Friday, 3 May 2019

Two month reflection

I've been back from my Meditation course in India for two months and wanted to take some time to reflect on my process these past two months.  The first week back, I had a clear intention of not taking on anything extra, allowing my time to recoup from travel and jet lag.  My mind was calm and relaxed. It was wonderful!!

After that first week, I dove into the to do list of planning for upcoming workshops, networking, and taking on additional tasks at my part-time job.  It has felt like a whirlwind with a buzzing mind.  I've stayed focus on my daily Sadhana (spiritual practice), which I do in the morning, and practiced meeting charges of emotions and negative self-talk head on.  I think I had expectations that doing these things would create calm and peace immediately. Instead, the reality of how busy my mind truly is has exploded into awareness. In reflection, the question of 'what is my definition of calm and peace' comes up for me.

When I pause to reflect on this questions, the word 'control' comes up.  This word is something I've been noticing more and more and the levels it influences my life.  I've notice in little ways, throughout the day, how I work on trying to control the external world to feel more safe and secure...only it actually brings me more stress and exhaustion.  For example, expectations I have when I plan schedule for how a day is going to go or scheduling to meet with people individually.  Inevitably, I'd say well over half the time, my plan of a schedule changes.  When this happens, I can be thrown into a whirlwind of mind racing madness because my expectations of the plan have changed.  At times I'm aware of it happening in the moment, at other times I'm not aware of it until afterwards. Either way, finding time to be with the emotions and thoughts the changes bring up is essential for me to move from trying to control to having peace with it.  More and more I can do this process in the moment.  I guess that's one piece of it...time.  Some of the time there's space to be with it, to move through it.  Some times there's not because I have to be involved in other tasks.  The positive is I've learned to compartmentalize the emotional and thought reactions so they don't consume me and I come back to them as soon as there is space to really be with them and allow them to move through.

My definition of calm and peace has changed from an external focus to an internal focus. The external world is going to happen. It's how I meet the external situations I have no control over that creates calm and peace.  Calm and peace are a state of mind, not a state of my environment.  The old belief that things outside of me create calm and peace, like a schedule running smoothly, plans panning out how I want them to, or others feeling calm, I've come to realize creates more stress and worry. But, man, does that old belief like to try to keep hanging on...keep itself relevant despite its untruth, try to stay in control.  I'm laughing because this is the third time TODAY, I've had an image of a wrestling match going on inside of me the past six weeks with this old belief system trying to stay in control.

Calm and peace would look more like accepting this resistance as normal and a normal part of the process of becoming more calm and peaceful.   It's accepting the process of change within myself, allowing it, knowing it's to be expected that there will be a struggle at times, and that it is important to keep up the practice of pausing and grounding back to what is present, more in reality, and expand to see the whole rather then just a part.  This change takes time and requires patience!

Taking moments, like this one, to pause and reflect helps to clear out the whirlwind and find a calm. More than ever, I am reminded of the vital importance of slowing down, taking time to go inward and be present within.  My process is definitely focused on finding the balance of being in the external world to function in my roles and enjoy life, while also coming back to the internal world to just be.