‘Why do I keep looking for something new and leave a trail of unfinished?’
‘I can’t seem to make up my mind!’
I am certainly no stranger to this tendency. So why do I keep running to the next new thing?
- There is no shame or pain (yet) in the next new thing.
- I can avoid failure or being found out as a fraud by moving on.
- It fulfils the need of being engaged meaningfully without point 1 and 2.
I was not running away from the old thing – I was running away from my possible negative emotions and crushing thoughts. Or I could be craving for the ‘good’ emotions that comes with embarking on something new.
Either way, the solution is the same – it’s that there is a need to learn how to sit with feelings that comes with consistent action. At times, it shows up as impatience. Sometimes it shows up as shame, and other times as boredom. These emotions and feelings might then make us long for new things, to access the feelings of excitement and anticipation again. Instead of falling into the habitual loop that something is wrong and needs fixing or that something is good and needs chasing right away, we need to work on our ability to be familiar with how these emotions show up in the body, and how they feel; to learn that feeling them is part of the journey, and not need to react immediately to these feelings.
In mindfulness, when we talk about letting go or letting be, it’s not about giving up or not doing anything. But letting the emotions you feel to be as it is. Letting go of the need to fix right away when an emotion or an impulse shows up.
The only way I could begin to do this was through my practice.
Most mindfulness meditation practices serve to build this skill of observing the impulses of our mind, and learning to be in the moment without reacting. Start by trying these free practices or you can check out my online program Clear Space – A 10-Day Mindfulness program for clarity and spaciousness.