I love ice cream. In a cone. Not in a dish, not as an ice cream soda or a shake. These all leave out the best part of enjoying ice cream. The lick - tasting the cold creaminess on the tip of my tongue and having to lick fast to avoid the same cold creaminess from running down my arm. And then there’s the contrast of biting into the crispness of the cone itself, a strategic bite to ensure just the right amount of cone is broken off along with just the right amount of ice cream. Eating an ice cream cone properly takes practice.
I do limit the number of cones I eat so I don't overdo the sugar thing which allows me to make getting an ice cream cone into an outing. Once in a while we’ll go to the ice cream stand that unfortunately opened up about a mile from my house. It’s a cute little farm stand with an ice cream window that, much to my dismay, is open year-round.
I don’t like being inconvenienced.
There, I’ve said it. I’m not proud of it, but dang once I realized this, my life got a lot more joyful.
When I say I don’t like to be inconvenienced, I mean I don’t like being asked to do something I wasn’t planning to do. I can get quite huffy about it. Even my husband asking for my signature to deposit a sum of money into our bank account can cause a huff and an eye roll.
“Really? You want me to stop what I’m doing and sign my name now?”
Of course it’s childish and stupid, but that was my reaction until I was able to identify and become consciously aware of what I was doing. It feels like it took me forever. Again, not proud of it.
Do you ever get the feeling that something is missing from your life? Like if you were to order a mocha ice cream cone and got coffee instead? Part of what you ordered is there, but the parts that give depth of flavor are missing.
I feel like that’s what happens when we live our lives running about going from one task to the next. It’s easy to get caught up in the busy. But is it satisfying? Personally, it leaves me feeling empty.
The way to fill that emptiness is not with more doing. Rather, I feel we're being asked to sit and be with ourselves in a way that is loving and reflects gratitude for all that we are.
Have you ever thought about why you might want to change something? A tire, a diaper, a behavior? I don’t know a whole lot about changing a tire, which probably isn’t a good thing, but what I do know is you wouldn’t do it simply because you want to. You’d do it because you have to. The same with a diaper. A fresh diaper doesn’t need to be changed, but by golly, you definitely want to change a soiled one asap.
So, what about behaviors? When and why might you change those? I think the place to start is to suggest that as humans, we’re not set in stone. That is to say we’re dynamic. I think we can all agree that we’re not the same person we were as a small child or when we were in college, or even last week for that matter. We have experiences that impact and shape us.
The behaviors we learned when we were young insured our survival and that’s important. But are those same behaviors necessary when we’re older? Probably not. But for most of us, those survival behaviors are still with us and they are alive and well, showing up as triggers - sometimes when we least expect them.
Lately I've been thinking about how I want to move forward and it seems I have lots of ideas. But when I start to take action, I find I’m talking myself out of the idea that just moments before was really exciting. Does this happen to you?
This is when I remind myself it’s time to go within and find what I'm holding onto that’s bringing up these self-sabotaging thoughts. There’s always something hanging out in my subconscious that holds the answer. For me, and for a great many of us, it’s a fear of thinking we’re not enough.
I’ve found over time that a combination of meditative exploration and writing have helped me dig deep to reveal those little, albeit loud and sometimes brash, voices hanging out in my subconscious mind.
How did they get in there?