Recently, I realized that I’m beginning to dread certain tasks [more than just getting dressed for my morning walk which I wrote about in my last post]. Ironing, shaving, washing dishes, shampooing my hair, shopping and preparing dinner, all leave me feeling a certain level of trepidation. Even making my beloved sauerkraut and buckwheat pancake batter. The reason of course is that these tasks are not performed as easily as they once were. Loss of balance, slowness of movement and loss of dexterity in my left hand, have turned tasks that were once performed without thought into quite stressful endeavours.
When the word dread popped into my awareness I recognized that this is not a good thing. It doesn’t create happy feelings and therefore, works against my recovery efforts. It puts me in a state of fight or flight which means my body is producing adrenaline and cortisol rather than dopamine and serotonin. What is more, dread left unchecked can easily lead to despair.
How then to turn experiences I’m no longer feeling good about into experiences that I enjoy, or at the very least, find pleasant. There are actually a number of things I can do:
- Practice living in the present moment
- Smile and laugh while I’m performing these tasks
- Put on joyful music
- Look out the window at the lake
- Practice being the ‘conscious [spiritual] observer’
- Approach them with childlike enthusiasm
Forgive me if I sound like a broken record, but I believe all experience has a purpose, particularly those that are unpleasant, because they are meant to guide us towards enlightenment [spiritual consciousness]. An important part of changing the experience is the simple recognition of troublesome feelings, such as dread, and that it is, to put it in Eckhart Tolle’s terms, a symptom of ego. When I’m experiencing this feeling, it is because I’m in negative, ego-based thought which means I am no longer being the conscious [spiritual] observer.
It’s interesting [more like scary] how things can sneak up on you, how negative thoughts can creep into your experience and subtly change it. How they can transform what was once light into something dark. Diligent awareness is essential because thoughts are the natural function of the mind and detrimental thoughts seem to be its tendency, perhaps a reflection of the collective fear that pervades the planet.
Have an awesomely pleasant day!