Friday 27 May 2011

Why is life so difficult?

Why is life so difficult?  Or rather, why do we make life so difficult for ourselves?  Sometimes it feels like I’m pushing against a vast weight; that I’m like Sisyphus, poor soul, with his shoulder to the boulder.  Okay, so I haven't slept again, and I feel pretty ill and the dreadlines are crashing and the vultures are circling but still...

Maybe I need a different perspective.  We fall into habits, into routine; we have rat-runs. We run in circles, always the same way.  Sometimes, perhaps, we need to reverse the route.  It dawned on me, as I took the SP for his morning walk, that I have never walked up The Chimney, the steep path to the hill-fort (place of strength?).  I have slid down it, many times, but I have never clambered up.  So
It was beautiful. Filled with flowers.  Not so hard really at all.  Easy, even.  Everything looks different when you go the other way, when you reverse the polarity.  But you still have to be careful.  Once you reach the top the path is indeed easy and even, deceptively so. A straight track through the woods.  Yet roots stretch and, if you don’t keep your eyes on your feet, they will trip you up. 
I used to write about this a lot.  Used to advise people to shift their routines, to try different things, to make shifts, even tiny ones… Does everything always have to be the same? No.  If you do the same workout, the same job, the same anything, you will hit a stagnation point.  Every smart trainer, businessperson, whatever knows you have to shift things around, to throw the occasional spanner in the works.  Do I follow my own advice? Shit no.  Things need to change.
I came down from the fort and reached the vantage point where you can look right out over the valley, past the river and see this small town stretched out in front of you.  I had to refocus my eyes to pick out our house, way over on the other side, up on the hill – a long way away as the path winds.  Ah, but...I had this sudden flash that I could fly there in an instant. Oh, how I wish I could.  Now that would be a change indeed.  Instead I walked back slowly through town, people waving, cars tooting.  Just like always. 
But, funny thing, seems my neighbour, the vicar, has been thinking the same sort of thing.  ‘If you’re a slave to routine, you become anxious when you have to change,’ he said.   True.  ‘But God doesn’t like repeating things,’ he went on.  ‘Since we’re made in God’s image, maybe we should think about how we can find fresh ways of doing things.’  Right on, John.
And, when I came back I found the postman had delivered (out of the blue) three CDs by Art Giser who does something called Energetic NLP – check out his site here.  ‘Are you running your own life?' he said (accusingly, or so I heard it).  Ummm.  'Clear programming and energy to identify your own authentic goals’…’avoid negative energy’…’excuses obliterator’ (ho ho)….’increase your prosperity’… 

Hmm, which to try first?  Then an email pinged in from my accountant which answered that question pretty quickly.  I'll let you know how I get on. 
better hope he leaves the boulder behind, eh?
But enough about me; what about you? Do you always do the same stuff all the time?  Does it feel as if nothing ever changes?  Do you feel comforted by routine, or stifled by it? Sometimes it’s hard even to tell until you try shifting.
Maybe today try doing just one thing differently… it could kick off an entire chain reaction.  One of these days, even Sisyphus might think, ‘sod it’, let go of his boulder and book a cruise.
Music? Alela Diane today...


Tattieweasle said...

Oh HOrrocks! Caught me unawares and right in my solar plexus so sitting here with tears sliding down face and making crap wet sniffing noises - NICE
Hit wall with my eldest and feeling useless things have got to change thinks I...beenthnking it for a while makes my blog SOOOOOO jolly to read but a simple chnage.... {HUGS!}

Exmoorjane said...

Oh Tattie, my love...I'm've been on my mind SO mind, since reading your recent posts... Really MUST make it to Suffolk and talk long and properly...must. This will be one of the changes. xxxxx

Evangeline said...

Fairly weird thing. I was listening to this when I opened your blog up :)

Tracy Tidswell said...

I always thought I was somebody who was comforted by routine, I hated change and this is partly why I ended up staying in an unhappy relationship for far too long, it was horrible but it wasn't as horrible as the thought of the unknown.
But eventually I had no choice but to change, so that's what I did. It was scary and changed my life upside down but it was very liberating. I found that the things, the routines, that I'd clung to so tightly were all things I could quite easily live without. It doesn't have to be a huge change, just something small every so often, and it can make a huge difference.
Thank you x

Shu said...

Change the routine, I say. Routine is wonderful reassuring but we need to exercise different neurons in the brain so give it something new to do! It confuses the dog when I change the morning walk routine - but he's still smiling.
But I'm like you - can tell others what to do but not so good at taking my own advice!

Frances said...

Jane, I often feel aligned with that Sisyphus fellow, but also try to realize those occasions when familiar boulder weight seem to have left my shoulders.

Change and routines. I am often required to adopt or adapt to changes prescribed by others. This is not at all the same as initiating changes myself. Sometimes, there emerges a true conflict.

I don't think my challenges are all that different in scale from those of other folks, but know my ways of dealing with them are very custom made ... by me. Just have to keep going, but also be on the lookout for beautiful new points of view.

Thank you for this post! xo

Exmoorjane said...

Evangeline: *smile* *big smile*

Tracy: it's like the good old butterfly effect, sometimes all it takes is the tiniest change to make waves... xxx

Shubes: exactly! get those neural sheeptracks shifted...make new synapses. :)

Frances: you always put things so beautifully...I know you have had some real challenges of late...but your view is always very

Kate said...

Oh - I know what you mean. Things seem hard going here at the moment. But you're right- just altering the viewpoint can really help to change perspective too. I hope things untangle themselves for you too.

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

This resonates. I am not a lover of routine and always struggle with other people's resistance to change. Change to me seems exciting and energising. Now our days are centred around a 92 year old's routine, much loved though he is, and the same food and the same time for bed and for meals and the same time to go out every day and talk a walk and sameness. It has a value. I am not decrying security. I might just need to eat curry at 3am, standing on my head.