Max pulled up to the Center for Global Public Relations. In thirty minutes he’d flip his inner switch and step on stage, stoked and ready to address an assembly of educators with his keynote speech. He turned off the radio and reached inside his suit coat for some nicotine gum—his mojo for remaining a nonsmoker. He grabbed his briefcase and climbed out of the car.
Giving the car door a strong slam shut, he muttered, “You think you can keep this up forever? Someday someone is going to discover you’re a fraud and don’t know a thing about being happy. You’ve got a good pitch, but we both know you’re really a loser.”
No matter what Max tried to do with this hateful voice—ignore it or fight with it—it left him exhausted. Now he’d have to hit the men’s room to pull himself back together. Disgusted, he threw back his shoulders and walked into the building—as if he really were the guy they all expected him to be.
Without understanding he was dealing with an Unresolvable Dilemma, Max was at the mercy of his emotions and his inner critic. When he learned about paradox, he got terribly excited. He thought his problems would be solved: he would never again have to fear failure, his inner critic would be silenced, and happiness and peace would start permeating every moment of his day!
Oh, if that could be true! But that’s not the reality in the Land of Unresolvable Dilemma. You’re not being offered one side of life that seems better than its opposite. You learn the knack for living peacefully with both sides of life—divine and human, light and dark, high and low, winning and losing, succeeding and failing, loving and hating, order and chaos, happiness and sorrow.
Life in the Land of Unresolvable Dilemma
The wisdom of your discontent guides you to live peacefully with life as it is—even as you strive to make it different. And it leads you to an oasis of inner peace that remains undisturbed by the presence of your emotional turmoil, and life’s flow between opposites.
This is only possible when you put the missing puzzle piece of paradox in place. This kind of inner peace is real—and reachable. The happiness it brings easily invites unhappiness in for tea. Wow! Imagine you can allow what makes you unhappy into your picture of a happy life. That has to be a magical land, doesn’t it?
Home of the Happiness That Knows No Opposite
Anytime you navigate two levels of reality (in our case, human and divine) at the same time, it is magic. Like any good magic, your mind can’t fathom how it’s done. But when the rabbit pops out of the hat, you’re amazed by it anyway.
Your mind may get a little confused by this notion, but give it a try anyway. This different brand of happiness knows no opposite because it embraces all opposites equally—happiness and sadness, pleasure and pain, gain and loss, connection and separation, birth and death. It’s bigger than any set of polarities, and it accepts everything as part of the harmony of all things.
This happiness exists in the realm beyond thoughts and ideas; it lives outside the territory of the mind—beyond the world of conceptual thought. And this place is, literally, just a blink away from your mind’s eye.
Embracing Your Resistance
You already know this place in times of quiet when you’re just being (like when you’re sunbathing, lying on the massage table, or soaking in the tub) or during noisy, fast, and dangerous times when you must be present for your safety (like when you’re whitewater rafting, skiing, surfing a big wave, or mountain climbing). In these scenarios, your mind naturally becomes quiet—and that different brand of happiness arises. This is why we like these kinds of activities. When the mind is still—even for just a tiny bit of time—you connect directly with your life experience (that’s you minus your story).
Have you ever stood at the ocean’s edge in the middle of a winter storm, mesmerized by its power and beauty? Have you sensed a majestic harmony, even though waves are crashing all around, and huge piles of heavy driftwood are shifting, rearranging the contour of the shore? Just being with the power of nature feels good, and a sense of happiness and peace arises.
This happiness is not the mind’s idea of happiness—getting what you want and not getting what you don’t want. Instead, it’s just being with what is unfolding. Deepak Chopra once said that happiness arises when you don’t resist the continual flow of events. What you may not realize is that includes embracing your resistance to not resisting. It’s such an odd thing to do . . . until you do it.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Conari Press,
an imprint of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC. www.redwheelweiser.com.
©2000, 2011 by Gail McMeekin. All rights reserved.
Unflappable: 6 Steps to Staying Happy, Centered, and Peaceful No Matter What
by Ragini Elizabeth Michaels.
Unflappable is a book that helps readers not only survive, but embrace the ups and downs of life, and learn to stay centered and peaceful regardless of the circumstances.
About the Author
Ragini Elizabeth Michaels is an internationally acclaimed trainer of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) and hypnosis, and an accomplished Behavioral Change Specialist. She has gained international recognition for her original and pioneering work, Facticity® and Paradox Management, a unique process for how to live with paradox. Also known for her reputation as a superb teacher, presenter, and compassionate human being, she has received invitations to share her work beyond the boundaries of the US to Canada, England, Scotland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and India.