This Is By Far The Best Thing You Can Do For Yourself

I had a friend walking a beautiful spiritual journey. One day she told me that she was working on giving up preferences. This fascinated me and I think of this exercise often, especially when something has upset me. She wasn’t doing it in a hopeless way, she wasn’t giving up on pleasure. Quite the contrary. She was allowing herself not to be displeasured by not liking something “that way.” Or wishing for something to “go differently.”  And in this letting go of preferences, she was more free to embrace all the lovely things in her life. And she did.

We spend our lives searching for the quick fix to all our problems, while the answer is right under our nose. Teasing us again and again with its obviousness once we remember, till our foreheads are red from smacking it.
I should have known this.

No. Judgement doesn’t help. That is part of the problem. It stops us from celebrating and integrating that which would benefit us.

Maybe we don’t deserve to benefit.

Yes, you do.

Yes, you do.

Today I have the “quick fix” for you, the elixir of a good life.

It’s probably hard.

Only when you think it is.

This one tip, by far, is the single most important skill you can learn to adjust to whatever life might throw at you.  And the best thing about it is that it is available to everyone and it is not just ONE THING. It is the opposite of one thing.

Ready?

The best thing you can do for yourself is: Be flexible.

Yes, that is it. Just be flexible.

Just flexible? 

Yes, in life we start out simple. As babies, we eat, sleep, and poop. Simple. Then we have complex experiences. And we go through all kinds of complexity of the mind, body and soul. (The more rigid we are, the more complex things get- the more anxious we get.) Once we figure out life, we see that it is all really simple after all. But we had to go through the complexity to understand this simplicity. Thus the “just.”

(Sometimes people judge a friend or family member as simple. Yet, I wonder  if they are already on the other side. We think they are behind us- not deep thinkers- but they are happy. Do you know someone like this? I often wonder if they are really ahead of us. You know, sometimes deep thinking gets us into the most trouble (Not that it is linear, but there is no other way to describe it.) but I digress.)

When circumstances outside (or inside) of us have us feeling out of control, we tend to become more rigid (emotionally and physically) as we attempt to get ahold of our world. This is a missed opportunity, because the one thing we have to control is the only thing that matters.

I can control me–my responses-my expectations-my preferences. I can go with the flow and bend- enjoying myself and what is around me or I can lament my misfortunes about what is not, what I am not, or what I don’t have.  My response to life makes the meaning that will set up the stories in my life. It is these stories that I will experience. It is these that will make me happy or not.

Not wishing to be other than we are is called content. It is called being.

But this is painful. 

The suffering is wanting to be different.

I know, I know, you like things a certain way. “If only they were that way, then it’ll be easier.” You expect what you want to expect. But that is often the source of our problems. We expect too much. The process is much smoother when we let go of needs and expectations. (See last Wednesday’s Anxiety Schmanxiety post).

Or are you wanting? Are you being?

Please share.

30 thoughts on “This Is By Far The Best Thing You Can Do For Yourself”

  1. Harleena Singh@Freelance Writer

    Absolutely Jodi!

    We do have the answers right within us, yet we look all over for them. It is being flexible and being able to take life as it comes. Being rigid and fixed in our actions or thoughts leads us nowhere.

    Life really IS simple, but some of us choose to make it complex – isn’t it?

    Thanks for sharing this with us and reminding us too. 🙂

    1. Jodi Lobozzo Aman

      Harleena,

      I know what you mean, and sometimes complexity can be confusing and capturing of our attention. We have to be vigilent and aware not to let this happen!
      We can do it!
      You are welcome and thank you for the comment!
      xoJ

  2. The unhappiest people I know are the ones who are the most inflexible. They are so wrapped up in the way things “should be,” they can’t appreciate the way things ARE.

    Things, perhaps, “could be better,” but they could ALWAYS be worse. And there is so much to enjoy, to be grateful for, if we just open our eyes and ears to let it in.
    Beverly Diehl recently posted..The Deeper Horror of the Go Daddy KissMy Profile

    1. Jodi Lobozzo Aman

      Bev,
      I agree. It is a shame, when such a small thing can change things around. When we are unwilling to give up what we want, we are often unhappy. We can choose to see the good or choose to see the hard things in life. They are always both there.
      xoJ

  3. Love the Yiddish proverb and have used it myself! I had an opportunity to practice this very thing recently when dealing with a challenging family situation. It was very hard for me to not be attached to a particular outcome, naturally the outcome I thought was best for everyone! I kept coming back to a place of trusting the outcome to be whatever it should be. It was practicing on the razor’s edge because fear was so close. However, the wisdom of the practice was evident to me again and again.

    (Because of this situation, I’ve been behind, so it was nice just now to do a little catching up on your blog.)
    Galen Pearl recently posted..Step Away from the ThoughtMy Profile

    1. Jodi Lobozzo Aman

      Galen,
      I hope the dust is clearing and you can ask Spirit what it all means. And how to see it. Then, breathe with it. Thinking of you!
      xoJ

  4. HI Jodi,

    I try to be as much flexible as I can but at times but people take flexibility as weakness and I feel pity on not on me but on them.

    Thanks Jodi for the reminder.

    Sapna

    1. Jodi Lobozzo Aman

      Sapna,
      It is not a weakness, not in the least, as you know, it takes great poise, strength, and creativity. You got it!
      xoJ

  5. Hi Jodi, love all the rich insights of your post. It is true that one must be flexible and let the flow of life move through us. The secret to being happy lies inside. Sometimes I see people travel around the globe looking for the meaning of life. They pick up clues as if on a well-organized scavenger hunt. I find it odd that we don’t listen to our inner voice that knows us so well. Thanks for a nice reminder.
    Annie recently posted..Donut DancerMy Profile

    1. Jodi Lobozzo Aman

      I agree Annie, I have gotten the message over and over when I look for a teacher that I can ask direct for the answers, and I need not travel anywhere! Thanks for the comment, glad to have you here!
      xoJ

  6. I am nimble and can bend like a pretzel and it’s not because I am a yoga master. I sometimes think I am too flexible, but since I don’t really enjoy destructive conflict, I tend to give way to others UNLESS it intrudes on me and my space. I believe most things in life are subject to alternatives – one way isn’t the right way or wrong way, just a ‘way’.
    brenda recently posted..Writer’s Job DescriptionMy Profile

    1. Jodi Lobozzo Aman

      Brenda,
      I agree! I assume you benefit from this flexibility more than you know. You may lose out in the short run, but about things that are transient. They don’t matter so much in the long run.
      xoJ

  7. northforkmom - Mary

    “When circumstances outside (or inside) of us have us feeling out of control, we tend to become more rigid (emotionally and physically) as we attempt to get ahold of our world. This is a missed opportunity, because the one thing we have to control is the only thing that matters.”
    I’ve felt ‘out of control’ my whole life, still do. I long for a sense of security and being safe. I’ve never had this & desperately want to know what it feels like. I want to feel safe & secure. Is that wrong?

    1. Jodi Lobozzo Aman

      You have it, Mary, all you lack is trust in yourself. You hold the power to make yourself feel safe, and you alone. It is not wrong to want it, at all. Anyone would! Just trust yourself and you will find it.
      xoJ

  8. I am Mariam used every single spell worker on the internet, spent untold amounts of money and discovered they are all fakes…i was the fool though; doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. In the end, I decided that I wanted a tarot reading to know what my future held for me; I contacted a woman who lives locally to me and she told me about a man named (Priests Meruja); he does not advertise on the internet, has another job for income, has no set prices, makes no false promises and refuses to help anyone that cannot be helped and even helps
    for free sometimes, he will give you proof before taking money. He is a wonderful man and he was the only person who actually gave me real results. I really hope he doesn’t mind me advertising his contact on the internet but I’m sure any help/ extra work will benefit him.contact him as oduakar1@live.com He travel sometimes.i cant give out his number cos he told me he don’t want to be disturbed by many people across the world..he said his email is okay and he’ will replied to any emails asap,love marriage,finance, job promotion ,lottery Voodoo,poker voodoo,golf Voodoo,Law & Court case Spells,money voodoo,weigh loss voodoo,any sicknesses voodoo,Trouble in marriage,HIV AIDS,it’s all he does Hope this helps everyone that is in a desperate situation as I once was; I know how it feels to hold onto something and never have a chance to move on because of the false promises and then to feel trapped in wanting something
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  9. This post was interesting for me to absorb. I feel that my OCD is all about control and flexibility is not my strong point. In retrospection, I have to say that the rare occasions when I am most flexible is where/when OCD is not present. I think I can learn from this, thank you for this post.
    Krystal Lynn recently posted..Look Fear in the FaceMy Profile

  10. “I can control me–my responses-my expectations-my preferences.” I feel it is easy to be flexible when it comes to preferences, expectations, but It’s been 2 days that I’m thinking about “decision” same for me as the responses. I can decide what to do as a response to something that happens, but I don’t think I can decide how to feel about it. Its a big difference.
    Nikky44 recently posted..Guest post: An open blessingMy Profile

    1. Jodi Lobozzo Aman

      Yes, but your feelings depends on the meaning you make around the event. You have control of making this meaning. If you feel bad you can change the meaning. If you are having trouble, see a counselor or friend to help. Or ask Spirit to show you what it means.
      xoJ

      1. I read your reply so many times. I imagined a situation. I compared it to a painting. When you look at it from outside (a counselor or friend), it is easy to give the painting the meaning that helps best. The person living the situation, like the one drawing the painting, has described a specific thing, the way it means to her. It makes me understand better why it feels harder to do it alone, but still make me wonder is it irrelevant to know what the “true” meaning is? Do we need to stop putting ourselves in other’s shoes and try to analyse what they mean? Is it only important to care for our interpretation of what it is?
        Nikky44 recently posted..Guest post: An open blessingMy Profile

        1. Jodi Lobozzo Aman

          It is most important to understand the true meaning. But the true meaning is Spirit’s meaning- the Divine meaning. Everything is God and that which is not God is not real. And God is only in the present moment. Only light.

          Our interpretation in the end means nothing, the other’s interpretation in the end means nothing. But sometimes this is the complexity we go through to get rid of fear. And then go back out to simplicity of oneness, of just God.

          Does this make sense?
          XoJ

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