Stephen Guise gives the example of his cat that he took outside on the snow. As he placed her on the street, the cat stood stunned for a few seconds. Then she ran back inside the house. Later he tried something different; he placed her at the door of the house. The cat slowly and curiously explored the snow and was soon wandering about happily in the snow. The cat’s comfort circle had expanded because Stephen had placed her just on the border, and not far away from her comfort circle.
Similarly if we place our schedules just close to our mind’s comfort, we’d see it is achievable, and slowly and surely move outside the circle, albeit a little bit. There is an inner assurance that if things get tough, I can rush back to my comfort circle. As I explore my capacity, I would be amazed to find my circle has itself expanded. Now I can happily chant more mantras attentively; it isn’t a drag anymore.
The principle in play here is ‘Acceptance.’
I confess initially it was a challenge to the mind and ego to admit I am ‘small’ and I can chant only five mantras attentively. I’d often speak in my lectures that one needs to chant his prayers attentively, and now I realized I have reduced the standard for myself. But it was more practical and achievable. As my mind wandered during the two hour session, I’d now gently assure myself, ‘It’s ok if you are distracted, you have done your five for the day’. I felt less guilty about my 1500 mantras and soon I was happily doing more.
My ‘acceptance’ of my real position, rather than hankering for what I should be, was a great relief. Acceptance helped me aspire for higher. I am sure if you went for one push up a day, it would do the same to you. If you are struggling with poor determination, that could be because you always thought about yourself as a great health freak. But remember this is your imagined identity, of what you would love to be, rather than what you really are right now, at this moment of your life. You may not be as strong or great as you wish you were. But by accepting your present situation, you are gently moving forward.
To be continued….