You Can’t Take The Next Step Until You Take This One - Grasshopper
We all experience changes in our lives – some are desired, many are not. When we get to the juncture of change, we often ask, “What’s next?” It seems the more actionable question is: “What now?”
Here’s a typical “What’s Next?” question: What are you going to do when the children leave the nest? Frankly, you may have an idea or two in mind but you won’t really know until you’re presented with that change in your life. Yes, you can plan ahead for anticipated changes but most changes come from out of the blue.
When presented with a new, out-of-the-blue reality, it seems best to not plan what you’re going to do next, but rather pay attention to what you’re doing now. Now is the step to then.
Paying attention to now means acknowledging what’s going on now, not what you’d “like” to be going on now or what “should” be going on now, but what is actually happening right now. This awareness grounds you in reality, the best jump off point to “What’s next.”
My experience is that most of us ground ourselves in illusion when we are presented with change. It’s a protection mechanism that doesn’t work. Part of that illusion is planning what’s next without really knowing what’s happening now. You can’t get to next without going through now.
We seem to want to skip over the station in life we’re experiencing now so we can plan where we want to be next. Knowing where you truly are now is the best preparation for next. Fully feel where you are now. Pay attention to your body; it will always bring you back to now. It’s from this grounding that the best way forward will come to light.
Paying attention to “now” has you feel your feelings rather than denying them. Taking time to feel the sensations that change has brought about is the best planning tool for the future because your planning will come from a real place, not one you made up in your head.
Attempting to gloss over now to get to then will keep your wheels spinning again and again no matter how grand your future plan.
You can’t get to then without going through the sensations of now. Knowing the step you’re on now is the first step towards then, and acknowledging your feelings gives your mind the quiet planning stage of Zen.
All the best,
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