What Comes First, The Chicken or the Egg?

I never understood this riddle nor was I able to provide any response. Who knows what comes first?  
 
When I was chatting with a much younger colleague in Massachusetts, I could hear the excitement and power in her conversation as she pointed to a re-framing of her relationship to finding a partner, having kids, etc. There was no resignation or hopelessness, not even a smidgen of despair.
 
Her declaration to simply enjoy life and have fun was evident in her buoyant attitude as she recounted the many summer adventures with new and old friends, all the while taking good- natured pokes at her previous penchant to create love stories out of fantasies.
 
She also was re-negotiating her stance to extend her promise (to simply have fun) to the end of the year. And quite confidently she asserted that even extending to the end of the year sounded ludicrous. "Why stop at all?" she asked.
 
What changed? She changed some very established long held beliefs about marriage and family when she experienced the noose she had tightened around her own neck. As she released the hold, her attitude towards life and relationships softened, allowing her to become more spacious. Plus more fun to be around! 
 
Interestingly enough, I also observed a relinquishment of anxiety, the constant nagging story lines we repeat that keep the knots/noose tightening, when our attention lags or worse, when we see ourselves as victims of an unfair or unreliable system. We become so habituated to the noose tightening, we're at a loss when we're not pulling the rope. Unaware of the harm we're creating by what/how we think, we just keep pulling, hoping something will change. 
 
Some readers might say that my colleague's shift in perspective is only temporary. Course all of life is only temporary. The choice to release herself from a self -imposed bondage of beliefs has propelled her to experience more joy. Her intention is quite clear, and from that point of view, she is building confidence and faith, two qualities essential to reducing stress.
 
No matter what the story line, if we attach to it, we are tightening the noose around our necks. It takes looking and a teacher (spiritual friend) to find the noose that keeps us residing in a bowl of negative emotions. Why not spend a few moments each day sitting quietly to see where the tension is in your body? Around your neck? In your gut? What is the story line operating in the background? What is it that you are holding onto today? What would happen if you released yourself from your own story? If you need help, write me at rpost@thehealercoach.com.

Posted on September 3, 2013 and filed under September 2013.