Embrace the Unknown

It’s been said “life is a journey, not a destination”.  I am living that reality these days.  I am recognizing how focusing on the destination (end result), without appreciating the process, leads to heartache.  When I live in the moment with a spirit of gratitude, I experience peace amongst chaos.

I have been thinking about this blog post for several days and debated about how much to share.  I have a few special followers who sometimes believe I am talking about them even when I’m not.  Understanding the ripple effect of my words and actions, I have been taking care to be particularly mindful of what I write.  I would like my readers to take what they  like and leave the rest.  If it hurts or offends, I promise that was not my intention.

I write to grow myself and, in so doing, believe I give others permission to show up, be vulnerable, take chances and grow too!  If my words inspire anything other than growth, please let them be.  At the same time, for what it’s worth, I have learned the most from the things that were the most uncomfortable.

Talk about discomfort!  I process and integrate personal growth work quickly but I have been on some kind of uber-superhighway growth cycle the past couple of months.  It’s been quick and intense, even for me!  I have experienced both the highest elation of my life and the greatest heartache, sometimes within 24 hours!

It has come to my attention I have spent most of my life to this point either working to recreate good feelings or running away from uncomfortable ones (mostly running away).  Early on in my yoga practice, I recognized how much I avoid discomfort and have been practicing sitting with myself wherever that may be.  My practice has taught me all discomfort is temporary and sometimes the best thing to do is lean into it.  If I just keep showing up and practicing, focusing my energy on each breath and my physical center, everything else falls into place.

I remember when I couldn’t reach my hands straight above my head or touch my toes.  I can now put my chest on my knees at the end of my routine.  I didn’t get there by focusing on being able to put my chest on my knees (In fact, I didn’t think my body would ever do that!)… I got there by showing up, doing my best and letting go a little bit more every time.  I have learned that if I always avoid what’s uncomfortable, I plateau.  If go just a little past what I am used to, I improve a little bit at a time.  Almost every new pose has scared me and my first step is believing the pose is possible for me.

My yoga teacher says that ‘how you do one thing is how you do everything’.  I believe he’s right.  I have certainly seen the correlation between my practice and my life.  Most recently, it’s given me insight into the difference between integrity and control.

Integrity is a tenant of Adamantine, control is not.  Integrity brings stability.  Control brings tension.  I have confused the two in the past… Abounding in my illusion of ‘control’ but lacking integrity (oops).

Recently, I have taken a good, hard look at what I did to get my marriage to the place it’s in today.  I played a role… Lacking integrity, I lost touch with who I am and got caught up in the status of having a “good marriage”.  There were flags that all was not what I wanted it to be but I ignored them.  I held back my opinion on some little things when I could have just mentioned my preference in the beginning.  My husband did the same and here we are…

I consider myself a very loving person and I am for the most part.  However, I also have a shadow side when someone is ‘in the way’ of what I want.  By not getting what I want, I am learning how to be more compassionate and love unconditionally.  It’s not a challenge to love people who are how I like them… it is challenging to love fully when things aren’t going my way.  It’s uncomfortable… But I am learning how.

I have learned I can either be angry and hurt that good times had to end or I can rejoice and be grateful they happened.  The latter is much more joyful.  Gratitude always takes the edge off my suffering and puts my attitude in a better place.  I believe occasional pain is a mandatory part of human living but suffering is truly optional.  I choose my thoughts and my thoughts create my reality.

I am learning just because something feels good and I CAN do it, doesn’t mean it’s good for me.  That’s a BIG ONE!  Every since my father preached having “a quiet and mild spirit” is a virtue and pleaded with me to ‘get control of my emotions’, I have rebelled against anyone or anything I perceived as trying to control me.  By doing so, I made a lot of choices that were not in my best interest.  I lived life as if there were only two modes, being in control or being controlled.

I now see there is an ideal space in between I call ‘allowing with intention’.  It’s a place where I get clear on what I want and believe I deserve it.  If I can imagine it, I believe the universe can provide it and lots of things better!  It’s a place where I live in accordance with my highest truth (integrity) without trying to control anything outside of myself.  It’s a place where I decide what is important to me and don’t settle for anything less.  It’s a place where I embrace the unknown for the adventure of living!

 

From my heart to yours,

 

Thanks for reading

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Reminders from Paramahansa Yogananda

Today, in my sacred space, I was moved to search for teachings from Paramahansa Yogananda.  I downloaded “The Law of Success” and started reading.  As I read, the following reminders flowed into me…

Aligning my will with the will of the source of life is the way I experience success.  In every failure, there is an opportunity to grow and heal.  There is no need for suffering.  Suffering is a flag that says “hey, something is off here”.  Answers appear when I go within and ask what is off with an open heart and mind.  The answers to every problem and solutions for every need are available at any moment.  The quicker I learn lessons, the less trouble I experience in life.  I give no energy to focusing on the trouble.  Instead, I spend my energy focusing on the lesson, the gift, within the situation.

It is important not to do things for selfish power or to be “special” because of what I can do.  That is a desire of the ego that distracts me from my spiritual quest. It is important for me to set aside time to connect with the source of life so I can attune my will to that source.

I have tasted the sweet fruitage of aligning myself with the unconditional love, goodness and power from the source of life.  I also know the tragedy, stress and suffering from pursing goals that “prove” something.  This duality is a gift in my life.  I can choose the former whenever I wish.  I choose it now.

This is freedom.

This is joy.

This is passion.

This is the gift of my life!

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading

Where Attention Goes, Energy Flows

I blamed my employment for stress and lack of time.  It turns out, I am capable of creating stress and running out of time no matter what I do for employment!  I have heard variations of the phrase ‘where attention goes, energy flows’ multiple times in multiple contexts.  I am experiencing how true that statement is first hand.

There are always two or more ways to look at any situation.  The first two are 1) the way I see it now and 2) the OPPOSITE of how I see it now.  In between, there are hundreds of more ways to see any situation if I take enough time to think about them.  My power lies in being able to choose which way I want to focus my energy on.

I am grateful for my fear because it serves to keep me safe.  It’s a warning light that says “hey, something is different here” but that is all it is.  Beyond acknowledging and being grateful for the warning, it doesn’t do me any good to think about fears.

In the major life transition I am experiencing now, I see I have the choice between thinking about how to prevent what I’m afraid of and thinking about how to create the life I want.  If I spend energy thinking about preventing catastrophe, I feel limited, smothered, anxious.  If I spend energy thinking about creating the life I want, taking steps in that direction, I feel light, energized, excited and free!  No one makes that choice for me.  I decide where my energy flows.

I am becoming much more picky about where I spend my energy these days.  I have a list of high priority items which include: peace, joy, satisfaction and purpose.  There are distractions from those things everywhere, all the time, but I don’t have to feed into them.  I can choose peace and joy at any time, no matter what is happening around me.  When I get off track, I remind myself of that fact and move on.  When I focus my efforts on being present and showing up, I am blown away by the opportunities that effortlessly fall into my lap.

My relationship with my son is improving because I am opening myself up to experience the world in his way instead of trying to make him fit into mine.  I can look at all the things he’s not, or I can cherish all the things he IS!  The latter is much more satisfying than the former.  In learning how to focus on his strengths, I am also learning to focus on mine.

I am learning how vitally important it is for me to take time to get quiet within.  It is only in the quiet moments that I can hear my inner most desires and identify what brings me joy.  The quiet moments give me clarity and remind me that all is well in my world now, in this moment.  I am safe and protected.  Life supports me!

From my heart to yours

Thanks for reading