Stop Spinning in Circles & Get Off that Hamster Wheel!

I was driving home from work the other night at 5:30pm and suddenly a bird smashed into my windshield. Of course it shocked me and then I felt terrible for that little bird. The clocks had turned back one hour and it was the first evening that it was dark at that time. A friend explained to me that the bird’s internal clocks would still be the same, so he wasn’t used to as much traffic being on the road at that time. Perhaps. Or….

As many of you know I love symbolism; and if a bird smashing into my windshield wasn’t some sort of symbolic message to me then I don’t know what was! I started to think about what it could have meant and quite quickly it came to me that I am that little bird flying wildly out of control smashing into things.  Am I out of control?  Not really, but I tend to function in what I will call “controlled chaos.”

I have way too much on my plate, I refuse to sacrifice any of it and there is never enough time. I work a high level full-time job with a large company; I am furiously building my own “passion project” business; I am in two educational coaching programs with lots of homework to do; I enjoy dating; I love spending time with friends and family; going to the gym is a must-have; and I insist on at least 7 hours (minimum) of sleep. There is more, but I’m tired from writing this all already! So how do I jam all of that into a day? A week? A month? Honestly, I’m exhausted.

I’m in a constant state of Rajas. What is that?? Well Rajas is one of three of the Gunas which are discussed in the Hindu text “The Bhagavad-Gita.” The definition goes on to say that Rajas is full of passion and is born out of thirst or intense desire and attachment. It binds the soul through attachment with action.

Rajas sounds fantastic (and it can be!) until you get to the last part – “attachment with action.” Let me clarify that taking action to achieve our goals and vision is extremely important. Without action, we attain nothing. However, it is the attachment to the outcome that has us running around in circles on the hamster wheel or flying out of control like that bird. We keep racing to the finish line but cannot seem to get there. It’s a tricky delicate dance. We do need to take action, but the action in itself with the desired outcome – sans attachment to it – is the secret sauce. When we don’t stop and take the time to reflect on the results of our actions we can never get ahead. When we hold so tightly to the outcome we will definitely never arrive to our desired destination.

Allow me give you a few pointers on how to do this more effectively:

  1. Enjoy the journey – Enjoy each step in your forward motion to reach your goals. In essence, stop and smell the roses every once in a while.
  2. Keep focused on your vision – Don’t get distracted by other bright, shiny objects. Our minds have an excellent way of distracting us so we never reach out goals – thereby keeping us safe and in survival mode – not thriving mode.
  3. Observe and reflect on your results – What are your results? Are they what you were expecting? If not, make a few adjustments and try again. We do not fail, we gain knowledge.
  4. Recognize the fears that are arising in the process – Are you moving a million miles an hour because you are afraid if you “slow down” you will not attain your goal? Slow down. As long as you focus on the vision the desired goal is not going anywhere. Your goal exists because you have already created it in your mind. You own it.
  5. There is no need to be in competition with others – Are you trying to get to the finish line FIRST? I’ve been in the corporate business world for a long time and I’ve observed that companies always want their products to hold the #1 slot. Why? You always fall out of the number #1 slot, eventually. Why not just have an excellent product that people love and buy? Who cares if you are #1 or #2? The need to compete and push out the other person takes a tremendous amount of energy – energy that can be spent on something you love and nurture, such as your audience (whomever your “customer” is).
  6. Don’t judge where you are in your race to the finish line – Let everything be OK and know you have the power to change it. Beating yourself up is wasted energy. Over-analyzing is wasted energy.
  7. Take time to celebrate your WINS – Many times we just check a box and move onto the next thing. We never pause, breathe, celebrate, rejoice and love ourselves and what we just achieved. Give yourself permission to rejoice!

I always practice what I preach, so today I’ve taken the day off from work (it’s my birthday!) and I’m spending the day at the spa – relaxing, journaling, breathing, rejoicing in ME. Today Me, just Me, is good enough just the way I am! Tweet Tweet!

Joanne Newborn is a Director with the World’s largest producer of Spirits.  She has her MBA from Penn State University (Beta Gamma Sigma), BA from Pace University and is also a graduate of The Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre. She is a Certified Coach with the Academy of Jungian Spiritual Psychology. Her blog and coaching business, Newborn Evolution, focuses on Lifestyle & Leadership Transformation with a Jungian Twist. Joanne is a contributing writer to several publications and has two blogs on her website. You can also reach her via email. She is grateful for nearly everything.

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