Defining Moment Life

Defining Moment part 10: gut reactions

How did it go?

All the pieces were in place. You finally got over your fear and took that step (or were pushed by friends or circumstance or both). You put everything on the line that was needed, all the fruits of those papers and those charts and those hours of evaluation…and the Defining Moment came.

As such things do, the Defining Moment went, too. Now what?


The word might make some of you smirk with salacious connotations, but the first thing you need to do after your Defining Moment is nothing. Create a moment of stillness, a place where you can just sit and let the feelings/neurochemicals/aftershocks roll over you. Your brain will start second-guessing and critiquing and re-writing and re-framing the experience soon enough.

In fact, in all likelihood, the first thing your brain will wonder is “Did I give myself enough time for afterglow?” That’s fine; that’s the way the monkey mind works.

But try, for as long as you can, to say “Nope. Need a little more time,” and just sit with it. Maybe try the Ten Breath Waiting Technique. Maybe have a glass of water. Do some yoga. Listen to Free Bird. Whatever it takes, give yourself some time.

It Does Not Mean What You Think It Means

2319494_origThinking beings being what they think they are, though, you will begin to think again. This is a good time to go with your gut; give a simple question:

Did I like that?

Accept whatever answer you first come up with, and if you hear a “…but” forming after the “yes” or “no”, just stop right there. There will be time for buts later.

Admitting that you like something is not a statement of intent. It is not a fault, it is not a commitment, it is not a sin (if that’s a word you find useful). It is a simple evaluation, an honest reaction.

We all have the ability to choose our actions at any given moment, and an astonishing number of those actions are doing things we don’t like. An even more astonishing number of them are doing things that keep us from things we do like.

So it’s already proven that just liking some experience or not won’t fundamentally change your identity. You’re safe. So go with the gut reaction to the question:

Did I like that?

It’s a harder thing than you’d think. However, it can be very useful to untangle what exactly you enjoy about your Defining Moment.

For example: One of the brutal realizations that I had while working on this was that I don’t like writing. It’s always a struggle, and I’d much rather be reading, eating, watching TV, untangling cables under my desk, washing dishes, or even doing yoga than actually writing. However, I also know that I absolutely love having written. Knowing these facts, I don’t waste time trying to pretend to enjoy the act of writing, because there’s no use lying to myself. I use other methods to motivate that habit.

On the other hand, when I’m done with something, I completely relish the feeling that I have created something. Every blog post is it’s own little Defining Moment.

How do you like that?

Huge shout-out to Karl for becoming my first Patreon subscriber! With his help we’re re-designing the entire system of Love Life Practice rewards. Why don’t you take a look  and see if you feel like helping support the continuing work here. It also helps to spread the word with a tweet or a facebook like. Thanks! 

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