Flip it Good

 Drawing by me, inspired by a piece from my friend, Vedrin. 

Drawing by me, inspired by a piece from my friend, Vedrin. 

Flip it good. 

I think having rituals such as New Year's is SO IMPORTANT. These are collective reminders of our ability to start fresh, to begin again, to see our lives as a Tabula Rasa (clean slate). 

Ultimately, these larger collective reminders are also symbolic of our moment-by-moment capacity as conscious beings to choose. 

I have become aware this year of how environment shapes our choice and our capacity, and I have also seen where the reverse is true. While these two dimensions are asymmetrical and potentially paradoxical, I want to focus on how we CAN...

Turn a new page. Turn a new leaf. FLIP IT. FLIP IT GOOD.

Crack that whip
Give the past the slip
Step on a crack
Break your momma’s back
When a problem comes along
You must whip it
Before the cream sits out too long
You must whip it
When something’s going wrong
You must whip it
Now whip it
Into shape
Shape it up
Get straight
Go forward
Move ahead
Try to detect it
It’s not too late
To whip it
Whip it good
— From the song "Whip it" by Devo

Flip it good.

 

Old habits, old stories, old ways of being... these can all die hard. 

When you have neural superhighways dedicated to firing the same ways, neural scenic routes and byways are not easily constructed. 

In this narrow window between an event and a choice, we have the chance to flip it. To flip it good. 

Much of what I have learned about myself in the past few months has been just how blind I have been to my own ways of being. My subconscious stories and reactions, my compartmentalized "default" modes, my own disintegration and fragmentation... these are rife with micro-moments where I can flip it. 

I've described this before as the chance to "A.C.T." Acknowledge. Choose. Thank. We have the choice to flip it. To turn our frown upside down. To find the silver lining. To be with how we may be feeling and to make space for other feelings to emerge.  To look from more than one vantage point with your incredible consciousness and get in touch with reality (or at LEAST a better story). 

Let me give you an example. 

Let's say that I wake up in the morning "on the wrong side of the bed." It feels like my whole day is already planned for me, the kids are up, and now I am going to be bound to reacting instead of consciously acting. I see this. In my morning pages, I'll take the time to write it out. "I feel..." I acknowledge how I'm being. Great. That's done. Now, I can make the choice to flip it. 

When I suppress or deny how I feel, that gets me into trouble and rears it's head later anyway. But after being with my feelings, I can flip my perception and write a new story. I can be the watcher, the seer, the listener, and the one who chooses. I flip it. Flip it good. 

I turn my attention to my children. While their own unique persons, also represent aspects of me. They are like me, and need love and belonging, and I have the opportunity to be a presence of that today. I can be a cause for that effect. I can. Right now. Today.  And there are many other ways to "flip it."

For each of the things that are pre-planned or already committed to, there is still the choice of who and how I can be in those spaces. A grocery store run can move from being a begrudging obligation to being a chance to nourish my family and be available to the humans in our neighborhood. Cooking can move from being a monotonous task to space for me to be a Dish Jockey. Not knowing how to teach my kids in a given moment can be an opportunity to learn. And so on, and so on, and so on. 

By one view, I'm the prisoner of my circumstances. When I flip it, I take creative control. Will I cling to old ways of being or consider letting go and moving in a new direction? 

My intention this year, in each moment as needed, is to FLIP IT. 

I invite you to go and do likewise. 

 

Happy New Year, Friends!!

 

Barefoot Ben