Cars, shops, restaurants, planes, office cubicles, rooms in our homes, almost anywhere in NYC... Modern life could be caricatured as a constant scurrying from one to another of these area-challenged spots.
At the Option Institute's Extraordinary Man program two weeks ago, I hiked up the mountain behind the Mountain House and felt a thrill as I gazed out at the vista - fog like whipped cream in the valleys and clear blue sky arched over me from the mountains in the distance. The expanse. Ahhhhhhhhh. Just looking at it made me giddy. "I want this!", I told myself.
"We see the world the way we are", says Bears. Before Extraordinary Man, my time in our Son-Rise Program playroom with my son, Eidan, had felt... can you guess? Yep, a bit area-challenged and as if I was scurrying around incessantly. It's awesome what a perfect mirror being in the playroom is! The thing to change was not my environment, but me. I was rushing everything, pushing out against a sense of being constricted within.
As I walked down the mountain that morning, the question to myself was, "How can I feel that sense of expanse that I want in my life?" And my answer was, "Start feeling the expanse from within, rather than continuing to run into walls, spin my wheels, and burn out." With that, a door opened - out walked Self-Limiting Man and in walked The Expanding Man.
I realize now that I had been shutting down my "deeper" wants, my naturally flowing self, because my intention was to do what I believed I was supposed to do, not what I wanted to do. In fact, part of what I was supposed to do was NOT do what I wanted to do. Flipping that to prioritize personal growth and loving myself, I am more useful to myself. Now, rather than being nearly exclusively focused on my beloved sons, my amazing wife, clients, coworkers, friends, housework, finances, and the checkout person at the grocery store, I have also been asking myself questions like "What do I want right now?" and "What do I think would happen if I went with that want?" My learning: being useful to myself ROCKS. I'm still getting things done, doing more of what I want, and living bigger and bigger!