The other day I was reflecting on the shifts that so many of us have made in our lives over the years. It placed me in the first dozen cars and trucks I owned from the time I was sixteen years old. I realized that each of these vehicles had transmissions that required manual shifting. There were the Volkswagens, a Corvair, Mustang, Valient, a variety of trucks, a Fiat Sports Spider and so on.
Each had to be manually shifted from first gear to fourth or fifth gear and back down to fluidly drive the vehicle. It was part of the driving experience. Today the vast majority of cars have automatic transmissions that require little consciousness about shifting. Most of us don’t know how to up shift or down shift our vehicles or our lives. When was the last time you thought about shifting your car or your life up?
When was the last time you synchronized pushing in the clutch, letting up on the gas, and downshifting to slow down or speed up? What does it mean for you to shift gears from where you are to where you want to be? Do you know that life requires shifting gears on a daily basis for you to progress along the many highways of Life?
How about shifting from fault finding with yourself and others to encouragement and empowerment? How would this shift change your life? Do you travel with judgement and criticism? These are all lower gears that keep you from getting where you want to go in a good way. Think about shifting up to inspiration and enthusiasm. What difference would it make for you to actively move from automatic to conscious awareness?
We, like our automobiles have dispensed with the challenges of life. We want everything to be comfortable and easy. Driving while shifting gears can be challenging and easy with mindful attention. The challenges become comfortable when we are enlivened and even fun when we learn to engage them. The comfort we seek on automatic however lulls us to sleep, neutralizes our creativity, and causes crashes.
Where do you live? Is it in the comfort of automatic transmissions that take away the excitement of life’s necessary shifts or in the manual operation and engagement of action, challenge, movement, and shifting possibilities? Driving a manual transmission requires practice and skill. You can strip the gears if you’re not careful. You can stall the engine when you’re not paying attention. You can also slow down in ways you can’t on automatic and slowing down is as important as speeding up.
What if you decided you wanted to take greater ownership of your life? What if you decided to shift your own gears and make your own transitions? What if you would become the Who that’s Really You dwelling in possibility? What’s at risk for you to make your own shifts,to own your Life in new ways? Here’s a Choice Point: Take action. Shift your perspective, dwell in possibility, become a co-creator with one small shift now!