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Newton's First Law of Motion

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to make errors in judgment when you're seriously tired? For me, anyway, the more tired I am the more likely it is that I'll do something (or many somethings) to ensure that I stay that way.

And, as I'm mulling this over, it also occurs to me that when I'm angry, the same thing happens... or when I'm resentful, or depressed, or unhappy in the multitude of ways that I find to be unhappy... once I'm in that downward spiral, everything I say, everything I agree to, everything I actually do seems to contribute rather than mitigate my circumstances.

Here's a really good example: I spend a really long day working way too hard... so what do I do? I stay up 2 hours later than I actually have to... then, next morning, having had 6 hours of sleep, I find that it's absolutely necessary to drink a 20 oz cup of Quick Trip's darkest strongest coffee, (and we all know why that's not a good pick me up), which I then supplement all through the day with Reece's Peanut butter Cups, (which we recently learned is also not a great idea). I make it through what turns into another long and grueling day, and when I get home, instead of taking a nice hot bath and going to bed, I sit down at the computer and play the Sims until well past midnight. Yes!

So, today, having had almost 5 hours of sleep, it's TWO cans of Full Throttle coffee mocha flavored energy drink with ginseng, guarana, taurine, caffeine, and a handful of B vitamins, even more Reece's Peanut Butter Cups, and although I did make sure to get some protein, it wasn't much, and now that I'm home I'm finding it almost impossible NOT to turn that darn game on and do that same thing all over again.

And what's up with that? It must be some fundamental law of physics or something... and I just realized what it is! Yowsers! It was like an apple hit me on the head. What I'm talking about is Newtons First Law of Motion! The law of inertia. Apparently it applies to more than just moving objects! Here's what wikipedia had to say about it:

Inertia is the resistance of an object to a change in its state of motion. The principle of inertia is one of the fundamental principles of classical physics which are used to describe the motion of matter and how it is affected by applied forces. Inertia comes from the Latin word, "iners", meaning idle, or lazy. Sir Isaac Newton defined inertia in Definition 3 of his PhilosophiƦ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, which states:

The vis insita, or innate force of matter is a power of resisting, by which every body, as much as in it lies, endeavors to preserve in its present state, whether it be of rest, or of moving uniformly forward in a straight line.

Apparently, I'm just endeavoring to preserve my present state. OK... I'll buy that. The article goes on to explain the following:

The behavior of all objects can be described by saying that objects tend to "keep on doing what they're doing" unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

So, here's my question: What would constitute an "unbalanced force," and why is it that when I'm rested and happy and everything is going along good, I still tend to make (although maybe not as often) the kinds of decisions that leave me exhausted and cranky? Could it be that exhausted and cranky have something to do with gravity? The "what goes up must come down" law of physics? Anyone have an opinion to share? How is everyone else doing?


Grace said...

Yes, absolutely, YES to everything you said. I have struggled long and hard to find the answer to this fundamental question - THE Question, (for me): Why Can't I Change? After many, many, many months of reflection, the question then becomes Why WON'T I Change? This seems to be the soul of all my relative "problems". I'm stumbling into the answer and finding that - are you ready? - I AM changing! Weirdly, yes, some of my oldest inertia is eroding as I meditate about this question. I can't tell you "THE ANSWER" because I'm positive I don't know what it is and although it has a certain flavor, I can't even verbalize it. I'm in the "baby steps" phase...

But, I can tell you what I did to get to where I'm at if that helps... I took a 3 x 5 index card and I wrote down all my present concerns. Then I thought long and hard - what is the message here? What is the common denominator? How are these problems related? My basic supposition is that "God gave me these problems for a reason, an important reason, and I need to listen very carefully here to find out what "He" needs me to know..." No, I really don't "believe" in God - this the language I use for just for me that I understand. I don't "believe" in "the universe" either, but it would work for someone who has "God" problems. Anyway, the message? My "present concerns" or "my problems" all derive from a very subtle belief system that just isn't true. That there is a place to get to, there is a way to be that is better than the way I am, there are certain behaviors that are better than others, that suffering is a required part of getting somewhere, etc. Basically, my ego wanting me to "be" different (i.e., very, very superior) from how I am and that I am not "being" (fill in the blank - for me, mostly it is 'disciplined' or 'motivated'). If I didn't have that belief system, none of my "present concerns" would be on that list. I wouldn't have a list. There wouldn't be a single "I SHOULD" or "I SHOULDN'T".

Once I got to that - the moment was less like lightening striking and more like, "Oh..." then I saw there was nothing at all to do about it. Fixing me is beyond my power; other than just seeing my ego working on me, anything I 'do' is just more ego trying to make me into a superior specimen. And in order to have total control, my ego likes to make me feel like I need improvement. I act this out by perpetuating anything that makes it true. I act lazy and unmotivated and undiciplined... my ego rolls up its sleeves and gets to work on my SHOULDS and SHOULDNTS. After just seeing this clearly, suddenly my inertia is just less powerful. Gradually, I AM doing the things I want to do - gradually, those things are more charming than the things I really don't want to do but felt stuck in. I don't know what the trigger or connection is.

To come full circle, I think at the heart of the prosperity project is that fundamental question - Why Won't I Change? It seems to be at the heart of everything (to me). It is certainly the one question that needs to be looked at if I am going to do anything about my energy drains. If I changed, I would have energy or whatever else it is I long for... When we talked about the idea for this month's prosperity project, this fundamental inquiry was on my agenda. I have contemplated it for the span of years. I think I subconsciously wanted someone to answer this for me because answering it for myself is really hard work. But when I got to the point where I could really look at it, really answer it for me, I notice my life is more 'mine'. I am living how I want to live more often - living honestly and really grateful for every single anxious moment - because that discomfort is where the awareness is. As I get to know myself, I find myself, and there is reality. My reality, and I'm surprised to say it, isn't boring at all.


Shirley Twofeathers said...

Grace - I found this very interesting. And I'm going to write a post about it in a few days because it reminded me of something that might be important to consider.

Here's a small piece of it:

I've noticed that when I try really hard to chage stuff about myself that I disapprove of - nothing really changes - as a matter of fact, the more down on myself I get, the more entrenched in the "bad" behavior I become.

However, if I have a light hearted thought, just a small (but true) thought, "oh I'd like to be that, or do that" and then don't DO much about it, often I'll find that 2 or 3 or 4 months later I AM being, or doing that.

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