It is exciting times here at Clarity HQ! we are busy planning and so we are revisiting one of our popular articles ‘Tolerating Good Feelings’. Here it is;
“What could I say to you that would be of value, except that perhaps you seek too much, that as a result of your seeking you cannot find.” Hermann Hesse
How high is your tolerance for feeling good? I often encounter an interesting phenomenon when I first start working with a new client. At some point during our sessions, the client ‘falls out of their thinking’ and into a beautiful feeling of peace, clarity and wellbeing. Later, they often tell me they’re feeling better than they have in ages, or that it’s like a weight has been lifted from their shoulders.
But here’s the interesting thing: after touching that place of peace and clarity, it’s surprising how often people quickly leave it. They leave it by talking about it, or by conceptualising it. They leave it by reminiscing about past experiences of it, or by speculating about why they don’t experience it more often. They leave it by trying to think of problems, or by worrying about how they’ll find this peace in the future. And why do they leave it? Because when they first arrive, they have a low tolerance for a quiet mind; a low tolerance for peace, presence and clarity.
Imagine someone waiting in line outside a nightclub. They’ve been waiting for hours, slowly making their way towards the front of the queue. Their hopes are high, and their anticipation mounts as they near the club’s entrance. They talk excitedly with their friends about how brilliant it’s going to be in the club; how much fun they’re going to have and how happy they’ll be when they get there.
Finally, the doorman lets them in, and it’s even better than they imagined. The club is amazing, and they’re warmed with a wave of delight. It’s the most amazing place they’ve ever been, and clearly worth the wait. It’s almost *too* good. But before they even hit the dance floor, they’re seized with a strange compulsion. They walk straight out of the fire exit, and go all the way to the back of the queue. Once they’re back in the queue, they start telling anyone who will listen how glad they are that they’re in this queue, and how brilliant it’s going to be once they finally get into the club. They explain how they know they’re on the right track, and really making progress. Once again, they talk about how great it’s going to be when they get in, how happy they’re going to be and how much fun they’re going to have.
As the night goes on, they repeat this curious pattern over and over again, waiting hopefully in the queue, entering the club for a few moments then bolting for the exit and re-joining the queue. If we observed such a person, we could surmise that they have a high tolerance for waiting in line and a low tolerance for being in the club.
Similarly, many of us have a high tolerance for searching and a low tolerance for finding. We’ve spent so many years looking for our true selves (the source of peace, wellbeing and clarity). When we finally find it, it’s almost as if that beautiful feeling of presence is outside of our ‘comfort zone’; beautiful as it is, we think ‘there must be more to it than this’ or ‘I’ll leave before someone kicks me out’. Lining up outside and looking forward to feeling good has become so familiar that we’re more comfortable doing that than we are having what we’ve been searching for.
And your true identity – the source of peace, contentment and clarity… that’s what *everyone* is searching for. It’s the source of everything we want to be, and of all our heart’s desires. It’s the source of all the realisations you’ve ever had, and of all the insights you’re yet to have. And how do we increase our tolerance for peace? By going there. Going there for no good reason. Going there when we believe it can’t help. Going there when we believe there are more important things to do.
You see, there are times when each of us is that clubber in the queue, thinking we have to wait before we can get access to our heart’s desire. But the truth is the same for all of us; you already have what you’ve been waiting for; you already *are* what you’ve been searching for.
And once you find yourself there, feel free to spend a while in the club. You don’t need to run for the exit. You don’t need to wait in line. You see, this is *your* club. You own it. It’s you that employs the doormen, so you don’t even need a VIP pass. Everyone knows you here. They just assumed you were in the queue because you liked talking with people about how great the club is. Everybody knows you’re the one person here who can get in any time you like.
To your increasing clarity!
Sunday Times Bestselling Author, Speaker and Executive Coach
PLUS: Whenever you’re ready… here are 8 ways I can help you get the clarity and results that matter to you:
1. Listen to the ‘Get Clarity’ Podcast www.jamiesmart.com/claritynow/
2. Hire me to speak at your event: www.jamiesmart.com/book-jamie-to-speak-about/
If you’re a coach or interested in becoming one…
3. Join The Thriving Coaches Facebook group
4. Listen to The Thriving Coaches Podcast
5. Take part in the Thriving Coaches Blueprint. our 90 day, rapid-implementation programme to help you get more clients and grow your coaching or therapy practice (doors now open!)
6. Learn more about the Certified Clarity Coach Training Programme, our 10-month deep-immersion into the principles behind clarity (next intake is in 2020.)
If you’re looking to change job, career or move from FTE to something more fulfilling…
7. Join the Transition Launchpad Facebook group
8. Learn more about Escape Velocity: The Transition Blueprint our 90 day programme to help you transition into doing fulfilling work.