“Don´t get used to feeling bad. When you feel bad, be aware of what you do. You can´t let it go but you can see how you are.”

“Don´t get used to feeling bad. When you feel bad, be aware of what you do. You can´t let it go but you can see how you are.”

The writer pauses; he adjusts his glasses.

“So what you´re saying”, he replies as he leans back in the chair at the cafe by the beach, “is not to change my behavior?”

“I´m not saying that, exactly”, I reply as I lean back in my chair, “but take some time to understand who you are–what you do and your habits.  Your fall-back pattern–what do you do when you feel bad or when things aren´t going right?”

“So should I write this down?”

“It´s not a bad idea”, I reply as I lean forward and pick up my taza, “but just think a bit–work on developing awareness of what you do.  So much of life is on autopilot that you may never really consider what you do–it´s like driving to work and never noticing that there´s a new restaurant.”

“There´s a new restaurant?”, he replies as he sips his coffee.

“I don´t know”, I reply as I take a sip from my taza, “but you don´t know–you are just zoning out.  You are not paying attention to your life–you are not paying attention to others.  Instead you, or people in general, just get in a routine that works–you may feel good or you may feel bad but, regardless, you just kinda keep going?”

“I get in the zone when I write”, he replies as he turns his head to look out the window.

“Yeah”, I reply as I turn my head to look out the window also, “I´m not saying that it´s a bad thing–but all the time, or a life, in routine and you are never really here?”

“Where? In the cafe?”

“No, just here.”

“I don´t know what you mean.”

“Sometimes, like at work, it´s great to get in a routine, zone out, get a bunch of tasks completed, or, for example, running when you just get in a rhythm and you can keep going for a while without thinking of it.  These are great things–I´m not saying that it´s all bad, or good.  But, just occasionally, take a break, look around, see where you are. What are you doing? You´ll notice that you may have zoned out and you bring yourself back to paying attention to the current reality that you are in–I mean like what´s around you?  Maybe you notice that there´s a new restaurant? It´s great to get in the zone and be productive in your life, but, remind yourself, sometimes to get back to paying attention and develop an awareness of how you behave.  Maybe you find that you always do this or that–you have never really consider it–it´s called a habit.  Maybe you feel bad and you always do the same thing to handle it–it´s not bad, but maybe you have forgotten that you feel bad?  Maybe you forgot that you are not happy? Consider things.  Rather then change your bad habit, per se, consider where it is coming from–maybe the zoning out is not bad if it helps you, but awareness of what you are doing will help you.”

“Help me with what?”

“Matters. What matters. Take time to understand that you feel bad–that´s fine.  It´s not about that or having the habit, but if you don´t feel bad, the habit will go away–right?”

“So don´t focus on the habit?”

“Let go of that–it has a purpose.  It is how you get through–awareness and consideration.  Think about things and what´s going on.”

“What´s that mean?”

“If you feel bad and you have a habit that helps you–that´s fine.  It´s not about the habit, it´s about feeling bad.  It doesn´t start with the reaction.”

“So instead of the habit, feel good?”

I pause; I take a sip from my taza; I set it down on the small table.

“Courage.”

“Huh?”

“Yeah”, I reply as I turn my head back out the window, “courage to do it.”



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