It was a lightbulb moment for me when I realized how much I was moving away from life. It had been happening for years until I finally saw that pulling away in fear was my first response to people, situations, new possibilities.
Once I saw this tendency in the light of day, the jig was up. I learned to stop moving away and wholeheartedly embrace things as they are. It was a happy revolution in my whole way of being.
We tend to move in three ways: toward, away, or against. Which is your style? See how you move, and you will discover the joys of not moving. For when you take your stand in the here-and-now, life becomes available to you – intimate, rich, and full.
Moving toward is based on need and lack. If this is your style, you grasp at people and things to fill you up and give you what you think you are missing. This tendency is learned at a very young age. You convince yourself that you are not enough.
Yet the truth is that who you are is whole, full, and overflowing. Can you not move and see that there is nothing lacking?
Moving toward looks like this:
- Seeking approval from others
- Great concern about the image you present in the world
- Sacrificing yourself for others, then feeling resentful
- Perceiving yourself as lacking and flawed
- Difficulty walking away from relationships that aren’t working
- Attachment to your personal dramas
- Grasping money, people, objects
- Feeling that you are special and avoiding your ordinariness
When you notice these tendencies, stop. With great compassion, let the feelings and urges arise, but don’t act on them. Relax back into yourself, and realize that life is complete, just as it is, in this very moment.
Moving away is all about fear and avoidance. In response to just about everything, there is tightening in the body, contraction in the breath, and a physical pulling away from whatever is present in the moment. Threat is seen everywhere.
Moving away is built on a perceived lack of safety and security. What are you really afraid of, anyway? Can you consider trusting that you are OK, that you can engage with life that is unfolding right now?
Moving away looks like this:
- Paralyzing doubt and indecision
- A surface bravado that avoids the experience of fear
- Nonstop thinking
- Avoiding people and situations
- Trepidation in the face of anything new
- Fear of committing to anything
- A tendency toward paranoid thinking
- Excessive worry
- Holding yourself back
Moving away has strong physical and mental elements. Learn how to relax your body and breathe deeply. Experiment with not running your life by all the thoughts that appear in your mind. Put the thoughts aside (they aren’t helping you), and stay here, present. Open yourself fully to the wonder of now.
Anger, frustration, entitlement. Some of us live with our figurative fists flying in every direction. We show up ready for a struggle, while missing out on what is here when we let our guard down.
Moving against is a defensive posture that avoids vulnerability. What if you allowed yourself to open tenderly to the reality of now?
Moving against looks like this:
- Tendency toward anger and resistance to people, situations, the world
- A sense of entitlement – things should be the way you want them to be
- Judgment – either outward toward others or inward toward yourself
- Stuffing anger by eating, sleeping, and avoiding conflict at all costs
- Desire for power and control
- Championing the underdog
It takes so much effort to face the world primed for a fight. Really, there’s nothing to protect. Let the anger subside, and be open, soft, and receptive. Relax into life unfolding.
The strategies of moving toward, away, and against sap your energy. They all require you to be vigilant and defensive. The alternative? Stop…be still.
How do you move? What would it be like to stop? I’d love to hear…