Example # 5
How do you remain joyous, even in a negative situation? Is it possible to live free of anxiety and suffering?
***As you move into a state of allowing, your perspective changes on what you see as negative. I think back to all the many experiences of illness, past relationships, family turmoil, and my own rocky path, I feel gratitude for all those experiences. At the time they seemed extremely negative. When you stop pushing against what is, you allow more positive experiences. A moment of surrender comes to mind as I think back to a year ago as I stood outside the hospital sobbing, trying to explain to my mother what had just happened over the phone. I had just left my husband in the emergency room, he was being admitted to intensive care for treatment. I needed to go home to feed and care for our new born. The doctors had diagnosed him with juvenile diabetes at age 27, we just brought our new baby home two weeks ago and life was about to take a new turn. After my initial tears alone on that sidewalk, I made a decision to stay positive. There would be no complaining, only support. There would be no why this now, only be here now. In the moment we can flow with life. If I thought of what's next, how could this have happened, why him, how will he handle this, ect... I lost the moment and became anxious, worried and afraid. It took a conscious decision to stay present over and over again. Life is always the best teacher.
Being present starts with the little things as well. Throughout the day, stop and ask yourself, “What is my relationship with this present moment? As you wait in line at the check out are you furiously flipping through the magazine rack or calmly enjoying a moment of stillness? When you get home do you endlessly surf the channels looking for a way to escape your mind or can you relax and enjoy your surroundings? When you eat, do you taste your food or do you gulp it down eager for the next bite? If stuck in traffic, do you sit back and listen to music or do you yell at the first person to try to cut you off? Are you trying to get away from the present moment or away from yourself?
You can start to observe the impulse to react and the need to fill any quiet space with noise. The mind always wants more stimuli. Watch how the mind is desperate for more to consume as you furiously flip pages in a magazine. Watch as the mind grasps for more as it flips through the channels. The mind consumes endlessly and is never filled. As you bring awareness to your actions, you can witness the suffering of the mind. In witnessing the mind, you can move beyond it into awareness.
As you move into a state of allowing, you get to choose how you are going to react to a negative situation. You are present and have stepped beyond that first knee jerk reaction to scream out loud, defend your position or judge what is. In awareness you gain perspective and what looked like a problem, becomes only a situation. In awareness you have a choice to suffer or not. When you are in the moment, there is no suffering, only now and what is.
It is only when we accept what is in the moment, that we can move forward. Instead of reacting immediately, it is best to take three deep breaths and watch the mind. If your car got stuck in the mud, would you get out and start kicking your car? That would be a bit insane, don’t you think? It is what it is. Stuck in the mud. Accept the situation, and then act. Whatever the moment brings, there is peace in accepting it. You can then work with it, not against it. I can only speak from experience. I was taught to fight against life. If it didn’t work how I wanted, I would make it work. I bulldozed my way through life. I became exhausted by the consequences of a lifetime of hasty choices and reactions. My life truly began to flow in the direction of joy and peace when I stopped pushing and started flowing. Life is meant to be fabulous if we just let it!