became an incredibly knotted mess!

What followed was a great test of my patience and desire to efficiently dismantle and store the adornments of the tree.

At first, I made pretty continual progress at deliberately separating the figs and connecting lines. I started to feel optimistic about my mission and the end seemed in sight. Unfortunately, something happened, and the tangle quickly appeared worse than expected.

After quite a while on the task, my energy started to drop and I began to contemplate other options. I imagined putting the tangled strand away in the box as it was. I even thought about discarding the "tired old thing."

With my increasing level of frustration and weariness, I knew I couldn't continue. More of this action would only make things worse.

I paused.

I was clear about what I did not want. So I asked myself what I did want. My internally inspired response came quickly. I wanted to return the strand to the box untangled and in good shape for the next use.

In order to accomplish this desired outcome, I realized I needed to shift my physical position, relax and breathe, and start all over at one end of the strand with slow, calming, steady movements.

As you might expect, within a fraction of the time I had already expended, I released my knots, the physical entanglements, as well as my "not"s in less tangible forms (e.g., "I'm not able to clear this up," "I do not like this ornament," "I'm not very patient," and so on).

The strand was tangle-free and so was I.

In my view, this seemingly insignificant scenario provokes several reminders that are important for all personal transformation efforts:
  • Mental states such as anxiety, worry, doubt, anger, and fear appear "real" and establish knots/"not"s that limit you.
  • Most obstacles are not permanent barriers to what you want. To overcome or transform these barriers, you usually need to tap into your resourcefulness and creativity.
  • When you or your situations get confused and tangled, a "pause" becomes a vital tool for determining what's happening and what you want to do about it.
  • Physical movement, relaxation, and diaphragmatic breathing change your state and can enhance your openness to new possibilities.
  • Patience and self-love help you create desired outcomes and enjoy your actions independently from actual results.
Consider any other implications of my experience for your own journey.
  • How do entanglements show up in your life?
  • How do you want to handle them in the future?
As you practice developing conscious responses:

May you untangle all your knots and "not"s with clarity, ease, and joy!

Love and Peace,
Dave