Just Say Uncle

Published December 1st, 2014 by Devteam

“Just Say Uncle”

The Buddhists have a good piece of advice: “Act always as if the future of the universe depended on what you did, while laughing at yourself for thinking that whatever you do makes any difference.” It is this serious playfulness, a combination of concern and humility that makes it possible to be both engaged and carefree at the same time.

When mammals or other creatures are confronted with danger, our involuntary response is like that of other mammals: we flee, fight or freeze. Fear is a warning. It overrides our regular way of being and creates a “rapid response” of high stress, alertness and energy to deal with a life-threatening situation. Whatever its final outcome–escape or death–fear and stress are short-lived. One or both animals return swiftly to normal functioning.

Humans, on the other hand, have the potential to become persistently fearful or stressed. Our mind easily imagines all kinds of fears when left alone without any structured activity or work.

The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times… The best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.” Getting “out of your comfort zone”.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi discovered that people find genuine satisfaction during a state of consciousness called “Flow”. In this state they are completely absorbed in an activity, especially an activity that involves their creative abilities. During this “optimal experience” they feel “strong, alert, in effortless control, unselfconscious, and at the peak of their abilities.” Happiness does not simply happen. It must be prepared for and cultivated by each person, by setting challenges that are neither too demanding nor too simple for ones abilities. The experience of “flow” is strikingly reminiscent of Zhuangzi’s description of “great skill” achieved by Daoist sages such as carpenter P’ien and butcher Ting, who finds bliss in the art of chopping up ox carcasses by “going along with the Dao” of the ox.

Playing the piano, guitar, reading a book to your children, doing yoga, walking on the beach, surfing, fishing, skiing, martial arts, working on a difficult project, or even a good conversation…in these cases your mind becomes entirely absorbed in the activity so that you “forget yourself” and begin to act effortlessly, with a heightened sense of awareness of the here and now.

So… The next time you’re faced with adversity you want to consider this:

1. SURRENDER… RELINQUISH CONTROL – stop trying to control it all yourself and give it up. Just “SAY UNCLE!”

2. SLOW DOWN & LISTEN — don’t run around like a crazy energizer bunny or let your mind go batty, slow down, tune in and let your inner wisdom guide you.

3. DO YOUR PART and ONLY YOUR PART — Take action on what is yours to do and let the universe do the rest.

4. REMEMBER-Your perception of what is real and not real is skewed. Other people’s perceptions of what an action or inaction was taken is different for every single person. All of our personal interpretations are not only based on past experiences but everyone else’s.

Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. So be kind always.


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