Float Through Conflict

I had a night terror five nights ago and I’m still shaken by it. In the dream I was scared of something chasing me. I fought hard to wake up. I knew I was dreaming, I knew I didn’t like what was going on, so I kicked and punched at the air, I screamed and shouted. I wore myself out. Each time I thought I had escaped the dream, each time I “woke up”, I was still dreaming. I was stuck!

Finally I thought to myself, just float up to the ceiling and you’ll get out. And I woke up.

For a few days all I could think about was how horrified I was to be stuck in the dream. How I felt suffocated, and with each panicked motion I made I only got myself stuck deeper. It was like drowning, swimming down instead of up in my confusion and fear.

Float Up

Then the message of the dream hit me. Stop struggling and float. Stop freaking out when things go wrong, stop allowing my mind to be filled with fear at each obstacle, stop fighting the current and just…float. Allow yourself to flow with whatever is happening in the moment instead of offering immediate resistance to it.

I’m learning to float through conflict and it does 3 amazing things for me:

  1. Gives me a higher, calmer perspective. If I’m struggling against a problem how can I see it clearly? From a dis-attached perspective, I’m in a better place to solve my problems. I pretend the situation is happening to someone else, that I am looking down at myself. And then I make decisions from up there.
  2. Keeps the issue in perspective. Panicking when something goes wrong immediately makes the problem seem bigger. A small setback can easily snowball if I let it. Late for work? That’s it. I’m just late for work. But in my mind I start to notice the traffic is heavier than normal, and that guy just cut me off on purpose, and my boss will be mad because the VP is in the office today. Pretty soon everything about my day hinges on not being late. But if I float up, look down, I can see from this perspective it doesn’t matter. I’m late, half the people on the road are late, work will wait for me.
  3. Has helped me avoid drama. And it keeps me from creating my own. Rising above conflict immediately allows me to sweep right over the drama — my own and other’s. Imagine a family misunderstanding that devolves into who said what and when…and now mom is mad at aunt Ruby and cousin Jim. Float up above the fury and ask yourself, is my input necessary? Can I just float by this one?