We are adding a new feature to the Mystic Messages Blog with the change-over to my weekly MuseLetter which is replacing my Ezine. Now on Thursdays, in place of what I used to publish as Book Lights, my partner, Richard, is offering a commentary on my weekly Mystic Message and Inspiration.
I was particularly struck by the topic this week: Flip-Out. In fact I too often find myself flipping-out and almost always over very small things. Computers suddenly running slow, or even worse, crashing for unknown reasons; a lost item, like keys; a negative checking account balance when there should be plenty of cash available; a credit card that inexplicably fails to work (and this is worst if it’s a client’s charge that won’t go through!); the dog’s 2:00 am need…the list can be nearly endless! Are these life and death issues; of course not. But in our hustle-bustle lives they do add fuel to the fire of an already hot burn life-style that keeps pace with a 21st Century clock!
Is it a particularly male thing to flip-out over small things? Rosemary goes through life at a pretty calm clip; her life is just as complicated as mine. She writes and speaks this week about a “Toolbox of Resources.” Well, I’m a pretty resourceful guy; I’m on the journey with her. And yet my fuse is so much shorter. But I’m ready to learn these lessons; the 2×4 upside the head is beginning to hurt, get through to me!
I am examining my tools and resources. In the last few months I have rediscovered the Tao, the ancient Chinese philosophy known as The Way. I have read fairly extensively about Taoism, studied it as part of my seminary program, practiced off and on through authors such as Mantak Chia, studied and memorized sections of Lao-Tzu’s Taoteching, consulted the I Ching, and practiced Tai Chi. And recently I found an excellent Qigong instructor who has brought me back to this Way. And there are some significant tools and resources to be found here.
Managing my “flip-out moments” is certainly a skill I am working on. An emotion I frequently reach for in these moments is “anger” in its various forms. I can too easily flash to a white heat over some relatively small irritation. I cool quickly and then realize the exaggerated reaction as an unproductive response to the situation. And I ask myself, “why the unbalanced reaction?” And, “why the wasted energy?”
The Chinese Masters identify anger as one of the obstacles to finding The Way. In addition to wanting to reduce my expenditure of energy on a wasted emotion, I want to overcome this obstacle. And, oh by the way, mastering anger will go a long way toward improving my environment!
In the Taoist traditions negative emotions, like Anger, can be transmuted into their corresponding virtues; in the case of Anger the work is to transmute it to Creativity or Resourcefulness. Wow! What if my wasted anger energy can be channeled into creative energy? What a concept!
This is not as easy as it sounds, however. But in my mind it is clearly worth the effort; I choose creativity over anger, calm over flip-out, any day! Rosemary mentions meditation as an approach to “hit the pause button” in the midst of over-reaction (or better yet before the reaction even occurs!). Qigong is often referred to as “Meditation in Motion” and I am finding this practice is a way to pull my energy and my resources, my consciousness, into the present moment when I can be fully aware of my environment, my reaction at any given moment to the environment and to then respond appropriately. When I am very, very present I can actually catch myself on the verge of anger and quickly seek a creative response, diverting the anger into resourcefulness! I have a long way to go to catch myself every time, or even often! But it’s good work for the journey!
Guys, Rosemary has many ways to channel the flip-out mode into presence of mind. Her toolbox is filled with fun things and even some neat toys! Sometimes it may seem easier just to go with the reactive emotion of the moment; but too often the consequences of the easy route bite painfully.
Flip-out reaction or creative response? The choice is yours if you are willing to do the work!