Ever since I participated in Rally, things have been different. Not different on the surface. Different deep, deep down. Different in the most subtle ways, so probably nobody but me would recognize it if I didn’t say something.
I feel more patient (though Mary might disagree with that; I’m not sure). Meetings that generally drag on and on are less drag-ey. I’m becoming more adept at giving myself comfort, and realizing, daily, how gosh-darned important it is to me (really, really important). I’m questioning the rules more frequently and with more gusto. I’m also realizing that most of the rules that hold me back actually don’t come from outside. They’re self-imposed.
An example. It’s hard for me to be sitting at a desk all day at work, and to then go home and sit some more while I write, edit photos, or coach my stupendous coaching clients on the phone. I thought I didn’t have a choice but to sit in the same position all day, without a stretch in sight. But. I’m realizing that nobody ever said I couldn’t stretch at work. Nobody ever told me I wasn’t allowed to look up from my computer long enough to get some blood flowing again. That was my own rule. I was the one assuming that the sky would fall or I’d get fired on the spot if I removed my hands from the keyboard. As a result, I’m challenging myself to do stretches every once in a while inside my cubicle. And guess what? I’m still employed. I’ve also been doing really good work in the past few weeks, in case you were wondering.
Here’s another. When I’m editing photos, I often tend to keep things really basic. I don’t apply too many artsy filters or do much editing. This is usually ideal, because my mission is to help people recognize their beauty, and my opinion is that people are most beautiful when they’re un-retouched. Sometimes, I’m pulled to go in more of an artsy direction. Yet I don’t always go down that route, because I’m afraid my clients won’t be pleased. I’m imposing rigid rules again, when the whole point of owning my own business is to forge my own path. So I remember this, and I include two versions of a photo: the straight one, and the artsy one. Quite often, clients like the artsy one best.
One last one. Before Rally, my back had started to hurt after I began doing a daily seated meditation. Even the aforementioned stretching wasn’t relieving my discomfort, which had begun to spread from my meditation sessions into the rest of my life. Then Larisa shared with me over tea that seated meditation just doesn’t feel good to some people. After that, I switched to lying down for meditation. That, combined with a healthy dose of rolling around on the floor and lots of walking, seemed to ease the discomfort. As Larisa said, no need to force myself to do seated meditation if it was going to deter me from meditation itself.
For me, challenging one self-imposed rule is like tipping over a domino. It knocks down the next rule, then the next, and then the next. And eventually, you’re living life according to the coolest set of rules ever: your own. Lovingly designed by none other than you.
Comments: I’m interested to know what (if any) self-imposed rules you’ve noticed in your life, and what effect they’ve had on you. And while we’re at it, I’m entirely open to learning ways to do seated meditation without back discomfort, if you happen to know things about that.