The Grind


We all have those moments, or periods of time, when we are caught up in the daily grind of life.  If we are students, we may have that ever present feeling of needing to study.  Recent graduates contemplate their choices and career path.  Families are busy with the daily demands of their children’s needs.  What happens when we are weighted down with our ever present thoughts, or overall sense of tiredness?

Rhythms create forward progress.  So when we are tired of meeting life’s demands, the highest course is to stick with our rhythm.  Tired, frustrated or depressed we stick with our routines and we do our work.  We do it tired.  We go to the gym depressed.  We set aside our frustrations and focus on the task at hand.

Many of us think that our state has to control our actions.  For years, I thought mustering up the will to move forward, had to come first, before taking action.  I had it backwards.  We move and then our thoughts will follow.  For years, I thought my thoughts were in control of my actions.  I have learned, that I am the only one who can change my thinking.  We can tune in, be aware of our thoughts, and then make a choice to look at any situation differently.  What if the world we see is an illusion we’ve created based on our own thoughts patterns which in turn are what cause us to suffer? What if the world we see is not real?  What would it look like if we gave situations, and our reaction to them, new meaning?

“A person seeking inner development must first of all make the attempt to give up certain formerly held inclinations. Then, new inclinations must be acquired by constantly holding the thought of such inclinations, virtues or characteristics in one’s mind. They must be so incorporated into one’s being that a person becomes enabled to alter his soul by his own will-power. This must be tried as objectively as a chemical might be tested in an experiment. A person who has never endeavored to change his soul, who has never made the initial decision to develop the qualities of endurance, steadfastness and calm logical thinking, or a person who has such decisions but has given up because he did not succeed in a week, a month, a year or a decade, will never conclude anything inwardly about these truths.”

— Rudolf Steiner, “On the Inner Life”,[59]

So our work is about sticking with our course and accepting it as a way of life.  Our moods, our thoughts and our energy levels may wax and wane but our focus must stay constant.  Guard our thoughts. Redirect the meaning we attach to them.   Take action even if we don’t feel like it.  In this simple way, we can learn a new way of life.  In this way we will see our progress even when we are in the grind.

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