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Why do we spend so much time waiting for joy to find us? Many of us are conditioned to believe that joy is simply a lack of suffering, and time heals all wounds, right? But when you really dig in, you will usually find that joy exists in a much more fluid and fleeting way, meant to be pursued and pulled toward you again and again.
There is a difference between inner and outer silence, but neither one is so much a lack of noise as it is a space to listen. Inner silence already exists within us beneath a heavy layer of mental and physical distractions, and with practice, you can access it even in a crowded room.
When change happens, even small change, it creates a ripple. It’s so important to ride that wave and embrace the momentum on your journey to change. But just because you’ve gained momentum, be careful not to make the mistake of leaving everything behind in your pursuit to move forward.
I’ve noticed a strange tension in the world. So many of us want things to change, say we need things to change, but as the saying goes, “Nothing changes ‘til you do.” In most cases, we either don’t know how or don’t want to go on that journey.
If you’re experiencing a case of “That’s not it,” take a pause to get aligned with yourself, your values, your goals, your interests/passion, etc. It’s not so much that knowing what you don’t want is a bad thing; it’s just that it’s not a full picture.
You’ve probably heard of the “Great Resignation,” but do you know about the “Great Reflection?” To achieve lasting, meaningful change and avoid slipping back into old patterns, it’s vital to pause, reflect, and think — not just about what you don’t want, but what you do want.
By learning to embrace chaos vs. trying and failing to tame it (an impossible task), we can move forward in more personally meaningful ways. Some theories in neuroscience actually suggest that our minds always operate at a “critical state,” which is like the brink of chaos, somewhere between randomness and order.
Knowing this, how do we start to work with chaos instead of against it?
Wearable health trackers capable of reporting on heart rate, physical activity, temperature, sleep patterns, and more are the latest example of two very human (sometimes oppositional) desires for autonomy and structure. With all of this incoming information, though, we can end up on autopilot, conforming to structure without question; and, in doing so, give up the very autonomy we crave.
The human mind is predisposed to getting trapped or side-tracked by easy, obvious solutions. We’re enamored by the “Idea of the Day” and can become stuck inside the message of a recently released book, a single quote, or the latest podcast. This is never more true than when our mental reservoirs are depleted.