Still on the theme of exploring how to prevent January enthusiasm from waning I have been reminded that 'going too big' and having unrealistic expectations of myself and others is setting us all up to fail.
So how can I prevent this happening and dampening my enthusiasm? I can set realistic goals and do my best to achieve them. This makes me feel more motivated to keep going, and happier too. And when I set realist goals and I don't quite get there or things don't work out as I had hoped, I can do my best to accept the situation and respond in a helpful way. Sounds easy but sometimes accepting unwanted things can be very tricky.
I recently got all enthused about the possibility of opening a shop. Quite a big undertaking. So how can I set some realistic expectations? Fortunately I had some wonderful advice to break the task of opening a business into smaller manageable tasks. I did this and worked away happily checking out leases, council regulations, and equipment hire costs, with the kind help of friends and family. The big task broken into these smaller tasks appeared manageable and I have learned so much.
I came across some other really useful advice from Pema Chodron. She explained her teacher, Trungpa Rinpoche encouraged her to live life like an experiment. Ralph Waldo Emerson offers us the same advice...
"All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better"
So I did the 'opening a shop experiment' with more of Trungpa Rinpoche advice...
"be willing to try it this way and that way because either way, we have nothing to lose".
And I did! I had lots of fun experimenting - exploring and researching all the ins and outs of opening a shop.
Then the experiment went a bit wrong (or did it?) - the shop was leased by someone else!! I found this out this morning and so some acceptance and letting go has been required.
What has really helped is to allow myself to feel the disappointment and not just suppress it, and then to move on to accept the situation. That radical acceptance - It is like this now, what is my wisest response, type acceptance.
This acceptance is neither apathetic nor discontent with how things are. The shop was not available despite doing my best to make it a possibility. Which does not mean I become apathetic and give up or discontent and blame and criticise. More wise words from Trungpa Rinpoche helped me with this...
If something goes wrong in our experiment no big deal. If it is time for something to flourish it will; and if it is not time, it won't."
He tells us the trick is to not get caught up in fear or hope. Then we can give things a whole hearted go without freezing our attitude into for or against. This prevents us from stressing about how things work out. 'It is like this now' - the shop is not available! So, what is my wisest response? To go forward with curiosity and joyful effort. Who knows where this experiment will go? This attitude keeps our enthusiastic from waning.
I am again reminded this week, that when I am feeling worried, disappointed or down about things not working out how I'd hoped or resolving as quickly as I would like, gratitude is the perfect remedy to overcome my discontent and worry! With this radical acceptance and gratitude for how the experiment is going I am able to let go of fear and worry and trust all is happening as it should. And I am sure others are too!!
Gratitude, Kind Regards and Best Wishes,