Sometimes I find myself slipping into an old robotic pattern, a certain contracted stuckness. This trance-like state of being shows up in different ways: reading late into the night and awakening tired, heading to the snack cupboard instead of going on a walk. Leaving a little late for an appointment and then rushing to get there, forgetting my goal of staying present in my life. As if this added drama gives me a life of purpose. I slip into a way of moving through my life as if I’m wearing blinders. There’s very little space for different choices. After all, that would upset the robot with blinders.
It’s much happier if I Just Do It, without even noticing that what I’m feeling or believing. This trance can last for hours or days. Later, as I debrief, I can find what I might have been believing. But in the moment, I often don’t even pause to ask. There’s a very thin line between the slight discomfort of a thought or feeling that I might be avoiding and the robotic take over.
But there’s a space inside this stuckness, an opportunity to break the pattern. If I can remember to pause, even for a moment, there’s a space inside the stuckness, a little breath, that can reveal a spaciousness of the mind. When I find that breath, that space, a choice is possible.
When I remember to stop, I’m no longer a victim to my thoughts. From that spaciousness, there’s a chance for a creative relationship with my world.
Each of us has our own signs that we’re moving into an old robotic (and stuck) pattern. What are yours?
What are some ways that you sometimes pause, come back, find a spaciousness? (This could happen in the bathroom with a locked door). Think of a place or time that might work in your day.
(Better yet) Find a time each day (or small moments several times a day) to pause and check, see if you have another option.