The Curiosity/Control Balance
"I’ve got this all under control.” Hmmmm …. really? The myth of control leads to lots of discomfort: when we believe we have everything in control and then something changes, we expend lots of energy resisting the new reality and lose our ability to pivot and respond with wisdom. We might also feel a sense of failure or inadequacy for not having been able to manage to the outcome we wanted.
Expecting, believing in or counting on our ability to control our worlds can be exhausting, depleting and demoralizing. This isn’t to say that preparation and planning should be tossed out the window. But we can allow for the possibility that things may not turn out as we expected, and maybe we can relax a bit into that reality. We may even begin to allow for the notion that sometimes the unexpected is even better than what we had planned for.
This week we invite you to turn the dial toward Curiosity, rather than Control. In a breathing practice, we can practice letting go of the need to control our breath (as we know, most of the time our bodies do a fine job breathing all by themselves). We can wait to take a breath until the body takes it on its own. We can wonder what the next breath might be like. We can be curious about what thoughts might arise, rather than trying to hold them at bay (which doesn’t work anyway, does it?) We can practice being present for life with a sense of openness and possibility - much more pleasant than resistance and shortcoming! We begin to discern that we can’t control everything, but we can manage our relationship with what unfolds in life.
For an interesting, ancient lesson on the futility of trying to control some outcomes, see Appointment in Samarra, a tale originally found in the Babylonian Talmud and retold by W. Somerset Maugham in 1933. Here is a link to the Maughan version.
Community Sits This Week:
Monday 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM Trumbull Library 33 Quality Street Trumbull
Monday 7:30 PM Sama Yoga 45 Grove Street New Canaan
Tuesday 1:00 PM Ferguson Library 1 Public Library Plaza Stamford (made possible by a grant from Bankwell)
Wednesday 12:00 PM New Canaan Library 151 Main Street New Canaan
Wednesday 7:30 PM Grace Episcopal Church 5958A Main Street Trumbull
Check out our newly enhanced Resource Page at the website www.communitymindfulnessproject.org. We’ve got book recommendations, guided meditations, discussions of practices and links to other relevant websites. Let us know what you think!
Upcoming events: One Day Silent Retreat Saturday September 29th, St. Paul’s on the Green in Norwalk. Here is more information.
CMP survives on donations. All of our weekly sessions are free and open to the public, but donations are essential to our sustainability. Checks, cash and credit cards are accepted and donations are tax deductible.
May all beings everywhere without exception enjoy a sense of curiosity and wonder,
Your friends at CMP
Stay up-to-date on all CMP news and happenings by visiting our website CommunityMindfulnessProject.org.