Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Stop Tuning Out. Start Tuning In.

For several years now, I have felt that there is something really awry when it comes to marketing/advertising/business. However I haven't been able to verbalize it in any way that seems to be helpful or clear. And we all know the first rule of marketing and advertising, don't we? You must be clear. Clarity wins.

The thing is much of my life doesn't have clarity, and I am not sure that is a "bad" thing. I don't know when I am going to make my next favorite cedonaah, or what it will look like. I don't know when I am going to write my next favorite blog entry, or what it will be about. I don't know when I will meet my next favorite person, or where. I don't even know anything about any of them right now. There is zero clarity about the specifics.

Once when I was out of work someone asked me what I wanted to do. I said, "I want to get paid to talk to people." I was told that wasn't specific enough. That was before I did work as an intuitive, coach, and hypnotist. I had no idea at the time what that meant, but I ultimately found  it by following the path that showed up in front of me. A hypnosis course showed up, I began to be willing to admit to being intuitive, took chances in sharing intuitive "hits" I got, and chose to coach in a program once, a second time, a third...And now I am where I am today.

Then there was the time I created a page for my Letters of Love. I had all kinds of people telling me how great they sounded. None of which - who had all the details, and the offer of a full satisfaction guarantee - asked for one. Then one person asks for one, and then started  to ask a lot of questions. It made no sense to me - as I had answered all of the questions on that page. Come to find out, she hadn't read the page. She just intuitively knew to ask for one - even though she had no clue what she was asking for!

Things like these tell me there is something more going on. Things like this tell me that in some ways the current way of marketing and advertising is just a slick diversion from what we have inside of us. Many times we let the marketers and advertisers tell us what we need, what we want. Many times we have come to tune things out because we are tired of the pitch. We are tired of being bombarded.

What if we tuned in, instead? Tuned inward to that part of us that knows what is the best and right thing to do. What if instead of turning off the volume, we selectively turn it up when it seems to be the right thing to do? In that case we will be less reactive and less likely to tune out something we should be heeding/paying attention to. What if we starting asking ourselves questions like, "What should I do next?" "Who should I talk to?" "Is this a good thing for me?" "Should I help that person?" "How much should I do?" "What should I eat?" "Where should I buy my food?" "Should I quit my job?" "How should I earn money?"

What if we just started asking questions and listening to the answers instead of going with the flood waters of our lives? I suspect there may be times we may not like the answers, but that is all the more reason we should ask them. It could mean that we have been off on someone else's path, and gone where someone else thinks we should go.

It may be that the comfort we have comes from what we think we know and the thing that really would suit us is missed because of the discomfort we have with the unknown. If we don't ask the question, we don't need to heed the answer. But the thing is...many times something we need to heed (even if unsolicited by questions) will bug us and make waves if we don't choose to listen. Often things will get worse and worse and worse until we are forced to act.

What if we were taught as children that asking questions was a good thing? I think many times we are discouraged from asking questions of others, which in turn has us ask less questions of ourselves. The times that I listen to that deep, inner nudging it often is a good thing ultimately. I may not always know why it says what it does. It may not always make "sense." It may not be logical. It may make waves of its own. It may cause me problems. But sometimes we need to clear out stuff on the way to getting new stuff. Sometimes destruction needs to precede construction.

Maybe it is the fear of the upset that also causes us to silence that inner voice. If we listen it could take us in a direction we know could be turbulent. It is easy to get caught up and not see what we have done. I was once in the middle of a seminar when I realized, to my incredible dismay, that even though I thought I was living life in the vein of "feel the fear and do it any way" I had actually made a number of choices that were quite the opposite, and yet in my mind I rationalized it in a way that seemed to fit that statement. It was devastating to consider the cost of those choices.

I was grief stricken. It was a very profound moment for me.

So much of who we are lurks in our unconscious. It is there to help us. It thinks it is helping because it seeks the familiar. It is what we as humans needed to survive early in our existence. But I think that mechanism might be detrimental to our survival now as it takes us places that aren't helpful or ultimately conducive to our well-being. I am not sure what the "way out" is, other than to start getting in better touch with our own inner voice and feelings. And when it comes to those things that come at us, start asking more questions of ourselves - not the other person. Like that Love Letter person, I think we know inside of ourselves if something is right for us or not, even if we don't have all the details. And this is not to say not to ask for details if you feel it best, but rather not to let yourself get caught up in them. Sometimes I think they can get in the way. But if you listen to that inner voice you will know when they can enable you and know when they would disable you.

In a world of people who want and need answers I think we are driving in the wrong direction. We are moving farther outside ourselves in the process. The life we live in the world I think would only be benefitted by our ability to go within.

I say all of this and wonder how much more I can do of it for myself. I have my moments when things are better and my moments when I am definitely caught up what surrounds me. I know of times in my life when I definitely did not listen. I can't help but wonder how different things might have been if I had. At the same time, I also can't help but wonder how much of what was was exactly as it needed to be for me to be who and how I am today.

No one is perfect. No one has it all together at all times. I think the nature of being human precludes that. I find myself in my "imperfections." I find perspective in my moments of pain and dismay. If I walked around asking questions all my life I wouldn't likely be sitting here, discussing it with you. I can relate to so much of the experience of being human because of my experiences.

Maybe it is not about getting it "right," which is so much what marketing and advertising is about. Maybe we need to slow things down. Maybe we need to just live life. I keep saying that I am in a Survival Mode. Maybe we all are. Maybe everything we do is geared toward survival. Some of us are just more aware of it than others.

The irony, of course, is that none of us get out alive.

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