||[Mar. 9th, 2004|01:22 am]
The challenges of life's chaos provide opportunities if you just have the right mindset. The trick is getting into and then keeping that mindset. Lately I have been given the opportunity to practice accepting life's chaos without being swept under chaos' waves.
That is not an easy task. Everyone is swept under by chaos and overwhelmed. I have been overwhelmed for a long time, and only recently have realized I need to take advantage of my current challenges to better myself as I so often want and talk about in this journal from time to time.
So, as I put into a little collection of self-motivating notes I have, "Surf the wave of life's chaos!" I have never been on an actual surf board in my life, but it's time I took a metaphorical one and used it to -- not fight, not oppose, but to accept what is going on around me and go with the flow. To get on top of the wave and let it move me along. To use it to move me to where life is taking me. I will end up at the same destination no matter what anyway -- No I'm not exactly talking fate here, because we do have control of our destinies. But we are also being swept along by other forces out of our control too. Forces that are greater than any single person.
Now acceptance does not mean letting others take advantage of your accepting life. While I am accepting things I find difficult to accept, I also am learning to defend my psyche. Giving too much diminishes a person. So I am learning part of acceptance means knowing when to stop giving, or when to say no to others who try taking from me too.
How I have been accepting life started with identifying 4 qualities I needed to focus on in my life. CAPA right now is a private battle cry for myself. Or perhaps keeping with the metaphor I used above, CAPA is my surfboard the wave of chaos I am on.
Confidence: others took too much from me, and, even now, I occasionally think I have no future, or rather a bleak, lonely one that will have a sudden end. In that future I have no confidence in myself, and let others take from me till there is nothing left. With Confidence I know when I can help, and when I have reached a limit. Confidence is putting trust in your own abilities. After all, the only person who was present at *every* difficulty you ever faced was you. You saw yourself through every troubling situation you were ever in. Trust yourself, be confident in yourself.
Assertiveness: Without confidence there is no asserting oneself. You cannot say no. In life you have to be assertive to stand up and defend yourself and others in need; to stand up and demand what is needed for yourself and others. Assertiveness and Confidence go hand in hand. It is difficult to say which comes first. It is very much a chicken and egg thing.
Productivity: Sometimes I think I'm lazy. Sometimes I let the demands of others take precedence over my needs. More than sometimes when sleep, amusement, and/or comfort should be secondary to my goals, they are what is done rather than taking a single step closer to actually making something happen. I have failed in my goals because of a lack of productivity. I need to focus on getting things done.
Awareness: This very fraction of a moment is all we have. The nanosecond before NOW is simply shadow with no substance. Likewise the nanosecond to come is a mere static potential with no motion. I need to know what is going on in the only reality I have to maximize my potential. I need my concentration on what I am doing, and what is happening around me at the current moment. Letting go of the stress of just moment ago that is not relevant to what I am doing now. I can't be fully aware if I am still arguing with someone who is no longer in my presence. I can't be fully aware if I am worried about what might happen if I don't get to my appointment on time 5 minutes from now. I need to keep my mind on the events currently happening.
That is CAPA (Confidence, Assertiveness, Productivity, Awareness).