Sunday, December 21, 2014

Take the Left Turn at Albuquerque: On Not Being So Predictable

This slogan made me wince when I first read it:
Don't be so predictable. 
It made me wince because I am so very predictable. I have my well-worn patterns, grooves I've worn in my life. Sometimes predictability can be comforting, but other times it can only get us into trouble. The very next thing I thought of was Bugs Bunny and his predilection for never turning left at Albuquerque. It always gets him in trouble. Sure, his troubles end up being fairly entertaining for the rest of us, but think how happy that bull would have been if he'd been left to his own devices.

The thought of BB and Albuquerque never left me as I did my typical research. Skipped ahead to the Tricycle piece and was happy I'd done so because I found a few pieces that resonated, albeit uncomfortably.
"If we do not make an effort to do otherwise, if we do not pay attention, then much of what we do will be in the form of automatic reactions. We can see this whole process as it is happening, although often we do not. We might recognize it in the sinking feeling of 'Here I go again.' We might see it coming, but our reaction is so fast that we can’t stop ourselves."
 Yes. I resemble that remark. Quite a bit. I've lost track of how many times I've said something like "Here I go again" to myself over one emotional reaction or another - especially the negative ones. It really is Bugs all over again. The things that kick my anxiety up or my anger or even my pride... there so much that is predictable. 

I can't exhort BB to trust his instincts and take that left, but I can work on my own predictability. Lief's advice will be easier to practice since I'm on vacation this week and will mostly only be seeing friends who I adore:
"When you feel threatened, don’t get defensive, pause, and then react. When you are praised, don’t just lap it up, pause, and then react. What do you notice?  Explore the contrast between using experience to further your own agenda and seeing it from a broader perspective."
So that's what I'll be doing. Until next time, namaste and all that. 

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