I've been practicing yoga and meditating for a long time now. And in all honesty, all that really makes me, is an expert on myself. I have made my discoveries piece by piece to my own unique puzzle. I don't claim to have "the" answer or any answers that are slam dunk 100% for sure for everyone. What I do have though, is experience with sitting in and with perfect peace. I have experiences that tell me I am more than this body and more than my mind. I have tools that can take me from feeling frustrated, upset, sad or angry, to calming myself and grounding myself and in so doing, I turn myself away from those negative feelings and guide myself into compassion, acceptance, peace and appreciation. And sometimes, even downright bold face joy.
In these times that we live, there is a heightened sensitivity and anxiety, no doubt, stemming from all the unknown that 2020 brought in its wake. Yet, even though circumstances are volatile and may not look positive in the physical, there is always infinite possibility. What is the path to more positive possibility? For me, the answer is my spiritual practice. I find the power of Spirit much more fair, loving and equitable than my logical mind. Spirit doesn't put stories in my head. It just continues to bring me back to the truth, with a capital "T". Here are four techniques we all might do well to remember as the times we live in continue to erupt with anger, violence, uncertainty and breakdown.
Uplifter #1 All Life has tremendous value. Spirit says life in all its forms, matters. They all matter because they exist as sacred creations. It is wise that we are mindful of this fact that no life matters more than another to Spirit. This is the seed of unity consciousness. If we strip away the faces, names, stories, creeds and colors we embody, we are all just...people. People that also embody an energy beyond the physical matter that we can see. Once we broaden our perspective about our True heritage, and focus on Life itself mattering, we will find our collective ego's softening; that voice of separation quieting. This means we move closer to a place where we carry the energy of connection and expand our vision beyond stories we have heard, or perspectives that we may hold that do not allow for appropriate reverence for Divine creation.
Uplifter #2 You can heal yourself and it is your responsibility alone. Although often it is very easy to fall into blame and deflect what you are feeling to others, the truth is, in all times we each are responsible for our own healing. If you have ever been through a difficulty in life, a death of a spouse, an act of violence, or struggled with some situation in which you could not escape serious fear or sadness, in each of these scenarios, you know (deep within) that there truly is very little anyone outside of you can do to ease that pain. A monetary settlement for the event of death or charges being pursued, or someone offering you a kind word or suggestion only goes so far. In my own personal experience, the things outside of me did not heal the ache, the hurt, the sadness or fear. I have learned that healing is an inside job. You will heal your own wounds when you are ready, and until you are, there is little any outside entity can do in a lasting way. Until you decide to go within, take actions to heal and live fully again, move past the violence, find gratitude, and walk through the fear, you remain in it. No one can do it for you. The sooner you decide to heal, the faster you do.
Uplifter #3 Your level of abundance is completely dependent on your ability to focus and can be found in all situations in all times. There are days when I feel a sense "lack" creep up on me. In my most challenging days, I handle this simply: just go outside. I begin looking at the grass beneath my feet and imagine counting each blade, or look at the leaves on the vast oak trees that surround my home and imagine counting each leaf. I look into the sky and see how it seems to go on forever. I find abundance in my breath, as each one comes and I marvel at how fortunate I am to have had so many come and go over the years. I imagine counting all the hugs I have given and received. I imagine counting all the beautiful souls who chose to look my way and give a smile. How many times I've laughed in my life, etc. Once you get going, you will wonder why you ever chose to focus on what you didn't have when you could instead be marveling at the abundance of how much you really do. Follow this abundance practice with a gratitude practice (which by the way will come much easier and more naturally at that point) and you've got a yourself one heckuva nourishing YOU-turn.
Uplifter #4 You can choose to grow the positive through a dedicated gratitude practice. I love the idea of a gratitude practice following an abundance practice. Sometimes, when we feel down, it is tougher to jump right into a gratitude practice and we just think it's dumb and don't even try because it feels uncomfortable, almost as if we are lying to ourselves. But I find that once I've done my abundance practice, my focus starts to shift, and my thoughts and emotions also feel changed. It clears my inner vision and gives me more access to the positive experiences for which I am so grateful. Before long my heart starts to open and they seem to be rolling off my tongue effortlessly and so quickly that I can hardly keep up. This is when I feel the positivity within connecting me to Divine love. I feel light, inspired and blessed. It's powerful, and dare I say, at times even a little magical. Scratch that...a LOT magical. Simply put, start small, and use your sense of gratitude to create as much happiness as you can. The possibilities are limitless.
Why these four pieces are so important to the puzzle of now, is because we are all making new assessments, thinking new thoughts, and dealing with new circumstances in our lives. What was not so long ago thought of as "normal" is not so recognizable. We are in a transition that does not feel organized, and for many, not at all safe. When we feel ungrounded or unsafe, we do not have the capacity or connection to our best ideas, more inspired thoughts or solutions. In a heightened state of fear, rather than awareness, we can block our own ability to see and think clearly. I hope this makes sense to you as you read it. The thoughts (and their corresponding decisions) you are having now are shaping your reality and our world. That means the direction our world will go in, literally depends in part on how you think, speak and act. Please do so from a place of appreciation for Life, a desire to heal, choosing to see the abundance around you and being grateful. One of the most powerful reasons is that this will decrease fear and doubt. In doing so, we will most assuredly find a more peaceful, wise, fair and joyful solution for all in the days to come, for what you focus on GROWS.