Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Being present in the midst of turmoil

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
Sometimes, when I hear the phrase 'living in the present moment', I have images of people sitting on the grass in a state of pure bliss and enlightenment, without the burdens of the past of future. Maybe that's my idea of the perfect life I wish I had :)

But, let's be honest, it's a bit of an impossible challenge to be living on a mountaintop 24/7. It takes a lot of heart opening to be present much of the time at all. I was speaking to my friend Kelly from Kelly Martin Speaks who said she had got to a point where things were not going her way and that it got her to a place of surrender. 'Surrender' is a word which I don't always like due to its connotations with the Christian religion, but it's not a word which means being forced into submission. It's more, to me, a case of allowing and embracing whatever comes up, and certainly, at times, it's a case of 'feeling the feelings'.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Being on the spiritual pathway does not mean that your problems get magically sorted. In fact, things can sometimes get rather tricky. One of the keys to living a more peaceful life is to be present when emotions are a bit haywire. And sometimes emotional stuff can strike without much warning. We are human and we feel things - all of us have different issues and circumstances to deal with - but whatever one's particular trigger point may be, things can get bloody painful at times.


Life sometimes gets us to a place where we need to face things in order to move on. And our reaction to these things can determine our future to an extent. So often, we are not fully ready to deal with certain stuff. The process of life and time, along with our hearts opening more, enables us to get to a place where we are potentially ready. But it's still hard.

When emotional pain hits you, there's a choice: resist or surrender. Of course, emotional pain will always have something to do with your past and also it can be combined with fears of the future. So, being present whilst facing emotions that are rooted in time might seem almost contradictory. But it isn't. It means observing whatever comes up, without trying to fight it or even change it, and allowing yourself to feel and embrace every emotion that comes up, as much as you are able to. Sometimes it may seem like your heart is about to break. But that is the point that you REALLY need to surrender and embrace the pain. We resist painful stuff so often because we don't understand it's purpose and we think that the way to get better is by fighting it. That's ego. Our hearts will become more open as we surrender to what is, and this includes the stuff that we class as 'negative'.

I could go into more detail on this subject but I'll keep it nice and simple for now. A question to ponder for you, though - How do you react in the midst of turmoil? Don't beat yourself up if you still resist it. I have always believed that change starts the moment you resolve to open your heart and to do whatever it takes to live the best life you can, at your own pace. Things take time and there are no overnight fixes. But pain can be a catalyst to growth - remember this.

To your success
Andy

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