It’s a common experience – that eerie feeling that you cant quite see the way ahead. As the Talking Heads song has it ‘Well – how did I get here?” But what you probably do when this happens is bury the feeling and just keep on keeping on.
Here’s an exercise that you might try to open up your sense of the here and now and potentially re-orient yourself. It’s very hi-tech – you’ll need a pencil and paper.
Step One – Who drew your map? We’ve all heard the cliché that life’s a journey but its worth taking a step back and thinking – ‘Who drew my map?’ Have I been swept along by an ambition that takes all my energy but leaves me feeling empty? Am I following a path set out for me by my parents or a partner?
Step Two – How am I travelling? We all like to think we’re in the driving seat in complete command of the vehicle – whether it be the mind or the body. But are you? Are you having a bumpy journey or is it a smooth ride? This can be very interesting. Link step one to two – you may well be having a comfy ride – lounging around in the back seat while your ambition drives you forward but do you want to go down this road? What will it take to get you to take charge of your journey?
Step Three – Where do you want to go? I know its simple but this is a tricky question. Think about the connection this to steps one and two: imagine getting to the end of the journey, arriving and then thinking ‘what is this place? I don’t want to be here!’
I’ve found that this outline helps people think through life’s big questions from a fresh perspective. The next step might be a contemplative practice such as meditation which will can give you both a clear sense of where you are right now and perhaps even allow you to enjoy the experience of just being here.
When you choose the next step it’ll be up to you.