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Soulful Sundays: Friction

"To sleep, perchance to dream, ay there's the rub. For in that sleep of death what dreams may come, when we have shuffled off this mortal coil. Must give us pause."


Somewhere between what exists and what is ideal lies a force called Friction. Friction is the force that inspires, creates, and destroys. It can ignite us to do extraordinary things, but can also consume us in the flames of frustration and burnout. How can we harness "the rub" in our daily lives to make them more fulfilling and less exhausting?

The Sun is just the right distance from the Earth to allow for the miracle of life to occur - combined with the right mix of elements and geological forces, of course. We are the products of this unimaginable fortune and our continued existence rests in the structures in place to contain the Sun's energy. For example, if structures like the atmosphere or chlorophyll did not exist, neither would we.

Let's extrapolate on the utility of structure as it relates to harnessing the power of Friction. We can start with setting the intention of using challenge (aka Friction) as an instrument for growth and, therefore, increased ability. Next, we can find a system or structure for transforming that challenge into power and knowledge. The best systems are the ones that are simple and useful, increasing in effectiveness in the face of resistance.

One system I use every day is the practice of Mindfulness. It involves seeing life situations as objectively as possible without indulging in personal judgments. I don't deny the presence and importance of my emotions, but rather, I delay just a little before acting. The delay provides a great opportunity to remember my intention and proceed forward with more grace. A second system that I use frequently is Small Action. When faced with big challenges, I first ask myself what is the one small thing I can do to get things moving. More often than not, the Action will provide the feedback for how to proceed and the momentum for continuing.

These are just a few ideas to consider. Life can seem very frustrating and inhospitable at times. These points of Friction are often our greatest teachers. It may seem counterintuitive, but if we can lean into the discomfort and fear, we will see it is not all it appears to be. Awareness and the use of structures will help to guide you as you harness your own inner fire. Be Brave. Be Kind.

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