Monday, April 23, 2012
Although it is our natural state to manifest 'ah-ha', sometimes ah-ha just isn't flowing in the ah-ha to which we've become accustomed. This is known as ah-ha-pause.
All of us "do-gooders" in the world experience ah-ha-pause sometime in our lives. I remember when I just started going through ah-ha-pause. I would get hot flashes of brilliance - and yet there would be little or no flow of genius. And then nothing was funny. I would start to laugh and then stop in the middle, just like that.
I was going through a mid-ah-ha-pause crisis, the beginning of my ah-ha-pause.
I was 7.
A 7-year old's life is primarily focused on doing your duties - chores, homework, and personal body care, not to mention being "nice to your little brother." Personally, I thought that I already did "too much."
It was this early insight, the belief that I was already "good enough," that led me to go outside and play instead of doing my homework.
Homework was going to be there for me when I got done, but I was only allowed to play outside until 30 minutes right before dinner. Think about it. What would you do?
If you, like me, went out to the playground, you trained your dogmas how to play fetch, run fast, and appreciate the art of dress up at an early age.
After letting my thoughts float away like balloons into the sky, playing outside felt pretty great.
Until... I thought about my math sheet. Danger! Do not think about homework while swinging on the monkey bars, you could fall off, land on your wrist, and break it in a million pieces requiring the aid of a cast, which of course, everyone signed, so I guess it wasn't all that bad after all...
Despite the fact that my parents were "hip" vegetarians who still enjoyed Mexican food, I grew up in a dysAH-HAsional family. I adopted every stray dogman in the neighborhood. This dogma was the belief that I could help everyone learn how to play and have fun. And if they couldn't come outside to play because they had homework or their parents were just being plain "mean," then fine, I'll go play at the park because there's plenty of dogmas there!
I really loved roaming the neighborhood (within a 4 block radius) with these old dogmas. You can't imagine what a comfort it was for me to know that whatever happened after school, this old dogma would always be ready and eagerly willing to play!
To teach an old dogma new tricks, you have to walk it every day after school. You have to walk it through your ah-ha moments, so that one day, when you're in 5th grade and have a state report to do, your dogma understands that you really do need to spend the afternoon at the Library but that you'll walk to and from there with your dogma him all about President Lincoln.
I never left all my stray dogmas behind. They kept me company, and I kept talking to them so that they could get to know the neighborhood better. After all, each year I was allowed to venture further and further, eventually learning how to drive around the neighborhood park and then ultimately, drive away.
I bought a very big car so all my dogmas, who wanted to go, could take the journey with me. It took awhile for us to learn new neighborhoods, to figure out where all the pit stops were along the familiar roads and how to look out for conveniently located gas stations with clean bathrooms in unfamiliar territory.
And that's the story of how I made it through ah-ha-pause at such an early age. It wasn't one giant ah-ha moment, but rather a series of ah-ha's that helped me and my stray dogmas deal with a dys-AH-HAsional family who didn't always appreciate my ah-ha "we should skip school today" attitude "and go snow skiing instead" or "play at the park" philosophies.
Next, 5 easy guidelines you can follow
to make it through your ah-ha-pause