DINK #251 Moving Out Of Impulsive Into Contemplative

Posted on : 30-11-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized


I’m pretty sure that if I had been tested way back when in elementary school, I would have been diagnosed as being ADHD.  If memory serves me right, I’m pretty sure most of my report cards had notes that said, “talks too much” and “does not follow instructions” and in my later school years it progressed to “disrupts the class”.  I carried a whole lot of shame around about that but it never stopped me from exhibiting my outrageous behavior. I just kept impulsively talking and acting out.

Fast forward many years, lots of therapy, 12-step groups, spiritual spelunking, good nutrition, herbs and medicines and today I’m happy to report that I am finally able to “pause when agitated” and most of the time think before I act.

This afternoon on my way to class when the policeman pulled me over for going ten miles over the speed limit, I couldn’t even work up to a good resentment. I pulled out my driver’s license and insurance card and said the requisite, “no sir” when asked and went on my way with a ticket that will have to be paid before Christmas. Merry, Merry.  I’m willing to look at this as an opportunity to watch the speed limit and pay attention to what is going on around.

In my “Creating Spaces” class, as the professor began to softly tell everyone what assignments that we needed in our notebook by Monday after the holiday, I could feel the surge of fear rising up like bile in my throat and began to panic that somehow I had not followed instructions carefully and I would have points taken off for not turning in the correct assignments.  After the first 20 minutes of sitting there and finally realizing that the Professor would get to me when he could, I began to work on some window designs for my model.  It then occurred to me that everyone else’s assignments were more complicated looking because they were more complicated.  At the beginning of the semester when we all picked the “problem set” we wanted to focus on for the class I just happened to have chosen the easiest one which was color.  My four examples have been made for weeks now.  All I have to do is create the labels for each to affix to the foam core board and I’m done with that assignment.

There would have been a time that in either of these situations, my impulsive nature would have surely gotten the best of me.  In the former example, I would definitely have had some controlled rage at the officer for having dared to pull me over and in the latter one, I know I wouldn’t have gotten this far in the class–I would have definitely bailed.  Three students out of our small class did withdraw which was the best choice for them to make. For me, I had to see this class through because I could see there were some life lessons that I’ve been hitting head-on and dealing with and I tend to believe that when life lessons come along you either deal with them now, or deal with them later.  Might as well learn ’em now!

One of my best friends who always explores the coolest avenues in life for getting to know herself better, went through RC or Re-evaluation Counseling (http://www.rc.org/) My understanding of RC Counseling is it is a modality to help you release the distress from the past.  I think about what I learned from my friend when she would cry at the drop of a hat when she felt sad or let herself express her anger when she felt angry instead of pushing them down or away.  I found other avenues for release work that I believe have helped me in the same kind of way because now when thing happen like getting pulled over for a ticket or not understanding instructions–I only feel the feelings for what is happening in the moment and do not grab onto all kinds of stressful experiences from the past.

When we clear out our past we empty the gas tank for impulsive reactions that we either can’t control or aren’t able to control very well.

I’ve also never been as old as I am now (in this life at least) so there’s that too! Age does have its benefits in terms of softening the edges sometimes of things that used to sear into my soul when I was younger.

Have you noticed if you’re impulsive and if so, how does that show up in your life?  When are you contemplative and in what situations?

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