Note: This post is a continuation of a series. If you’re new to my site, please read this post first, and then this post next before you continue reading the post below.
One of my favorite Far Side comic strips is set in hell. There are flames and piles of ash everywhere. Workers are toiling in the heat. Amidst them is this dorky-looking guy in a striped shirt with glasses. (Gary Larson drew this type well.) The guy is pushing a wheelbarrow and whistling, oblivious to his surroundings. In the foreground, Satan is talking with one of his helpers, and he says, “Somehow I don’t think we’re getting to that guy.”
Even though I’m not encouraging obliviousness or denial, there’s such a delight in the idea of being that unattached to your surroundings or all the ups and downs of the human drama. That’s why this is so funny.
Most people don’t want to be unattached. They just don’t want to deal with the work it takes. It’s easier to be unconscious and unaware. It’s easier to blame others for what hooks you, isn’t it? This is the mainstream. It’s the backbone of day-time television and much of the news and politics and pop songs.
The problem with living like this is that it makes you a reaction machine just waiting for the next thing, the next perpetrator, the next asshole to piss you off and make you call all your friends and tell them all the details. This is fine if you’re in high school, but it starts to wear down on you. And once you start to get it, once you actually feel the difference in your body when you actively shift the negativity in a situation, you won’t want to go back to your old patterns. You might slip up here and there, but you’ll find your way back.
So here’s the deal: You can’t be hook-able if you’re conscious and aware. And not just some of the time. This is about being 100% present in every moment. You’re simply not hook-able or gettable when you’re fully present NOW. This is because when you’re present, you’re mindfully observing your own reactions, your own hooks (which is what it’s all about anyway) and you know that all of these reactions and hooks are just thoughts.
If you don’t know what I mean by this, that’s okay. This isn’t something you try to do. It’s something that evolves. It’s a life-long process for those people who choose to live this way. In the meantime, there are ways you can move in this direction.
My favorite quote from the DVD “The Secret” came towards the end, from John DeMartini. He said, “When the voice and vision on the inside become more profound, and more clear, and loud than the opinions on the outside, you have mastered your life.”
He is describing ultimate un-hookablity.
So, how do you begin on that path to being un-hookable? Here are 9 ways. They have changed my life radically.
1 – Know Yourself
Keep a journal. Start writing daily. Watch your own patterns. Watch how you react to your life story, to others, to the setbacks, the traffic or whatever. Take 5-minute breaks to check in throughout the day, asking, “Where am I now? What am I feeling? What’s happening in my body?” Breathe and create space in between activities. Distraction prevents you from living in the present. Silence and space open you up to it.
2 – Know your Current Vulnerable Situations
Are you in the midst of change? Are you going through a medical or family crisis? Are you shifting work or taking on a new challenge? Anything like this can make you a little more vulnerable to hook-y things. Just be aware of it so that if something hooks you, you’re more prepared for it.
For instance, as I write this, I’m in Northern Virginia dealing with a family medical emergency. (This is why I haven’t written a blog in many days.) I’m visiting my dad in the ICU three times a day. I’m holding positive energy and knowing he can heal. I don’t want to let any other reality enter my mind. It’s very easy to get tired or discouraged with even a single comment from a nurse or family friend. So I have to realize that this is a situation that’s going to test me, but that I have a choice about my thoughts and how I show up, especially when I’m in the presence of my father. This doesn’t mean I don’t cry or have emotional releases when I get back into my car. It means that I hold the knowing that he will heal in spite of his current state (or what the doctors have been taught to say to ward off law suits!).
3 – Uncover and Shift your Beliefs
This might sound like an activity you can do in your office one fine afternoon, but it’s not. It’s a process. As you grow and change and come to know yourself, you’ll continually uncover beliefs that you’ve held for years that might not serve you anymore. Approach them with curiosity, and then work at changing them.
For instance, I recently heard a young artist refer to herself as a “starving artist.” Starving artist is one of the most lame belief systems around. The idea doesn’t serve anyone, especially not the artist. I encouraged her to open up to a better reality than that. Artists can get so embarrassed and scared about money that we would do well to spend many days with our journals writing down every negative belief we have about money, and work at shifting it. Start with each belief by asking, “Is this true?”
Remember this quote from Einstein: “The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.”
Your beliefs will dictate how your life looks. Get some good ones!
4 – Observe
Look all around you at how many people get hooked daily. Listen to conversations. What do people talk about? Observe all the interactions. Be a witness. (But be careful of becoming self-righteous. Saying, “Look at all these idiots getting hooked!” is still a form of getting hooked!)
Watch people get hooked. See the everyday dramas. The dramas are often miniscule. But many people let themselves be ruled by them. Observe yourself as well. Observe news headlines. Always ask yourself, “Is this how I want to see my world? Do I want to adopt this viewpoint?”
5 – Take 100% responsibility for your life and everything in it
The bad news is that you are responsible for everything that happens in your life. This is not blame. This is the Law of Attraction. The good news is that when you grasp this idea, then you can begin to change your world from within. In fact, after a while, you won’t even see the first part as bad news. You’ll use this truth to shift the dynamic of each situation so that you look at it from the healthiest place possible. How did I attract this?
I remember meeting a man on a hiking trail one day. He was hiking and then he’d stop to smoke. And then he’d hike and stop to smoke. He hiked along with me for a while. He began to complain about his teenage daughter who had begun to drink. He didn’t like her friends. He hated her habits. I found it ironic that he was standing there chain smoking as he complained about his daughter’s habits. When you don’t like something in your own life, ALWAYS LOOK WITHIN YOU. You are the source of it. Shift that, and everything shifts.
Read Steve Pavlina’s newest blog on this very subject.
Tomorrow I’ll post Steps 6 – 9…