I heard something once from a Unity minister named Mary Omwake, that has stuck with me for years. Mary said, “If you’re in hell, DON”T pitch a tent! Keep moving!” I love the visual image in that – that image fills me with the energy of get up and go! Don’t just sit there – do something! Move!
That idea of keep moving, don’t pitch a tent in Hell, comes back to me now as I think about choice and the power in choosing. How often have I sat, locked up and unable to choose something? How long did I sit there in discomfort or pain – “in hell” – unable to choose, unable to move? And what keeps me locked up and sitting there in Hell, unable or unwilling to make a choice to move? Well, for me, it’s usually fear that I will choose the wrong thing.
“Choose the wrong thing” – whew, can you feel the weight of that?! Choose the wrong thing – make a “bad” choice – mess up. Wow, so instead of choosing anything, I will sit in pain and discomfort and discontent. I will pitch a tent and stay in my personal version of Hell. Being wrong – choosing the wrong thing has a HUGE heavy, yucky energy to it. Do I actually abhor being wrong so much that I will sit in pain and disease; I will pitch a tent in Hell??!
When did choosing becomes so heavy and serious and difficult? Do little kids have difficulty choosing and keeping moving? Heck no! Try stopping a 2 year old from choosing – and choosing again – and again – and again! Kids are like sharks; in a constant state of motion and choosing all the time. Kids stay in choice and keep moving no matter what. Do they sit down and contemplate that last choice they made to grab that toy and whap their brother upside the head with it? No way! Do they stop and beat themselves up about how bad they are, what a bad choice that was? No way! Mom or Dad may put them in time out and try to force them to ruminate on their bad-ness, but it’s not something little kids waste much time on.
Little kids are definitely noticing and logging when they choose something that gets them in trouble or ends up hurting, but they do NOT sit down and contemplate their wrong-ness and the error of their ways like I do! We have to be trained to do that ruminate on your wrong-ness crap. So, when did I decide that each choice I make is so critical and so loaded with “don’t mess up and make the wrong choice” energy that I better slow down, stop moving and contemplate each choice for hours or days? And does that way of being in the world serve me?
Doesn’t the decision to stop and analyze every choice from every possible angle just keep me sitting in Hell longer?
How can I choose faster and easier? How can I unlock choosing, take the weight out of it, so that next time I’m in a painful, hellish place I don’t get stuck there pitching a tent?! How can I make choices more like a kid – with the energy of an explorer? Did Lewis and Clark sit and contemplate which path to choose for days?! Heck no, they kept moving or they would have never made it to the Pacific Ocean!
I would like to get back into that childlike energy of choosing. That “let’s try this and see what happens. and if it doesn’t work out, no big deal – I’ll just choose something different” frame of mind. How can I do that? Is that possible at my age? Why not?
To start moving through life like a kid exploring, I going to have to choose to stop criticizing and judging every single choice I make. THAT’s what gets me stuck – that critical, look what a “bad” choice you made there energy.
Funny, as I write this, that critical voice surfaces in my head, saying “Oh Nancy, this entire blog post is just stupid. and nobody gonna get what you’re trying to say anyway. why bother? just delete this drivel and go do something safe.” Whew, man that is some heavy, yucky energy! THAT is the energy of being wrong, isn’t it? But you know what, I’m going to choose to blow off that yucky nasty critical voice and publish this anyway.
I choose to publish this even though it may be incoherent or incomplete or not quite right. I choose to put this out there anyway. I’m going to choose and choose and choose again. Because frankly, the other way – the sitting in Hell, ruminating on which tiny safe little action will turn out OK wasn’t working for me.
Like the little blue tang fish, Dory in “Finding Nemo”, I choose to “ just keep moving!”