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In the ordinary world, we go along our life in the routine that we always follow. We get up, get the kids off to school, go to work, come home, do a bit of shopping on the way, have dinner, have a shower and then off to bed. the last day was no different than the next. What we did last year we are doing this year and it will most likely be the same next year. Same old same old.
We are governed by duty, commitments, routine and obligation. It could be fear of getting out of our comfort zone, or the fear that others instill in us so that we do not change our habitual routine. If we are asked to do something different we will most likely refuse because it is our of pattern, scary or just use our commitments as an excuse.
If we do get stuck in a rut, and want things to change. We often wait till something happens to us. We wait for an out side influence to change us or our situation. If nothing changes, nothing changes. We often use the phrase in Rehab. If we do the same thing over and over again expecting a different result, this is the definitions for insanity.
Here is an exercise you can do for your self. Get a paper map of the city that you live in. now with a colored marker draw out the path you take to work and back. now with a different color draw out the path you take to go shopping. now with the third color draw out the path you take to get the kids to school. Now get a fourth color and draw in the paths you take on during a regular week. Now sit back and ask your self “when do I actually get off that path?”, how often, and why did I stray from my normal path. If you find your self being pushed from your path by somebody ells, It may be the time for you to make a decision and get off the path.
Think of a good movie or book. you will see that the first act, always has the main character living his normal life, the routine that he has day in, day out. The main character may dream of a different life, or expresses how they are sick of the life they have, but they don not do anything to change it or get stopped by their obligations. Much Like Luke Sky-walker was stopped by his Uncle.
It may be the case like in the first Rocky movie that they have a hobby, like boxing that they are good at, but never really devote time to because survival, keeping food on the table is more important (obligation).
Metaphor: – Think of your self on a treadmill and you are running on it. That is your life and the meeting all of your obligations, duties and commitments. Now you see a new treadmill that you would like to run on. It’s new with new features and you do not know all the functions on it. so you run on your treadmill dreaming about being on the other treadmill. You start thinking about stopping this treadmill, getting off the treadmill and walking through no-man’s-land to get to the other treadmill. Then the thoughts start dwelling on starting the other treadmill up and then getting it up to pace so that you don’t need to struggle for to long. You know that there is not a gentle transition between the treadmills, in fact you know that it’s harder to jump on a treadmill that is already running.
These are the fears that we need to conquer, and take the leap. The struggle of survival and the doubts that others place into us makes the fear so real. However that fear is all in our imagination, thinking of all the “what ifs” that may never happen. “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” Dune, Frank Herbert.
Thus, when we are dealing with Drugs and Alcohol you can see that when we are using the chance for drugs or money for drugs a person is in a vicious cycle. Forever finding the resources to buy the drugs and then being too stoned or paranoid to do anything ells. Being on Alcohol is very much the same. So the days go by and then years go by in a complete blur and oblivious of the harm they are doing to themselves and others. Stuck in the rut of self rot. Till one day the force of change will come from an external source. This force of change will most likely come from the partner, police, court or from work if you have a job at this stage.
Skills to learn in this step:
Here we are going through the daily motions. We know what we know that is needed to carry on in the ordinary world. But there is a feeling that you have that there is more to life, but you don’t know what it is. It is only a feeling, with is unsettling to you. If you do not discover what is needed to push you on to a new level you may be forced to get out of your comfort zone by others.
- Get a pen and paper and take stock of the positives and negatives in your life. you can do it with the positives on the left of the page and the negatives on the right of the page, like a ledger.
- Ask your self “how did I get here? …. Do I like where I am? What ells can I do with my life?”. – After all you only have this life to do all you want to do. Everything you don’t do and have the opportunity to do you will regret. This is why 90 year old people go sky diving. They are kicking them self for not doing it when they were younger.
- Look at what you want to give up on either side, and put a small number of priority next to them.
- Now question your self – “What would I like to add in to my life”. This may take a while, days or weeks. You may already know the answer.
- Investigate that answer you have. That answer is now your goal. be enthusiastic about is. Don’t as others permission to follow your dream, like “Do you think” questions. Ask direct questions, like “How do I get started in…”.
- Where can I learn it? How do I need to see to get started? What do I need for that goal? The organizations or people that you ask these questions, I bet, you already know.
- Now you know what you are prepared to sacrifice to get the goal you want. look at that list again the things you marked in priority of what you are willing to have out of your live. This is making room for the new things to come into your life.
You are learning what you can add to your life.
If you are forced into change. Then hang on and enjoy the ride. You will gain a lot and suffer the losses greater than if you chose to change. Remember every decision you do not take for your self, someone ells will make it for you.
A short Description of the Hero’s Journey:
From here we go to the Second Step.