Well here we are at Z in the A to Z of Becoming, 26 verbs to help you make your life a better one. Z is for zigzag.
Years and years ago I read Susan Jeffers’ Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, and one point she made in that book has stayed with me ever since. She described how an aircraft flying from A to B does NOT fly in a straight line, even though it looks like that, but in fact the pilot is continuously adjusting the direction of the plane turning now slightly to the right, now slightly to the left. Actually, I seem to recall, she said the plane is actually technically flying “off course” for more than 90% of the journey (if the “course” is a straight line from A to B).
I loved that insight.
This is what we do. We continuously adjust our direction of travel to stay on track. We travel in a kind of zigzag way because we are always checking to see where we are heading, and making adjustments to get where we want to go.
As with flying an aircraft, this is how we go through life. I think this example is a great counter to unrealistic perfectionism. Yes, we may be trying to achieve something, trying to get somewhere, and when we check we might discover that we have been blown a little (or a lot!) of course! But then we adjust and get back on track.
This example came to mind for me when I was taught how to practice TM – with the wonderful single piece of training which was “just gently return to the mantra” – I loved that way of teaching. When meditating, and you notice your mind has wandered off to remember something or to worry about something, just notice that’s what is happening, and “gently return to the mantra”.
That’s what the zigzag is about. Noticing, and gently returning.