Why You Should Listen Instead of Worry
Every now and then I get into a funk.
Not the kind of funk where I can’t get off the couch, just the kind that makes me feel like something is off or not quite right.
Usually it happens when I’m working hard on several projects at once, I get tired, I’m not making enough space for downtime, and I lose sight of the bigger picture.
It starts with me thinking, “Why am I doing all of this? What do I REALLY want? Is this THAT important?”
Sometimes, I might even take a brief-but-oh-so-unpleasant trip all the way down the rabbit hole of, “What am I doing with my liiiiife?”
And while I think self-reflection is extremely important when it’s done correctly, it shouldn’t put you in a funk.
If you are in a funk of this kind, it’s likely because you are getting HOOKED AND TOSSED.
Here’s how it works. First we have a thought that our noggins somehow get hooked into. Something like:
“Why am I spending so much time on this? This doesn’t seem right.”
Then that takes us a little deeper, to more questions.
“Maybe I should be doing something totally different. Is this really what I want?”
And these questions are so tempting to try to answer, that we take the worry bait and get hooked in even further.
“Seems like putting my energy into THAT is a waste of time. Am I really liiiiiving?”
Once we are fully hooked into this line of questioning, we start to get tossed around, just like a fish on a line.
We become jostled by these ideas because they make us feel uneasy, as if we might be doing something wrong or are on the wrong path.
This unease speaks directly to our fear that we are not enough, that we are not doing enough, that all that we have in this moment isn’t enough, and so on and so forth.
So how do you get UNHOOKED in order to stop the TOSSING?
The other day, I was reading a piece about the famous composer John Cage. As a musician and artist, his work truly focuses on the art of LISTENING.
He shared this story that I think leads to a very good answer to our question:
“[O]ne day I got into [a cab] and the driver began talking a blue streak, accusing absolutely everyone of being wrong. You know he was full of irritation about everything, and I simply remained quiet. I did not answer his questions, I did not enter into a conversation, and very shortly the driver began changing his ideas and simply through my being silent he began, before I got out of the car, saying rather nice things about the world around him.”
He simply observed and listened. He didn’t get hooked or tossed, but remained a bystander to the conversation.
So for you, dear friend, the next time you notice you are going down the rabbit hole of “things are terribly wrong, I don’t have enough money, I’m so out of shape, this will never work, what am I doing with my liiiiife,” I encourage you to practice the art of listening.
Resist the urge to hook in.
Pay attention to your thoughts.
Notice the nature of them.
Practice this mantra:
In this moment, I have all that I need.
Listen instead of worry. Don’t let negative thoughts pull you into THEIR storm. Instead, pull yourself back into YOUR peace.
In the comments, I’d love to know if you can relate to this idea. And if you have an experience of a time you got hooked in, what did you do to get unhooked?