This man is getting his model airplane ready to fly.
Hobbies Are Not Serious
That’s what makes them fun!
Even when you take your hobby seriously, as I’m sure these model airplane hobbyists do, there is always a certain lightness to the way you hold a hobby. After all, it’s just for fun.
Compare this to the way many of us take life—like it’s life or death! We see it as very serious. Survival is at risk. It’s not play.
But Why Does Life Have to Be So Serious?
It all depends on how identified you become with it. Even a hobby can be serious—in some cases stressful—if there is no separation between me and it.
In fact, it is that little bit of separation that makes anything fun. It allows me to take risks, to not worry about doing it wrong, to experiment. When I’m not 100% identified with something, there is a safety factor built in. And when I feel safe, I can play.
The Work Helps Me Step Back a Little
When things start getting serious, for example when I start getting angry, or sad, or stressed, then I bring out The Work.
The Work is my way of helping me look at the big picture again. Whatever seems serious, I ask “Is it true?” and I start to gain a little bit of separation, a little bit of perspective. And that’s what makes me relax again.
I love question 4 of The Work, “Who would you be without the thought?” for the same reason. It gives me perspective. It pulls me out of my deep identification. Suddenly, it’s not serious. My ups and downs are just a part of the exciting drama of life unfolding. When I’m not identified with what is happening, I feel safe, and can let things go the way they go.
There Is a Time for Improving and a Time for Letting Go
Most of life is spent improving things, growing, evolving, perfecting, striving to accomplish. That really is a huge part of life. It is even a part of any hobby. There’s nothing wrong with it at all.
But there’s an equally important part of life, the part of letting go. This balances the perfecting side of life. And it allows me to take it easy when my efforts fail. It keeps me safe.
When a model airplane crashes, it is a disappointment, but it is not crushing because the perspective is that it is just a hobby. This built-in perspective makes it easy to let go.
What if You Thought of Life as Just a Hobby?
It could be very interesting to strive for perfection even while free of any need to achieve it. That’s the feeling of a hobby—doing it just for fun.
The Work opens this perspective by questioning any part of life that still feels serious. The more I do it, the less attached I am. And the less attached I am, the more chances I take. And the more chances I take the more fun I have.
Here’s to healthy separation as a balance to full engagement!
Have a great weekend,
“As the mind realizes itself, it stops identifying with its own thoughts. This leaves a lot of open space. A mature mind can entertain any idea; it is never threatened by opposition or conflict, because it knows that it can’t be hindered. When it has no position to defend or identity to protect, it can go anywhere.” Byron Katie, A Thousand Names for Joy
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