My dad had some sayings, one of the most annoying of which was, “if you need to know now, the answer is “No!”” If you were trying to pressure him into a decision, click, dead in the water… As a teenager trying to answer my friend, this seemed to me like him being a jerk. As an adult participating in the 21st century scam-economy, the man was brilliant.
So many people (usually trying to sell something) try to pressure us to take advantage of “this limited time offer,” to create urgency for us when none exists except to benefit them. This is the culture that created FOMO and my dad was having none of it. He saw through whatever offer it was, to its essential nature, and if you were trying to create urgency you clearly had your own interests at heart.
It was not in my realm of possibility not to give an answer right now to whatever you were asking of me. There were lots of things I pined for and the urgency in an offer created a real sense of loss when I couldn’t act upon it. It was a goose-chase caused by haste and desire and trying to please.
As slowing down became my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual practice, I started to see the wisdom of my dad’s policy. It really is revolutionary. It usurps that sense of urgency immediately and puts the scales back to zero to begin to weigh the decision. Dad was a Libra. Makes sense.
There are still times when I just can’t help myself. I get caught up in the sway. Significantly less than before this practice, but it is so nice to have this practice to come back to. (horrible grammar, I know). The sense of urgency gets all of the air sucked out of it. The present moment gets a little space. the desire to try to prove oneself worthy by participating in the right things gives way to sensing the nuances of internal feeling to decide what is right for you. That subtle shift changes the whole world.
It’s nice to catch when someone’s trying to generate urgency (hello: the internet) and to use my dad’s technique to dismiss it entirely and get onto the real practice of being in the present moment.