Wednesday, 31 January 2018

A morning reminder

I was reading out of a daily meditation book this morning, "Opening Doors Within," and the last two sentences struck me: "Keep your mind alert and you can never grow old.  The fountain of youth is your consciousness; the joy of living is the elixir of life."  In studying Ahimsa, the practice of rooting out even the most subtle thoughts of 'violence' or negativity towards ourselves and others is the heart of this practice.  I'm reminded of Masuro Emoto's research on water crystals, specifically the one where he taped "Thank you" to one jar of water and "You fool" to another.  What he saw under the microscope highlights the affect of words/thoughts/energy on water. The water crystals for "Thank you" were like a beautiful snowflake.  The water crystals for "You fool" had no shape and were just a formless mass.  We are made up of 60-70% water, so think of the affect we have on a cellular level on our bodies when we 'beat ourselves up' with our words, thoughts, and beliefs.  The daily meditation quote is a reminder to me of the utmost importance of practicing an attitude of love and compassion towards ourselves, others and all beings.  This is a big part of what keeps us young and enjoying the wonders of each day as the unfold.  How lucky we are to be alive and experiencing it all! 

This is also a reminder to me that no matter what the external landscape is (fear, anger, negativity), it is our responsibility to find ways to meet it with love and compassion for our own wellbeing and for the energy we put out into the world.  We all know what it feels like to have someone's negative reaction to fly at us or fill a room.  We don't want to add to it!  Send that person thoughts of love, healing and peace.  Then move on.  Don't get sucked into another person's darkness as we have enough of our own darkness to manage and shift.  Remember, "Begin Within."

What comes to mind when you read this daily meditation quote?

Thursday, 18 January 2018

The Process of Change

I have been talking about the process of change often as of late.  Usually when I find myself talking about a topic often, it is a sign that it's something I need to remind myself of and there is a collective need for it.

Change is inevitable.  It's one of the guarantees of life.  (FYI, taxes aren't a guarantee. They are a social construct and there are many places on this earth where there aren't taxes collected.  Most of those are places you probably don't want to live...just saying).  Change and the change process is also something we humans try to control.  Either change is happening that we label as "bad" and don't want, or we want something to change and want it to change NOW!  Usually the result is anger, agitation, anxiety, or depression when we try to make reality fit into what we want.  Really, we all aren't too much further off a two year old mentality when this happens. I laugh when I'm able to see my reaction as a visual of myself on the floor, kicking and screaming.

What I've learned about change:

  1. Again, it's going to happen no matter what.  Change starts on the physical level from the day one little sperm connects with the ovum. It doesn't even end when we die because the physical form continues to decay long after we have left the body.  Our emotions constantly change throughout the day, sometimes within a second.  Our beliefs change.  Just think about childhood stories that we believed until one day we discover that story actually isn't true (think tooth fairy). Or what we believe today most likely isn't going to be exactly the same as in five years.  Look outside and just observe nature, which is constantly changing.  The best thing we can do for ourselves is start to work on ACCEPTANCE that change will happen.
  2. Change is a process.  We have conditioned ourselves to expect things to happen now and happen quickly.  From moving website to website, to ordering something, to accomplishing a task, to getting from point "A" to point "B."  In this conditioning, we have moved further and further from our internal world (where we do have control) to the external world (where we don't have control).  I love the example of pregnancy.  Want a child? You have to go through the process of conceiving, gestation for nine months, and then the birth.  Even adopting a child is a long process.  One doesn't get to decide one wants a baby and then you get one.  There's no way to speed up the birth process.  We accept the process and go with it. We need patience, slowing down to take each day as it comes, and enjoying the small steps that move us in the change process.  When I'm able to do these things, I'm more successful in moving towards the change I desire.
  3. Self-compassion is vital in the change process.  We are human beings, like the other 7 billion humans on this planet currently.  We deserve kindness when we make mistakes.  Being able to send POSITIVE energy towards ourselves and out into the world is going to helps up go towards where we want to go, rather than the negative energy that points our ships to the very things we don't want. When riding a bike, if you look at the rock you want to avoid you will hit it. You want to look to where you want to go. If you had a close friend who had made a mistake, what would you say to them?  Would you say, "You are so stupid.  I can't believe you did that?  You can't do anything right!"  If you did, you probably wouldn't have many friends.  So, why is it okay to say these things to ourselves?  It's not, at all, ever.  Are you helping yourself learn and move forward saying these negative, hurtful words?  What needs to be said to learn and move forward?
  4. Enjoy the change!  How dull life would be if it were exactly the same, day in and day out?  I worked in a jail over the past five years and most people who spend time in jail get to experience this "ground hog day."  They would tell you that it's no way to live.  Whatever the change, it is there as an opportunity to learn and grow, whether it feels positive or challenging.  In fact, the challenging changes are the best kind of change because we get to stretch.  Kind of like an animal that sheds its skin.  When we are faced with a challenge, meet it, work through it and learn something new. It's like we are shedding the old so that we can be in this new 'skin.'  It can be incredibly empowering. 
So when you find yourself getting resistant, agitated or the urge to crawl in a whole when change is occurring, try something different.  Stop, breath, and CHANGE your perception on whatever is happening through self-compassion and see how it feels.  The only thing we have control over changing is ourselves. Seasons will change, mistakes will happen, things will wear out and the way we meet it all is what matters most.