Dealing with Limitations

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I spent good years of my life thinking that happiness is a state of high. A state of intense feeling, creativity, clear thought and super-enhanced abilities.

When it came to love, I had a similar vision. I thought that meeting someone that would overlap my idealised version of a partner would induce that feeling of high. Observing people around me, I see that search in others too. The hunt for excitement, wishful thoughts, for drama.

But life, love and happiness, in my own personal journey, has proven to be everything else but what I expected.

Life has gently helped me open up to the awareness that happiness and love are not a state of high, but a state of peace. Even in the midst of turbulent events, we can be at peace and we can be happy, as long as we understand that we are part of a greater picture and that life calls us to be the best that we can be in each moment, even undesired ones.

Seeking that thrill in love and happiness, we are choosing to act from our mind-space. We have mentally figured out what is exciting, what is not, what we want and what we don’t. Our thoughts are trying to control our reality which can prove to be draining and counterproductive. That is one way.

There is another way – the way of letting go. Letting go of everything we think we know about ourselves and trying to shift our attention into our heart-space. We know we are acting from our heart’s awareness when we don’t pay attention to what we think about something, and instead focus on how we feel about it, intuitively. Listening to our feelings, in this context, does not equate an emotive and rash response. Emotional reactions have nothing to do with using our heart’s knowledge. Being emotional and reacting accordingly is not the same as listening to our intuition.

In that newly found state of peace that allowed me to understand life around me from a more neutral perspective, I also had to learn an important lesson. We work and function within limitations. We can be happy, but that doesn’t mean we won’t experience an array of very personal constraints. Most often, there’s no high and there’s no razor-sharp ability. There’s just us, being more of ourselves and working with what we already have, trying to make the best of it.

Happiness has taught me that we do have access to enhanced feeling, creativity, clarity and intense abilities, but that we also have to deal with a multitude of uniquely personal limitations. Part of having this human experience is learning how to access that greater part of ourselves, the source of knowingness, while dealing with mundane interruptions set by our own unique human structure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Double-Edged Longing

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These days I’ve been having a recurring thought that asked me to observe what I look forward to.

Well, I thought, I look forward to this and that, and the other thing. I have all these plans and visions. It’s thrilling really. The possibility, the uncertainty, the desire. But then, another thought came along, Yes, all that, but where are you right now?

For a moment, only a brief moment, I got it. I remembered those times when I had asked myself, What am I waiting for? What is missing right now?

Unlike some years back, I have an answer to that question: nothing. Somehow life has gifted me with everything I have ever dreamed of and more. Yet, there is a search, an expectation, a longing still.

I’m now learning that this longing is double-edged. On one hand, it extends our vision, creating more space for us to expand and become more of what we can be. On the other hand, it pushes us away from enjoying everything what we have already accomplished and all that we have already become.

So, I stopped. I stopped and I wondered,

What am I putting so much energy into?

When I got an answer to that, I continued,

Who am I doing it for?

Followed by,

Why am I doing it?

When I got to the last inquiry, things got interesting. My mind innocently offered me the answer. I was spending time and energy to accomplish goals that have been set by someone else so I can be acknowledged. So someone else can see I have it in me and I can do it.

Interestingly enough, once I identified the road map, I stopped worrying about it. Yes, I’m venturing into new territory, it involves people, worldly goals, practical tasks that won’t lead to spiritual enlightenment and that will cease to mean anything once they have been accomplished. But I chose this and, as long as I understand my own motives, there will be something to learn every step of the way.

Observing my choices impartially has also allowed me to understand that, beyond what I choose, beyond which way I go and what I do along the way, there is a constant – being aware of it all from the unique and original perspective I gain in the moment of the experience.

I’ve realised that I have to allow that longing to lead me into creative spaces where experiences are born, while always staying aware of that process of creation and of what it is adding to the present moment.

I understood that all experiences are equal, that we could be choosing one thing over another, and that all choices impact us differently, yet that does not mean they have a different value. Motivations may differ, results may vary, how we feel will definitely alternate in ways we cannot always predict or control; yet, all that matters is that we stay aware of where we are in every moment while remembering there is nothing lacking and nothing to be gained. All there is, is an appreciation of life as a gift of unique and inimitable present awareness of experiences.

You Are Not Alone

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I often look around me and I get a sense of heaviness that some people carry around. There’s a palpable depth, like a vacuum – a mix of sadness, disappointment and a faint glimpse of hope, even as they say, “Today will be a good day.”

Not so long ago, after meeting people, I would go back home feeling overwhelmed by my own inability to express the intimate awareness that life is magical and that we can turn things around any time we are ready.

In time, I accepted that everyone is on a personal path that is right for themselves and that nothing happens by chance, only by choice.

Too often, I also forget that life is on my side and I get dragged into self-created illusions of worry and entrapment. I start wishing that I could change or control a situation that seems to be out of my hands.

What I am grateful for most is, for a lack of more original choice of words, divine grace. Recently, I felt incapacitated by a situation where things were not flowing. There was tension and no results, and I started feeling overwhelmed. It took me a few good weeks, while things were not progressing, to remember that I don’t need to go through it alone.

Without delaying things further, I grabbed a pen and a piece of paper to write a letter. It was help and guidance that I was seeking. No more than half an hour later, my prayer was answered. I was light and happy, feeling like I might spread a small pair of imaginary wings and be lifted off the ground. While in that state, I also realised I had not witnessed a miracle, but rather how life worked.

We truly never are alone, but we lost this awareness somewhere along the way and now it seems too good to be true. We don’t even remember to try. If we only tried, with an open heart and mind, there is no way we would not be gifted the miracle we need. Provided we don’t ask for things to go the way we think they should and we simply hand the problem over to someone who knows best.

Today I would like to remind you and myself that our miracles are waiting for us just around the corner, as long as we surrender to that greater consciousness that we too are part of. By surrendering, we are not denying ourselves, but we are acknowledging that part of ourselves that is too magnificent to be captured with our conditioned perception.

We are a grain of that infinite love and awareness that is always ready to gently create miracles in our lives, as long as we open up to receive them.

 

You, Every Day

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You are becoming more you every day.

Everyone says it’s all about the journey, not the destination, but I think it’s about both.

There is a destination in every moment and we reach it as we are taking each breath.

Each breath is a gift, a possibility, a chance, a door, a question, an answer, a person, a realisation, a step, a journey and a destination.

We’ve been taught to look at things in the long run and visualise things happening in a faraway future. We’ve been taught that our destinations lie ahead and that we have to wait and work hard to get there. Our vision is automatically set in the future.

Now things are changing and our focus is gently redirected towards here and now, all there is.

In this moment we are everything we have been, are and ever will be. All potentials and possibilities are simmering deep down, waiting for us to choose, again and again, who we wish to be now.

Within this precious breath, life is but a moment.

This moment is you, this moment is us, this moment is life.

The destination is the journey and the journey is being you, every day.

Enjoy the travelling and celebrate the arriving, as in one moment both are embraced.

 

Things That Make Me Lose It

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Anger has been my long time companion and we have had many opportunities to sit down and get to know each other better. I used to feel very helpless and guilty for feeling angry, but that was in a distant past when everything was hard and blurry. I’ve since learned how to deal with feelings of anger and how to let go of it smoothly.

Although I thought I was doing well and was on the path to a more balanced inner me, there were days when things went haywire and I didn’t know why. Obviously, there was something I was still missing so I went into reflection mode, hoping I could find the loose screw.

I decided to take some time to observe why I easily lose my peace in the course of an ordinary day. I was curious about the possible connections that lead me to an uncomfortable space of unhappiness.

Though I often start a new day with a positive mindset, it seems that too many things get to me, making me lose my peace and composure. I kept wondering what goes wrong along the way and the answer was simpler than I expected.

That answer had nothing to do with the events outside of me and everything to do with my own thoughts about them. After waking up in the morning, thoughts start flying around in my head and I automatically set expectations for the day, trying to predict how things will evolve. The events of the day that aren’t developing according to my imaginary plan have the potential to cause stress and disillusionment.

Right after the initial moment when stress settles in, what follows is the mind attempting to change things and make them fit the ‘plan’ again. Totally disregarding whether that is possible, suitable or required, it tries to rid itself of stress by forcing the course of events to bring them to the pre-planned stage.

After reflecting on these mind processes, two important things have stood out:

  1. Thoughts that are constantly trying to predict how events will evolve throughout a day.
  2. Thoughts that are trying to fight and change the outside environment (often triggered by fear-based beliefs).

No wonder my mood can swing so swiftly. If I start my day with a mind filled with unrealistic expectations and a desire to control the outside environment according to my selfish needs, things can go wrong on so many levels.

But what struck me the most was the fact that in the process of trying to control outside events, I totally disregard what may be required of me in a critical moment. Instead of seeing how I can contribute to the outside situation, I try to change it based on my very subjective needs.

I’ve learned that it is very helpful to become one with that impactful moment when we are triggered by circumstances beyond our control and to try to observe our role in it. Instead of attempting to force things in a certain direction so I can decrease the stress I feel, I can question my fears and aim to become aware of how I can have a positive contribution, right then and there.

With just a bit of time dedicated to observing my thought patterns, I realised that what makes me ‘lose it’ is a fear-driven thinking which stems from my own insecurity. The outside environment has no control over me, but my thoughts do. How I think  will set the trend for how I feel, react and influence my surroundings. I’m now on a mission to instill a strong habit of observing how I can contribute to each challenging situation in a positive way, rather than go into self-preservation defensive thinking.

By observing our thoughts, what triggers them and by questioning their validity, we can begin to understand how we are affecting our environment. The next step is to become aware of what our role is in each particular situation and to see if there is any way we can offer help, rather than find ways to change things.

I now understand with great clarity that if anger or anxiety gets the best of me, I deprive myself of the value of significant moments. If I allow myself to ‘lose it’, I also lose myself and the chance to show up in the best way I can.

A simple day provides us with plentiful of opportunities to be of great and wonderful help, but we do have to make a conscious effort to clear away our misguided, fear-driven thoughts so we can see and appreciate the value of each moment and how it invites us to be of service.