Just when I’m wondering what kind of a column to write next, I get an e-mail from a friend providing the inspiration.
Shauna Hoffman is an extraordinary therapist who also runs a “Whodunit” mystery troupe that entertains on cruise ships. We’re in regular e-mail contact and when I lived in Los Angeles I used to have lunch with her about once a month.
Shauna’s words in regard to searching for an answer: “Sometimes I just think the hell with the all of this spiritual, astrological, psychological stuff ... just go with the heart. I tell my clients to close their eyes and make the decision that makes them the most peaceful. Not more excited, or happy, or relieved, or comfortable. The most peaceful. That will be your answer.”
I wrote back saying, “I really like that, but what about challenge to generate aliveness -- the joy and blood-pumping enthusiasm that tells you you’re alive? Peaceful sounds very good. Aliveness also sounds very good.”
Every time you choose peace, you are leaving out anxiety. There is always one choice that causes anxiety and one that doesn’t. And if there is still anxiety then the answer is, “I need do nothing right now ... no choice yet.” So basically the peaceful choice can still be the exciting choice.
Try it. Let’s say you’re a woman and you’re interested in new man who has recently come into your life. Here are two ways to approach the situation:
“I continue to get to know William in more intimate ways.”
“I keep my relationship with William only as it is now.”
Which causes anxiety?