Choose Your Practice

598. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

In preparation for our class I was reading Alan’s book, Create A World That Works, and read a passage that I’ve read at least five times but never before registered. This time, it was the passage that stood out, the passage that stood up and said, “Hey!” The chapter is about stillness and the passage that hollered is a kind of equation that goes something like this: the more inner chatter you experience, the more you will try to control your outside world. Or, flip it over: quiet your mind and you will quiet your need to control things that you can’t control.

The inner world and the outer world are not separate affairs. One of the Hermetic Laws is, “As within, so without” and I understood the concept in story terms: quiet the racket inside and you will not live a life of racket on the outside. Yet, I hadn’t understood it in terms of the impulse to control. It makes sense to me: a life full of racket is a life full of the frustrated attempt to control things that you can’t control – which feeds the internal racket. It is a feedback loop.

I worked with a group this week and we played with the concept of “controlling what you can control and letting the rest go” – as it applies to personal and organizational health. A healthy person, a healthy organization is not invested in things beyond their control. They focus their energy and action where it is most effective. They are not invested in what other people think or see or feel; those things are beyond their control. They are invested in and responsible for what they think or see or feel. Their worth is in their own hands and not in the hands of others. Inner chatter, what you think, is a controllable. Every meditation and self-help book on the planet has clues about how to quiet the inner chatter. Add this to the pile: let go of what you can’t control, care more for what you think than you care about what others think. Chatter is a pattern and so it quiet; it is simply a matter of the practice you choose.

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