These are profound times we’re living in. Most everyone I talk to these days has a sense that things are “heating up”. Whether viewed as a quantum physics phenomenon, a Mayan calendar prediction, or simply a gut feeling, the pervading energy is just more…intense. The highs are higher, the lows are lower. Time seems to be speeding up. There seems to be an urgency to really listen and act upon the soul calling we may have been resisting and/or fearing for perhaps a very long time. Clearly, individually or collectively, the old ways aren’t working anymore.
Life seems to be presenting each of us with unique and perfect opportunities for healing whatever it is that we most need to heal. Everyone’s “stuff” is up to be dealt with. Although not always easy, my soul is shouting, “Hooray!!”
There are many issues we must address as a global family in order to simply survive on this planet. At the same time, there are many issues each of us as individuals must address and heal in our own personal worlds. As Gandhi advised, we must “be the change we seek”. In order to bring the peace and healing so desperately needed in the world, we must first learn to create it within our own beings.
Eleanor Roosevelt said, “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” If there is change we wish to see, darkness we wish to dispel, we must first light our own candle.
Most of us readily agree this all makes great sense. But when it comes right down to it, how do we do that? How do we learn to find that peace in the midst of all the unrelenting challenges that come our way every single day?
One simple way is to remember the adage, “That which we resist we give power to.”
This is a perfect time to practice embracing what is, even if you’d really prefer that what is, was not! This applies to the world at large, and to your own personal world. When we resist what is, it’s like damming the flow of a river – we obstruct the flow of energy. We create tension and dis-ease. Think martial arts, think Gandhi – you don’tresist the energy coming at you. You go with it. In so doing, you transmute the energy by allowing it to be what it is.
Isn’t that a fun paradox? The more we can embrace what is, the more power we have to facilitate change. Although the outer circumstance may not be immediately altered, our experience of it, our consciousness, can be profoundly changed in that moment. Only as our consciousness is changed, will the world around us change.
Awareness and choice are powerful tools of transformation. We cannot control all the outer circumstances in our world, but with present moment awareness, we can alwayschoose our response.
So again, how does all this lofty stuff apply in our everyday life? Let’s look at a rather mundane example. Perhaps you’re at work, trying to focus on a pressing project, and you keep getting interrupted. (Guess why I’m choosing this example?!) You’ve probably experienced that the more “uptight” you get, the more you resist what is, the more it seems to keep happening. Every time you try to concentrate on what you’re doing, the phone rings, or a co-worker needs your attention, or another project lands in your lap that has to be dealt with right away. It becomes “just one of those days!!” The more you resist it, the more stressed you become, and the more frustrated and victimized you feel.
If, however, you can pause, take a deep breath or two, and center yourself, you’ll stand a much better chance of being able to calmly and effectively deal with what is in each and every moment. You’ll find you can choose to pause and be present for the co-worker, or you can gently but firmly say you prefer not to be disturbed right now. You can take the phone call willingly, or decide to turn on your voicemail. You can choose to reprioritize and shift projects if need be, or simply say “no” to additional work demands until you’ve completed your present task.
From a calm, relaxed place within, you can choose to respond to each new moment, instead of letting each new moment bring more grist for your frustration mill!
With the collective consciousness energy “heating up” as it seems to be, it’s more important than ever to be able to keep your center in the midst of the “small stuff”, as well as the more major challenges many of us find ourselves dealing with.
Okay, great, you may say, but how do I actually do that? How do I stay calm and centered in the midst of the fire? It’s not always easy, is it? Often you feel like “I’m too busy to relax!” or “I’ll re-center after this crisis is over. I’ve just gotta keep going right now!”
When you think you can least afford a re-centering break is probably when you need one most.
For example, maybe you can recall a day when you were in “high gear” all day, but seemed to get very little done. Perhaps you felt as if you were “spinning your wheels”, or running around in circles…misplacing things…or maybe you just couldn’t remember some simple bit of information you knew was “in there somewhere”?
When you’re in an over-stressed state, it literally blocks the flow of energy, the flow of information in your electrochemical systems. You literally can’t “think clearly”.
When you relax, you open the channels, as it were. Solutions appear, where before the situation seemed hopelessly overwhelming. Suddenly the thing you were trying so hard to remember pops into your mind – often minutes or hours later, when you’re in the middle of something else.
Another good example is what occurs when you “should” be sleeping. Have you ever tried to sleep? Trying to sleep is a sure way to prevent doing so! Trying implies tension, which of course is the opposite of what you want. Trying usually means you’re resisting what is – “I don’t want to be awake! I’ve got to get some sleep!!”
Allowing sleep to occur by relaxing into it is a much more effective approach. (I’ll give you a simple technique that may help in just a moment…)
The same principle is true during your busy days – the more you can relax into it, the more smoothly things will go, the less resistance you will feel, and the more productive you will be.
Most of us waste an enormous amount of energy anticipating the future or replaying the past. There is great power in the present moment. As we learn to be more fully present, we begin to feel that power at our creative disposal. We waste much less time and energy in projection, resistance and regret, The well-known “serenity prayer” comes to mind:
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.
The courage to change the things I can.
And the wisdom to know the difference.