Lately it seems that I’ve been hearing so much sad and tragic news: Friends being diagnosed with cancer, other friends having cancer metastasize, an elder friend reaching the end of his life, and a family member having a difficult time withdrawing and refusing help. And of course there is all the devastation from the storm Sandy. With all of this swirling around, I could feel myself getting a heavy feeling as I felt the grief of it all. I did allow the tears to come and I sent my specific prayers to each person. I then knew I needed to get outside and go for a walk.
I felt comforted by their return, knowing they’ve followed their inner promptings to once again make their winter home here.
As I continued walking I remembered to deep breathe. As I inhaled I imagined bringing inside the peaceful energy of nature, and then I exhaled letting go of the sadness I was holding. My spirit began to lift, and I could feel the steady support of nature. I then connected through my breath with a steady place inside me. As I came close to the end of my walk, I came across a beautiful heart made up of flowers displayed on a tree trunk. I could feel the love someone put into its creation and how they were sharing this love with all of us who passed by.
On contemplating this beautiful heart, I remembered how one of the best things I can do when I feel overcome by sadness is to find ways to give to others. I began to look for ways to share acts of kindness: smiling as I greet people, helping with the door, visiting someone who can’t get out easily, inviting people to Thanksgiving who have no place else to go. All of this lifts my spirit.
I also remembered my favorite practice of coming into the present moment where I accept what is in the present. (See earlier blog on What is the power of the present moment) Yes, I feel the sadness and I see the cycles of life and its impermanence. I breathe into this and let go of my resistance to being present. The tears flow and so does the love. I feel deeply connected to myself and a feeling of ease and acceptance comes over me as I am fully present right now, not caught by the past or the future.
The external circumstances haven’t changed. My friends still have cancer and my family member is still struggling. What I now have to give is my love, remembering that offering my good state is one of the best things I can offer to others.
I am so grateful for all of these tools I’ve learned through the years to shift my state and bring more love into the world.
The first and essential step in the change process is to embrace fully what is true and real for you right now in this moment.
How do you do this?
What I find very helpful is to set aside time and a place where I can be quiet and alone for at least 30 minutes. In this space I can tune into what I am thinking and how I am feeling.
I ask myself:
· What are the thoughts and beliefs that are going through my mind right now? I write down everything that I am aware of.
· Then I tune into my body and ask what am I feeling in my body? How is the energy manifesting in my body right now? Where is the tension, the anger, the sadness, whatever emotion I am feeling?
· How are my thoughts contributing to my feelings?
· I continue to journal what comes up.
· “What is the essence of what is true and real for me right now?” I sit quietly and see what comes up.
· Once I have the answer, I breathe into this truth and acknowledge that this is what is true and real for me right now. I feel whatever feelings are present and with a feeling of acceptance.
· I then ask myself: “Can I fully accept with all my heart what is true and real for me right now?”
· If I can say yes this often creates a feeling of spaciousness where I can see what my next right action is.
· If a feeling of acceptance doesn’t come up right away, that’s okay. I allow myself to be with whatever is happening in the moment with no expectations or judgments.
· In a few minutes I ask what is in my way of fully accepting what is right now? I continue the self inquiry until I am able to be in the place of fully accepting what is right now.
Being fully with what is true and real for you right now is the first step to being able to move forward finding your way to a new place in your life.
I would love to hear how this works for you. Please reply in the comment section of the blog. I’m looking forward to hearing from you www.katherinebdobson.com/blog/