Resisting and Waking Up

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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

Wow – these are powerful words to read in a time of pandemic, when so many of us are desperately trying to come to terms with living in a fearful changing place filled with the unknown.

We are all human beings with ego-minds that are ready to resist whatever we see as a threat. Our minds can deny and duck… push back and dismiss… defend or withdraw… lash out and blame… whine and complain… in order to avoid feeling the pain of being out of control and feeling the fear.

If you are thinking “It will pass and its not a big deal” then please re-read the last paragraph.

Seriously. This is the new reality. One of external threats and being out of control.

We are waking up to a new reality where we no longer believe that we are controllers of our small world. We are realizing that we are part of the bigger world, and it’s darn scary.

This transition time is hard. If we are to survive and thrive, we must change the way we see things along with our behaviors.

We must get with the new program!

Noticing our resistance to what is happening is a very good place to start.

It’s time to waken up and become a witness to our unsettling thoughts, our conditioned responses and the incredible attachment to our routine and habits. What we have taken for granted may no longer be part of this new reality. What we think we have had control of, is simply a mirage.

This is a time to pause and reflect. To find our middle ground. Bring awareness inwards and notice everything that is coming up insight of you.

It’s not a comfortable place to be, and if you are not ready you may find yourself defaulting to distractions and ways to medicate yourself and dull the feelings. If you notice this, good for you! You are developing your ability to stand back and be the witness.

Here are some questions to ask, and to take time to journal on:

  • “What is it that I am not accepting?”
  • “What am I resisting?”
  • “What can I do that is in my control?”
  • “What do I have to let go of?”
  • “What can I do differently here?”
  • “How can I take care of myself and others?”
  • “How can I contribute to the change for good?”

Be kind to this awakening part of you.

When we are able to accept what is, without judgment and blame, then we can open our hearts and minds to a new way of connecting to the bigger world.

Already I am seeing the generosity and compassion of others. The ability to give freely to those who need it the most. Unconditional loving of humanity and our true nature.

We can all do this when we go beyond fear and find our middle ground.

Acceptance of the Unacceptable

“Acceptance of the unacceptable is the greatest source of grace in this world.”

Eckhart Tolle

Isn’t it funny how certain quotes and wisdom show up just when we need them the most? I recall, some time ago when I had a hard time accepting how things were. I had unexpected news that meant my vision for the future was no longer possible. What I thought was “for sure” became “no way”.

There was shock and uncertainty;  concerns about others; a sense of loss and sadness; a letting go of a future dream; and lots of turbulent emotions.  So much was out of my control and I really struggled because I couldn’t accept it. There was no grace here folks!

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So, what is grace … and how do we find it when life throws us unexpected challenges or dashes our dreams? When we find ourselves in life’s lows?

I appreciate these words of wisdom from Adyshanti’s “Falling into Grace”.

“Grace is something that comes to us when we somehow find ourselves completely available, when we become open hearted and open minded, and are willing to entertain the possibility that we may not know what we think we know.

In this gap of not knowing, in the suspension of any conclusion, a whole other element of life and reality can rush in. This is what I call grace. It’s that moment of “ah-ha” – a moment of recognition when we realize something that previously we never could quite imagine.

… Somehow the  difficult situations in our lives have a way of opening our hearts and minds the most. Its the challenging moments that often offer the greatest opportunities for growth and the transformation of consciousness.”

Finding grace and opening up to accept what is, comes when we fully embrace everything that is alive in us in that moment. 

Some people choose to divert their mind into positive thinking to counteract the negative feelings. I’m not a believer of this, as all feelings and emotions are a part of who we are as human beings. I spent a big part of my life looking for the positive and denying the negative … while the deepest part of me was aching. Embracing all part of ourselves is the key to our personal growth and evolution as spiritual beings.

Here are guidelines I discovered from a variety of spiritual teachers and psychotherapists:

✳ Name what is happening. Be as factual as you can.

✳ What stories are you telling myself about this unacceptable moment?

✳ What are you feeling in your body. What emotions are coming up? Embrace your whole body experience.

✳ Make space for whatever comes up.

✳ Notice how the mind jumps in with judgments and negative thoughts. Make space for these too.

✳ Embrace everything that is alive in you. Let yourself feel.

✳ Notice if there is a part of you that wants the pain to go away – to fix it rather than accepting it.

✳ Embrace it all and let it in. This is a part of you.

✳ Let yourself become a vulnerable feeling being.

✳ Be open and fully alive to the experience.

✳ Breathe into it and allow the life energy to flow through you.

✳ And in this place of spaciousness and letting go, notice how grace appears.

Compassionate acceptance of the unknown opens our hearts and lets grace in.

Life is an Adventure Not a Package Tour

“Life is an adventure, not a package tour.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

Life is an adventure

Photo by Jas Poole

This is a great reminder for me today – especially as I will be leaving for Europe on vacation next week.

We are not going on a package tour, but I do want to be prepared and feel in control 😉

When we spend so much of our time planning and anticipating whatever obstacle might come up, its easy to miss the excitement of the unknown and the adventure of it all.

It’s like life…

Take a moment and consider “Am I approaching life with a Package Tour mindset or as an Adventure?”

Looking back on previous vacations, I recall that it was the unexpected that thrilled. Like the moment we followed an impulse instead of the GPS and found ourselves on a dirt track heading towards the clouds. Suddenly a golden eagle flew up in front of the car with a 3 foot snake in its mouth. We didn’t have time to photograph it, but the moment is imprinted in our brains forever. Now that could never be planned for!

Looking back on life, aren’t the moments that take our breath away, the ones we didn’t plan for…

The moments we feel really good about are the ones where we have met unexpected challenges and discovered inner strength and resourcefulness.

Or the moments where we let our guard down and let the love in, to be fully embraced and accepted for who we are.

Or moments of discovery and awe of something that was once unknown.

Life really is an adventure when we allow ourselves to let go of control and notice things as they unfold.

When I think about my vacation, I now ask myself “Can I let go more and allow the present to unfold?” Absolutely, now that I have my bug spray, sunscreen, contact lens solution, change of underwear, reading glasses, GPS and maps packed…

Inspiration – Resisting

person wearing orange hoodie

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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.

Human Being

photo of man on the beach

Photo by Daniel Ap on Pexels.com

“You are a Human Being.  These two words not only describe who you are as a member of a particular species but, if examined more deeply, also point to the twofold nature of your identity.  Human is who you are on the level of form; that is to say, your body and mind.  Those two aspects of your form identity make up your conditioned self.  That self is conditioned by genetics and the environment, as well as other factors as yet unknown to science. 

Being, on the other hand, points to the essence of who you are as timeless, formless, and unconditioned consciousness. 

Human and Being, form and essence, are ultimately not separate, in the same way that a wave or ripple on the surface of the ocean is not separate from the ocean or from any other wave or ripple, although it may appear to be so.”

~ Eckhart Tolle

I’m feeling very Human right now as I get ready for a vacation in Scotland and with my Mum on a river cruise in the Netherlands. Lots of distractions in getting ready and anticipating the days ahead. There is also the conditioning of genetics, culture, familial roles and the environment that pulls me away from the contentment of Being.

Over the next couple of weeks I will be sharing my favorite posts to inspire us all in our Being and to Find our Middle Ground.

 

Tolle Inspiration on Awakening

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What does it really mean for human beings at their current evolutionary stage to “become more conscious” or to “awaken”?  If I had to put it in a nutshell, I would define it as “disidentification from thinking.”  When you realize that the voice in your head, your incessant compulsive thinking, is not who you are, then you have begun to awaken. 

A new dimension of consciousness has arisen, which we could call awareness, presence, or wakefulness.  You haven’t fallen below thought; you have risen above it.  Now you can use thought instead of being used by it.  Your sense of self shifts from identification with your mental positions and narratives to the alive presence within you, which is consciousness itself.  

You realize the being behind the human, so to speak.  Something that transcends your conditioned personality begins to emerge.  You realize your essential identity as unconditioned consciousness itself, and you can verify within yourself the truth of Jesus’s words:  “You are the light of the world.”

~ Eckhart Tolle

Reflection on Being Spiritual

“How spiritual you are has nothing to do with what you believe, but everything to do with your state of consciousness. This, in turn, determines how you act in the world and interact with others.”

~ Eckhart Tolle

It isn’t enough to hold on to noble ideals and beliefs, we have to bring them into our awareness and then into our lives.

When our consciousness transforms our actions will follow.

May we all go deeper and beyond the dogma, and connect to our intuitive awareness and higher Self.

Live life from here and follow the spirit within you.

Namaste

Inspiration – Eckhart on ego

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“If you consider the ego to be your personal problem, that’s just more ego.”

~ Eckhart Tolle

Smiling …. After all, my ego is much bigger problem compared to yours!

Today, let go of taking things so personally and let your ego take a back seat. Let go of comparisons and feeling you are alone. You are not.

We all have gone through these feelings.

What happens next depends on your decision to let go, and move forward.

Realize that there is a more powerful You ready to take charge and facilitate your growth.

Let go of the personal and join the rest of us on the same journey.

Namaste

Authentic Being

 

find your middle ground

“When you don’t play roles, it means that there is no self (ego) in what you do. There is no secondary agenda: protection or strengthening of your self. As a result your actions have far greater power. You are totally focused on the situation. You become one with it. You don’t try to be anybody in particular. You are most powerful, most effective, when you are completely yourself.”

~ Eckhart Tolle taken from A New Earth

It sounds straightforward enough, but it isn’t easy to become completely ourselves. It requires self inquiry and awareness of our thoughts, beliefs and how we interact with others.

So often, we let others define who we are in life. In our relationships, we take on roles all the time…. the good mother, the caring friend, the perfect daughter, the hard working employee, the life and soul of the party, the trend setter …

We then become attached to this image of how we think we should be, and lose our authentic self along the way.

To reveal our authentic being, we must learn to let go of how we define ourselves in this world. We must learn to pause and really focus on what is happening in that moment, without judgment.

In being present we find our Presence.

 

True Intelligence

intuition

“True intelligence is to rise above thinking as the source of all intelligence.”

~ Eckhart Tolle

I sat with these words this morning and had to smile. Of course, it is Tolle’s thinking that comes up with these gems. ☺️

Yet, it opens us up to something that is beyond our thoughts, that many of us innately understand, but perhaps have not put into words.

When we take time to pause and notice our thoughts, there are two insights that come to my mind. The first is, that we are not our thinking. What we have taken for granted as the “truth” is really only our perspective of the world around us and what we have learned about it. We are conditioned by our parents, culture, religion etc to see the world in a certain way. We also have personal filters based on our own experience from a very young age. For example, if we were bitten by a dog as a child we may have a fear of dogs and dislike them intensely as an adult. This is not the truth, just our perspective.

The second insight is that we have only the ability to analyze what we already know. Our ego mind likes to think it knows things, so it feels in control. Have you also noticed how it likes to judge and dismiss and deny what doesn’t fit in with its beliefs?

The truth is that there is so much that is beyond our thinking, and our intellectual mind. Analysis and science can only reveal what it can identify and quantify, but is at a loss with what is unknown.

I believe that when we pause and find a place of centeredness and calm, our true intelligence shows up as intuition, insights, new ideas, creativity and answers to problems we haven’t been able to solve. In my experience it also shows up as a deep feeling of warmth and love.

Of course, the next question is to ask what the source of this intelligence is.

Opening our minds to an intelligence greater than our individual self, that we share with each other and the world around is, is the step to realization or spiritual enlightenment. Tolle refers to this as Source or Presence. Others call it our Higher Self, Spirit, the Divine, Universal Oneness, Cosmos, Divine Mother, Brahma, Allah, or God.

When we fully embrace the unknown and let go of intellectual knowing, we are on the path to realization and universal love.

Namaste

The Gift of Space

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Dreamstime photo – © Creative Commons Zero (CC0)

“Most people’s lives are cluttered up with things: material things, things to do, things to think about. Their lives are like the history of humanity, which Winston Churchill defined as “one damn thing after another.” Their minds are filled up with the clutter of thoughts, one thought after another. This is the dimension of object consciousness that is many people’s predominant reality, and that is why their lives are so out of balance.

Object consciousness needs to be balanced by space consciousness for sanity to return to our planet and for humanity to fulfill its destiny. The arising space consciousness is the next stage in the evolution of humanity.

Space consciousness means that in addition to being conscious of things (objects), there is an undercurrent of awareness. Awareness implies that you are not only conscious of things, but you are also conscious of being conscious. If you can sense an alert inner stillness in the background while things happen in the foreground – that’s it!”

~ Eckhart Tolle, taken from Oneness With All Life

Eckhart Tolle calls this space consciousness Presence. It is a spiritual dimension that exists in all of us. When we awaken to this new awareness and allow the inner space to expand, we become free from the limitations of being tied to the clutter of things in our lives.

We can still enjoy things and experiences, but don’t lose ourselves in them or become attached to them.

Finding your Middle Ground is about discovering inner space so that Presence can expand.
Come to it often during your day.
Pause more. Take longer breaths. Notice sensations in the body.
Observe if you are attached to the clutter of thoughts, material things or things to do.
Step back and give yourself the gift of space.

Tips for the Holidays – Family and Presence

Thanksgiving family

Credit: Flickr.com/Louish Pixel

“If you have been doing inner work for some time, a visit with your family is an excellent opportunity to discover how well you have done. You will easily identify the areas where you have made significant progress. You will also see where your weaknesses still lie…

The relationship with your parents is not only the primordial relationship hat sets the tone for all subsequent relationships, it is also a good test for your degree of Presence. The more shared past there is in a relationship, the more present you need to be; otherwise, you will be forced to relive the past again and again.

Many who are on a path of awakening choose to avoid contact with their parents or family members. This can be helpful, if the intentions are truly good and not a pattern of avoidance.

As you spend time with your family, don’t expect that you will be the perfect embodiment of all you have learned and integrated. You will be put to the test day after day, moment by moment. This is normal. You will gain the most from this experience if you don’t take it too seriously, if you don’t create impossible standards for your conduct of behavior, if you try so hard to be Present and Still that you behave like a robot, if you withdraw into a cocoon of self-protection, or if you blame your family members for every little imperfect act from the past that harmed you in some way.

Instead, and above all, choose to relax, reduce your expectations for what may or may not happen, expect little skirmishes, disagreements, moments of humility or failure, and the distance you may feel with your family as a whole, knowing that you are trying to move beyond the ego patterns that have been impediments to your soul and that they care less about ego and Presence and even Truth.

Love and accept them where they’re at. Have compassion for their pain. Be observant while being engaged as guilelessly as possible. Watch yourself and your reactions, out of curiosity, not judgment or blame, but for the benefit of learning how and where you’re really at in your spiritual evolution.”

~ Eckhart Tolle

 

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