This is how I see it…
In my everyday life, I am constantly veering across different lanes of consciousness depending on how I am feeling and what I am thinking at any given moment. The three lanes are negative, positive and neutral. Let me explain.
Neutral serves as the default state of being, this is the "middle" lane. Here, I experience comfort, safety, security, and conformity. I engage in work to earn money, rarely venturing beyond my comfort zone, adhering to rules, and avoiding deviations. In essence, this lane embodies mediocrity.
The left lane represents the negative realm. This is where I would veer when shit happens. When I encounter issues such as bad sleep, work-related issues or frustrations, unhappiness with work, illness, a close call on the road, even something as silly as hitting my funny bone or the dog barking. It's a lane of heightened emotions, discomfort and reactiveness, one I'd rather avoid.
Then the right lane is the positive lane. I find myself sitting in this lane when something great happens. Good result at work, good conversation, enjoying a good meal, a good hug, hearing a song I love, taking a walk in nature. So many different things can take me here.
This new awareness and way of looking at things is pretty new to me.
I’ve always just accepted life as it came. ‘Shit happens’, ‘What do you do’, ‘Another day another dollar’, ‘Same old, same old’... so many of these pessimistic, negative and defeated phrases would show up every day. On the outside I thought I was an optimistic person, but when I really started to look deeper inside, I realised I was my own worst critic.
Like I said, this is a very new awareness for me. Learning that my thoughts have just as much power, if not more, than my words was the 2x4 smack to the head wake-up call I needed. 'Thoughts', those things that swirl in my head every minute of every day. You have them too. Yes, they are restricting and hurting me.
That’s when my ‘three lane highway of life’ idea was created. It just hit me one night as I was drifting off to sleep. I could see it actually playing out - me moving across these lanes as I was reacting to the different events that had happened throughout my day.
I realised I was handing over my personal power to chance, by reacting instead of participating. Living like I was just a passenger in my own life, when in reality, I was the one holding the wheel. Everything that was happening I played a part in it. I was responsible for. I created it in some way.
That’s a powerful thing to consider. And when you consider some of the circumstances around you, it’s a very tough pill to swallow.
I noticed that I steered into the positive lane when I was doing something I enjoyed, like my painting. If I stepped outside my comfort zone and challenged myself. When I did something new and different. And to do anything like this, I had to make the conscious decision. It was my choice. I had to step into that. Me, and only me. My happiness was my responsibility, no one else's.
But it was also very difficult to stay in this lane. I was constantly dragged to the middle lane or left lane. The slightest event or negative thought would change where my attention was.
Why is that? I had to search deeper. I want to understand what makes me tick.
Turns out, my gut feelings and consciousness were trying to guide me. They were like, "Hey, pay attention!" But what did I do? I listened to negative thoughts, other people's opinions, and society's standards. Handing over my power like that meant I wasn't being true to myself. I was living for others, not me.
Now I am very aware that I have responsibilities towards others that I take very seriously. My family, friends, my clients etc. This is a different discussion. My personal power is doing the things that I know I need in my life to make me feel happy, complete, inspired. The things that fill my cup. And I also know these things are forever evolving and changing. I don't know what's coming next, good or bad, but I’m open to the journey and look forward to what lies ahead.
I hope this article has given you something to pause and reflect on. Which lane are you moving in? And which lane do you want to be in?
Please share your thoughts. I’d love to hear your take on this and have an open conversation.