Explore your “go-to” Patterns

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Think of a destination you are used to getting to by a very particular route. Imagine that as you approach the offramp, you see there is another road that might take you there is a more direct way. You don’t really know, so you decide to go your known route even though you have an intuition it takes longer. Exploring our set patterns in any area of our life activates our internal GPS. We can then press the ‘-‘ button to look at the bigger picture to see if there is indeed a more direct route to our fullhearted goals. In doing this, we both create options in case the route we are familiar with fails us and we may discover a more direct, more energizing path to achieve our dreams.

Having been intentionally car-less for over a year, I have been forced to open my phone GPS numerous times when a bus didn’t show up or I misread the ferry departures on Super Bowl Sunday and had to find another way back to Marin from San Francisco. When this happened early on in my car-less journey, I would freeze and decide I needed to buy a car, my “go-to” pattern for 40 years. Each time, I was forced to open up my thinking as I did not, in that moment, have a car. Yes, I went on some crazy public transportation trips and often called Uber or Lyft.

Failing Forward
Yesterday I knew the “plan” (God/dess is laughing) and I knew my other options from so many previous “failing forward” experiences. The first bus never arrived so I called Lyft to get to the ferry. Heading home, I didn’t read the fine print on the ferry schedule that the later ferries added for Super Bowl festivities DIDN’T run on Super Bowl day until I was at the ferry building and there were no ferries to be had. Ni modo. I found a new bus to Marin I didn’t know about and got home safe and sound.

Every time I wanted to rant, I switched the channel to “what can I do?”, which was to read a memoir by Benilde Little called: Welcome to my Breakdown. No pun needed. No breakdown needed. Just gratitude for every moment of clarity and commitment to well being which buddhists call bodhicitta, defined as the complete wish to overcome our emotional afflictions and delusions to realize our full potential to bring all beings to an enlightened state free from suffering. That is a more direct path my internal GPS loves to point out, again and again.

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