Wednesday, December 13, 2017

hot-cold cycles

one other connection clicked with me this weekend. maybe it's pretty obvious, but i never noticed it before. in some spiritual practices there's a concept of alternating between:
1) forcing yourself to focus (which is in a way kind of unnatural), and
2) allowing yourself to not focus.
like, tibetan buddhism calls it "intensifying" and "easing up".

meanwhile, i've been kind of obsessed with the tradeoff between "accepting yourself" and "challenging yourself". challenging myself is like: i try to find what i'm afraid of, and force myself to let it happen. that helps me get past some of my fears, even though i always dread doing it. but, accepting myself is that i don't have to do that all the time, i can just rest and accept that i have fears and that they're causing problems for myself and other people.

i think that tradeoff (challenging vs accepting) has been interesting to me because i've never been able to find any kind of conceptual framework to get underneath those concepts. it seems like there's value in being kind to yourself, but also value in challenging yourself, even though they're almost opposite.

anyway, the question is: could the rhythm of challenging and accepting be the same as the heating and cooling cycles that seem to be necessary for life?


Citizen G'kar said...
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Citizen G'kar said...

The mediating emotional construct is shame. Shame is not effective motivation, at it's worst, it keeps you stuck. You imply challenging yourself is not accepting yourself. There is no reason why you can't do both. In fact, you'll find yourself more motivated, in a positive, encouraging way and capable of enjoying self-acceptance and a challenge simultaneously.