2012 is kicking everyone’s butt in some way or another…. and this month seems to be a big one. Many I know are challenged, others are feeling wonderful, and everyone seems to say they are in uncharted territory somehow.
When times get intense, it can help to come back to some principals of spiritual living. We need them now, because in order for our planet to become a peaceful, loving, abundant place for all—all of our “stuff” needs to come up to be cleansed.
It’s important to feel our feelings in this process, but we cannot afford to get stuck in the “stuff.” That would be like jumping in the garbage truck to be sure you threw the trash out.
Instead, here are some other things you can do:
1). Recognize that you create your reality.
Sure, some of what you’re experiencing may be residue from your past, but still life goes on. Do you want to repeat the past or have a breakthrough?
If you’re tired of your circumstances or ready for change, simply ask: “Where am I putting my energy? Into complaining, worrying or bickering? Into telling my sad story to anyone who will listen?”
Even better, ask, “Where am I putting my power?” That is really what gets us. It’s one thing to tell our stories, but much harder when we identify with them.
Yes, they happened. Yes, they hurt.
And still, you can take one step today towards creating something better for yourself. Even, if it’s just asking the question, “How can I move a little closer to (INSERT YOUR DREAM REALITY) today?”
2). Take responsibility.
If something happens that you don’t like, it’s easy to feel like a victim. Probably, if you’re old enough to read this, you’ve already had thousands of disappointments.
They say pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. And pain is actually very close to pleasure– if you breathe and surrender to it, it’s just a strong sensation.
We can use the strong sensations in our lives as fuel for positive change. Change can be so scary that most of us actually require pain before we’re willing to change!
So consider one painful situation you’re in, and ask yourself two questions:
- What am I getting out of this? There is always something. For example, you may complain about unavailable men, but deep down you’re afraid of the vulnerability that comes with deep commitment. Or, you may secretly choose not to succeed because you are afraid you’ll be alone if you “outshine” your friends and family.
- What is this situation showing me about what I really want? Clarity comes through contrast. Your desire is the spark for your dream life, so let this painful situation bring it to light.
3). When you catch yourself criticizing or judging, ask, “Do I have a need or feeling I haven’t noticed or honored?”
A few months ago, I had a realization about judgment. When I caught myself judging, I realized there was always a feeling beneath the judgment that I hadn’t let myself feel or own fully.
For example, if someone dominated a conversation, I would judge her as talking too much rather than simply admitting my desire to share and be heard. I realized, in those cases, it felt safer to judge than it did to feel—and especially to express– my feelings.
Sometimes old habits die hard, but we can keep practicing and with awareness, shift this pattern. It’s not even personal—our whole culture has devalued feelings and over-emphasized thinking and analyzing. But this is changing, and I foresee a more peaceful planet the more we get this one.
4). Embrace the body and worldly life.
The body is spirit too. I know, it has it’s limits– from the daily ones like having to eat or go to the bathroom to the big ones like heartbreak or getting sick.
Worldly life requires us to be on time, pay bills, and control some of our instincts where appropriate in society. Yet it is also the playground where we, the spirits that we are, get to create in form.
This is why it’s standing room only above our planet—spirits who are in-between bodies are fascinated by the show down here! We may think they have a vantage point that we don’t have, but think again.
I believe we are spirits traveling from lifetime to lifetime. Each lifetime, we choose our parents and life circumstances, and create our bodies based on our soul’s goals.
Once we live a few years in these bodies, we often wonder, “What was I thinking? Did I really sign up for this?” That’s because our culture tends to deny spirit, so many of us start to feel desperate to get back to that oneness and bliss that spirit is. The body is not really the problem; the lack of spiritual awareness is.
From a spiritual perspective, we can stay calm and even enjoy surfing the waves of human life. But as soon as we resist the body, we step out of the very oneness we long for. So what to do?
5). Meditate, or at least pause and breathe every day.
Give yourself at least 5-10 minutes every day to pause and breathe, meditate and go inside. You don’t have to get it “perfect” and eliminate every thought, but at least, give yourself the opportunity by turning off the phone and computer and any other distractions that keep you from connecting with yourself.
If meditating isn’t your thing, try journaling, or going for a walk in nature. Just create some spaciousness.
In that spaciousness, remember: you are an infinite spiritual being. You have a body and a precious chance at this life that is getting shorter every minute. What would you like to do with it?