Inspiration – Resisting

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“It may look as if the situation is creating the suffering, but ultimately this is not so – your resistance is.”

~ Eckhart Tolle

Have you ever  had a reaction of “What do you mean I’m resisting? … They are the problem!”

We are all human beings with egos that are ready to duck and weave… push back and dismiss… defend or withdraw, in order to avoid feeling the pain of being wrong, not being accepted or not being good enough.

This is one of those seemingly simple statements from Eckhart Tolle that has a greater depth of meaning.

When we get frustrated and unhappy, instead of resenting what is happening to us, wishing things to be different and attacking the nearest bystander or ourselves for being stupid, we can step back with awareness.

We can ask ourselves questions such as “What is it that I am not accepting?” “What am I resisting?” Then “What can I do to change the situation?” (Bear in mind that you cannot change an other person, only yourself.) “What can I do differently here?” “Can I bring about change or accept the way things are”.

An other way to look at this is to recognize that the resistance is already within us. It’s usually in the beliefs that we hold about ourselves and life in general. When we come across something which threatens how we see the world, our ego will react to protect itself. We get triggered.

Every time we are triggered, it’s an opportunity to learn and to educate ourselves on what we hold dear to ourselves and our values. It’s also an opportunity to explore those beliefs and see if they are meaningful, or are based on early conditioning. Perhaps the other perspective is actually worth considering!

It really is all about us and our inner world.

When our ego defends and attacks the outer world; when we blame the other and create enemies in our mind; when we become judge and jury for everything that doesn’t comply with our thinking, then it is time to stop, take a few deep breaths and begin to search inside ourselves.

Self inquiry is the work of our lives.

Be Present to Negative Emotions

Go ahead and embrace the importance of negative emotion. Your emotions and the way you feel is your guidance system and it is telling you everything you need to know.

If you feel negative emotion, then you are either resisting how things are in the present moment, resisting something that was in the past, or resisting something that you think might be in the future.

Take a moment to reflect on this and see if this is true for you.

As human beings lost in our own stories, we immediately point to the outside world to create excuses as to why we can’t be happy and at peace right now.

We tell ourselves ”If that had turned out differently, then I’d be happy.
If he/she hadn’t done that to me, then I’d be happy.
If this goes the way the I want it to go, then I’ll be happy”

The moment you stop resisting life and pointing fingers at the outside world, the more a deep sense of joy and inner freedom will arise within you.

You’re an eternal being. Your consciousness cannot be destroyed. The greatest joy that you can feel is when your being comes into alignment with the very deepest, eternal, aspect of your consciousness.

What’s the one thing that you can do to allow your soul to come into alignment? Resist nothing. Surrender to everything that arises in the present moment without judgment.

Everything that you are searching for will arise from within you at a deeper and more profound level when you stop resisting what is happening.

Namaste

The Power of Empathy

Enjoy this re-post about the power of empathy, especially in difficult relationships.

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One of our fundamental needs as human beings is to be heard and to be accepted as we are. Take a moment to recall a time where you were going through a hard time and someone empathized with you. How did it feel? Pretty good I expect…

When someone empathizes with us we don’t feel judged; we no longer feel alone; we feel understood; we become calmer; we usually feel better and are more able to handle a difficult  situation.

empathy babies

Empathy is a powerful tool for connecting to another person in an open loving way.  It feels good to us, yet how often do we intentionally empathize with someone else … especially when someone is angry or frustrated?
Marshall Rosenberg writes in his book “Non Violent Communication; a Language of Life“ how it can be especially difficult to empathize with those who appear to possess more power, status or resources and those who are closest to us.
One of my favorite take aways is:

“Empathize, rather than put your “but” in the face of an angry person.”

When we want to help we tend to jump in with a “but” and a “fix” for the other person. Yet empathy is more powerful and empowering.

He writes: “I continue to be amazed by the healing power of empathy. Time and again I have witnessed people transcending psychological pain when they have contact with someone who hears them with empathy.”

Why not increase your ability to empathize with this exercise:

Over the next few days see if you can empathize more with those people who are closest to you, colleagues at work and even your boss.frustrated man at work

Really tune in to what they might be feeling and reflect back what you are sensing they are going through.

Here are some examples of reflecting feelings statements:

It sounds like you are really frustrated about this

I can see that this is tough for you

I can’t imagine all that you are going through. It must be so hard

I’m sensing that this is scary for you

I hear that you are concerned

It sounds like this is a real challenge for you

 but in your faceIt sounds so simple, yet can be hard to do in that moment. So instead of putting your “but” and point of view in the other person’s face, empathize with their situation and reflect what they might be feeling.

Give the gift of feeling heard and understood.

 

How Do you Feel About This?

I was raised in a family where this question was rarely asked. There was a guiding principle of conformity and an expectation to fit in with what those in charge wanted.

Denying our feelings becomes a part of being a child of a narcissistic parent or partner.

I grew up putting aside how I honestly felt, and instead, attuned to the needs of others. I became very good at sensing the emotions of others, and how to please them. I did it with my parents and then with my first husband.

I found myself in a career that my father would be proud of, that left me feeling empty and confused.

Along the way I lost touch with how I felt.

This was not the road to happiness, but I told myself that lifestyle was the most important thing.

It took me over 40 years to wake up to what happiness is, and to let myself feel the feelings that had been suppressed for so long.

For those of you in your twenties and thirties who can relate to this, please don’t waste the next twenty years of your lives.

I believe that we all deserve to honor our feelings… the good, the bad and the ugly. To honor them and then take responsibility for them. Even if it is goes against the grain or what others expect.

Those feelings are trying to tell you that something needs attention and understanding.

We all need to be true to ourselves, to honor how we feel, and own our feelings.

This is being real and authentic in the world. Only from here, can we take the right step forward and find happiness.

 

 

Inspiration – What Comes and Goes

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Whatever comes, do not push away; whatever goes, do not grieve. Everything appears just like clouds floating by; they just come and go. Stay only as the unmoving awareness. Awareness and Truth are one.*

~Mooji

 

Clouds are a wonderful metaphor for the comings and going of nature and life itself.

Next time you look up, remind yourself that you are the witness to what comes and goes. Don’t get attached to your thinking about things that have happened in the past, or might happen in the future. Stay in the unmoving awareness.

Truth is in our awareness, not our thinking.

 

 

*Mooji. White Fire: Spiritual insights and teachings of advaita zen master Mooji (Kindle Locations 249-251). Mooji Media Publications. Kindle Edition.

Haiku – Heart Awareness

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~
Open heart expands
Closed heart contracts and defends
Awareness brings flow
~

When something is bothering me, one of the most useful questions I ask myself is “Is my heart open or closed?”

And in that moment of recognition, it hears and something is released.

It begins to open with love and understanding.

Everything comes and goes.

We get stuck when we get attached to our thinking.

Awareness opens the heart and brings flow.

Boomerang Thoughts

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The other day, I came across the expression “boomerang thoughts”. It made me pause and wonder…

So often we forget the power of thought and we say something unthinkingly or think an unloving, critical thought about someone or something. Then we wonder what is wrong with us, why we are unhappy, or why life is so difficult.

What if it was our own negative thoughts boomeranging back to us?

Try to remember that – as you think so you are.

Start right now by looking for the very best in every situation. Don’t let yourself dwell on the negative.

Rise above it.

Become all you can be.