Do It Again, and Again
Weekly Reading Topic for May 25, 2019: Do It Again, and Again
Well, good morning, love!
I just opened a Reading for you, my newsletter subscribers …
… here’s what I heard in answer to the following:
What do my readers most need to hear this weekend? What is the most important message to send to my beloved readers?
The answer was: “Do It Again, and Again.”
What follows is your Weekly Reading. May it be of service.
Weekly Reading │ Do It Again, and Again
Q: What do we need to know about “do it again, and again?”
A: Well, now this is interesting. OK, here we go: We can relive the moments of our lives over and over and over until we get them “right.”
We know this is true, because we do it All The TIME. We ruminate and mull and remember and obsess and fear and worry our moments until there is no room for anything else, other than that one memory of a bad time, or that one worry about a bad time to come.
This is a feature, not a bug, of the human brain. Being able to be fully alive to something that happened long ago — or something that hasn’t happened yet — is part of our being able to create. Without that keen ability to disappear from the present moment and live in another, we would not be able to imagine new worlds, or invent new tools, or figure out how to repair the roof, or even cook dinner.
This skill is essential. But of course, as always, we can also (and so often do) get caught up in the ability to DO something that we forget WHY we are able to do it.
So we worry about something we said, continually thinking “did that sound right,” or “did they mistake what I meant?”
Or we worry about something someone ELSE said, thinking “I can’t believe she said that,” or “why on earth would he say that?”
Or we remember being left out, or asked to join for false reasons, or that one time when that one person hurt us.
Or all the long years of being hurt, with a million little cuts, that left us feeling low and humbled and dirty in the face.
Or we use those memories as a way to project into the future, to leapfrog today, when we are relatively safe, warm, and happy, and jump to a day a year from now/decade from now, when that seed of past unhappiness will blossom, we are sure, into a full-throated peony of pain.
We are always, if we are not careful, practicing how to Do It Again.
But this skill is NOT FOR TORTURE. When we are tortured by this skill, when we worry or fear over things that are Not Actually Happening In This Moment, here’s what we are REALLY doing: Nothing. This worry/fear obsessing where we Do It Again, and Again, is not us being trapped. It’s us practicing our skill, without putting it to the use we want.
It’s as if you were a great musician, a Yo Yo Ma level musician, but all you did is sit in your room all day, sloppily practicing scales and the recital piece you performed at your sixth grade concert. You could do so, so much more, but this is how you use your musical ability.
NOTE: Is this a terrible waste, a horrible thing? Nope. You have a long life, and no one honestly cares on this side of the veil whether you “DO” what you most want to do, or not. We love that you are playing, and playing so hard, and if you just want to practice your skills at pushing the boundaries of creation (which is what being human is about), that is 100% fine with us, because honestly, we can see how hard it is just to be confined to a human body! All of us have such humility at the way you all just manage to stuff yourself into those limited bodies! You are amazing JUST FOR TRYING TO BE BORN!!
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So, if you want to give a concert, today, instead of sitting in your practice room, it’s time to Do It Again, and Again, and then USE what you learn. TODAY.
See, usually when you worry or fear, you are practicing that past memory (Worry) or the projected memory of the future (Fear).
But what you can do, and we suggest you try this in a simple way this weekend, is Worry, Worry, Decide. Or Fear, Fear, Act.
When you catch yourself thinking about something painful (past or future), AGAIN, for the millionth time, or the tenth time, make a mental note of it. Then deliberately, tenderly, with great love, as if you are a mother guiding a child’s hands to the glass so they can take a sip safely, tell your mind to do it again.
Then relive your pain, fully. Don’t shy away. Don’t try to hide from it. Really focus on it. Feel all the impacts of it in your body, mind, spirit, now. Examine it. Really PRACTICE. Because as you focus, you will see all the ways in which you love that memory or that fear for it’s ability to absorb you, to really inhabit the contours of your dreams about what you want to do here, with this life.
Hint: this is what talk therapy, bodywork, and spiritual practices of all stripes are for. Taking time to practice our skill of creation without distraction.
It has a clue for you about What You Want to Do Next. If you can tolerate the hot swell of emotions that comes along with it (and we acknowledge that this is, like, super hard sometimes) you can actually discover the mechanics of that memory or fear, the interval between that memory and this, and what’s in it. You can see what it is about that memory or fear that has heart and meaning for you, that you can use to increase your skills to the next level.
Level up, as the kids say.
Note: this may take some time. We don’t mean to imply that you simply remember the memory again, and this exploration takes all of five minutes. Memories are tricky: one leads to another and to another. Sometimes we are obsessing over one thing because it’s less scary than remembering the other, darker memory or fear that stays hidden. It’s rarely straightforward. Sometimes practice takes an hour, or a day, or a year, or a decade. But always, if you really inspect your pain, you will see what takes you to the next level. Get professional help if you feel this is too big for you: a counselor, a spiritual leader. Tools that are helpful at home: EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), Byron Katie’s The Work, Karla McClaren’s books on emotions.
So when you find your pain, and you Do It Again, and Again, you learn from it fully. You don’t just mindlessly run through that scale over and over again. You play it with focus and concentration, as if you are playing it for the first time ever. And that is the secret to the great players of our world: they don’t just run scales. Yo Yo Ma plays scales every day, but he does so as if he is five again. He does so knowing that each note is bringing him closer to his next dream, and so it is precious.
Each note you listen to with your whole heart allows you to play the concert you know you can. You can decide AFTER you start truly practicing your scales how to use what you know. There is always something wonderful there for you! And even a moment of true practice will provide you with your Next Action if you pay attention.
Treat your fears the same way. When you find yourself obsessing about the future, worrying and fearing and quaking about something, you are close to finding out what you most want, close to your own Uncomfortable Truth. Uncomfortable because you will need to change something in order to Live the Truth you are seeing for yourself.
This is why we are all here: to Try Something. We’re not here to Be Perfect (if we were, we’d have stayed in spirit). We’re here to see if we can do something IN SPITE of the pain this world can bring. And when you Do It Again, and Again, you see what it is that you came to do.
So instead of beating yourself up for the fear, or the worry, use it. When you see yourself doing these things, Do Them Again, and Again, but with care, deliberation, and slowly enough that you can actually harvest what you have sown in your beautiful mind.
When you hold the fruits of your labor in your lovely hands, you will see what they are good for. You will not regret the waiting, the weeding, the construction of tall fences, the changes in the weather, the worry, the fear. You will just start to cook. You will make beautiful meals for yourself and your loved ones. You will can and preserve what cannot be eaten today so that someday, in your next winter, you can reach into your cellar and pull out a jar of summer.
I am always here to serve in any way I can.
Much Love to You!
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