A Question for the Future

This time of year can bring many questions and refections. Here is question to ponder. Enjoy this Middle Ground pause.

oooOooo

At this time of year it’s natural to reflect back and then look forward to what the New Year might bring.  Some of us set game plans and goals to accomplish… Others have intentions around our own evolution and inner journey…  And some of us like to stay in the present moment.

You know how I enjoy shifting perspectives and seeing things in a new way. Seeing things differently can bring clarity and break us free from conditioning and “stuckedness”.

I came across this question and knew I had to share with you. Go beyond your analytical, practical mind, and open up your intuition.  Let your inner guide answer this one.

Imagine your future self gives you a box and says the object symbolises your destiny.question mark boxWhat do you see when you open the box?

pause

Your box is as big as your imagination. It can be as large as a landscape or a small symbol that represents something more. Be open to whatever shows up.

This is what lies ahead for me.

tender heart

I pictured a rose quartz heart in a simple little box. It represents an open heart; self acceptance; bringing peace and compassion for self and others.

What’s in your destiny box?

 

 

Just Because it’s Different …

We all tend to think that our thinking is the truth, and what we believe is right. As we grow up and experience the highs and lows of life, we can either hold on to those ways, or be open to understanding other ways.

Moving to a new country is eye opening and life changing. When I came over   to live in the USA, I immediately noticed lots of unexpected differences in the way that people think, how they see the world, what they value, and how they behave … especially in public.

“Just because it’s different doesn’t mean its bad.”

This was the key message I shared with newcomers to the USA and people moving to Europe from here. I became a cross cultural trainer to increase awareness of differences and to share ways towards understanding, acceptance and integrating into in a new culture.

Living in an other country makes us aware of how we are different, as well as how we judge others for being not like us.

We all grow up in our own family, society, group and culture. We form our beliefs, make assumptions and take actions based on our conditioning and the teaching that is continually reinforced in our subconscious.

In a world where differences are spotlighted in the press and social media, it isn’t easy to find a state of balance.

May we all let go of assumptions and become open to differences. May we be curious about others and take time to understand their perspective.

May we not forget, that despite differences, we are all connected in humanity and love.

This is what truly brings us together.

Namaste

rain in England

Two Myths Take a Hike

two men on mountain

ID 81700291 © Anna Spilkova | Dreamstime.com

Atlas is always shouldering his load.
You know the feeling – the weight
of everything pressing in, suffocating.

And there is Sisyphus pushing the
boulder uphill, over and over. Two
posters boys for ceaseless effort.

But what if (now here’s a radical idea).
the way of transformation is not a
long or tortured change?

What if its just being here, this moment,
now, complete and whole? what if you
could whisper in Atlas’s big ear, “It’s
time to let go. Really. The heavens will
not disappear if you put your burden down.”

Imagine him thinking about it. Imagine
him believing. See him set the load down,
straighten up, stretch, smile, stride over to
Sisyphus and say something you can’t hear.

See the stone roll down, and Sisyphus
choose not to follow. You are the witness
to the shouts of joy, the head shaking
wonder and relief – you mean its that easy?

Imagine the spring in their step, the lightness
of their laughter as they climb that hill and
disappear from view.

~ Danna Faulds

Lighten up my friends. Lighten up.

Living From a Place of Surrender

© creativecommonsstockphotos- ID 82953749 | Dreamstime Stock Photos

“If we pay attention, we will realize that every moment around us, there is a world that we did not create that’s been there for 13.8 billion years, and there’s trillions of cells in your body that are doing what they’re supposed to do, and all of nature, everything.

You wake up and you realize, “I’m not doing any of this. I didn’t make my body. I didn’t make my mind think. I don’t make my heart beat. I don’t make my breath breathe, etc, etc, yet I have this notion that I have to make things happen. Yet, all throughout the universe, things are happening everywhere and I’m not doing them, so why exactly am I the one that’s in charge of what’s unfolding in front of me?”

What you realize at some point is that you’re not; that the moment in front of you that’s unfolding is no different than all the zillions of other moments that aren’t in front of you that are unfolding in accordance to the laws of nature, the laws of creation.

You start to practice saying, “I don’t want to check inside of me first to see what I want and what I don’t want. I want to pay attention to what the universe is creating in front of me just like it’s creating everywhere were I’m not, and let me see how I can participate in that, be part of that instead of interfering with it with my desires and my fears.” That’s living from a place of surrender.”

~ Michael Singer

 

Wake up to everything that is around you.

What is the universe creating for you?

Pay attention and shift your perspective.

Let go, and live life fully.

* Haiku – Unfolding Year

As you read this, I will be landing in Scotland for a week with the family, and connecting to my roots. I send you with this message for the New Year.

Homeland

~

Let the year unfold

with kind heart and open mind. 

Hold your Middle Ground

~

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year. May we all find peace and appreciate the little things that matter the most.

 

If you are new to this site welcome!

Follow these links to find out more about finding your middle ground and the steps to take you there.

Namaste

* Tao Wisdom – shift perspectives

Submit and transcend:

Divergence becomes patterned,

Empty becomes potential,

Used becomes renewed,

Basic becomes foundation,

Complexity becomes confusion.

The sage embraces what is rather than what should be.

We would do well to mimic this.*

~Lao Tzu

 

I love these shifts in how we can change our thinking and our reality.

We would indeed do well to mimic this.

 

*Braun Jr., John; Tzu, Lao; von Bargen, Julian; Warkentin, David (2012-12-02). Tao Te Ching (Kindle Locations 349-355). . Kindle Edition.

* The Four Keys to Being Present

This is second part of the article Being Present at Work. In this post I’d like to share the 4 keys to help you become more present.

smiling woman at work

1. Break the Habit of Multitasking

When we multitask, no one person or activity gets our attention, and in small and large ways, our relationships with others can suffer. Here are some practices to commit to:

  1. Give full attention when someone comes into the office or you answer the phone:
  • Stop what you are doing and turn your body towards the person. Smile and breathe.
  • Decide whether this is a good time to talk or schedule for later.
  • Commit to making human contact with this person 😊
  1. Focus in when you have an important task to do:
  • Set time aside to commit to this task and eliminate all distractions – people interruptions, email, phone etc.
  • Relax your body and stretch. Take a couple of deep breaths to center yourself. Focus on the task at hand.

2. Check in With Yourself – feel your feet and breathe

Taking time to pause and check in with yourself during the day is invaluable in being present at work. Some people use a phone app with programed alerts, while others plan short break at certain times or when doing certain tasks. It only takes a moment to pause. (When we remember!)

When we think and worry too much we are in our head. When we notice this its time to ask “Am I present?” “What’s going on with my breath?” “Is there tension in my body?”

– Sit comfortably with your back straight. Feel your feet firmly planted on the ground. Feeling the nerves in the soles of your feet will keep you grounded.

– Take a full diaphragmatic breath. Place your hand on your belly and feel your belly expanding with each inhale and coming back to the spine with each exhale. Under stress or exertion we tend to breath from our chest. Full diaphragmatic breaths calm the vagus nerve and the fight or flight response.

You cannot avoid being in the present if you concentrate on your breath.

content man meditating3. Change your Perspective – transform your inner critic

Recognize that the inner critic is a distinct voice that is not you. It’s usually a combination of voices from the past. These negative beliefs come from fear and will sabotage us – especially when we step out of our comfort zone or are stressed. Recognize the voice and verbalize it. Look beyond the voice and find a bigger place to come from. For example:

– Think of a time in your life when you overcame fear and accomplished something important to you. Feel that personal pride.

– Think of someone who gives you love and support. Keep that person in mind and recall how they treated you.

– Laugh at yourself. Humor always helps diminish the critic. Lighten up its only the inner critic!

– Focus on your goal and intention – the outcome you want to achieve and the feeling you want to feel when you’ve achieved it!

– Focus on others instead of yourself. Who is there who would appreciate your support right now?

– Do something pleasurable because our inner critic hates pleasure and wants to keep us feeling miserable.

4. Let Thoughts go – experience the experience

Something powerful can happen when we accept our fear and embrace it – it diminishes! As Carl Jung said, “What we resist will persist”, and that is true for the fear in our head. Don’t be afraid to focus on the fear or feeling. By accepting it for what it is, we can free ourselves from the reaction in our minds.

An additional step is to focus on the sensations in the body, rather than the thoughts or judgements. Feel that flutter in the stomach, the dry mouth and the sweaty palms. Breathe through it and observe your body calming.
Experience the experience.

 

 

* Life isn’t personal

confounded man

“When you realize it’s not personal, there is no longer a compulsion to react as if it were.”    ~ Eckhart Tolle

“Stepping into the role of detached observer allows us to let things be as they are while maintaining balance.” ~ Nancy at Spirit Lights the Way

“When you make it a strong habit not to take anything personally, you avoid many upsets in your life. Your anger, jealousy, and envy will disappear, and even your sadness will simply disappear if you don’t take things personally.” ~ Don Miguel Ruiz

As Don Miguel Ruiz says: “Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality.”

Let’s think about it. Imagine interacting with the same person in two different situations.

In the first encounter, this person has had a terrific day. They got a good night’s sleep and everything has gone their way every since. They feel great! How do you think they’re going to treat us? Probably pretty well, right?

Now we encounter the same person. This time, they got a really bad night’s  sleep, got into a car accident on the way to work, forgot their iPhone, forgot to eat, and realized they missed a crucial deadline. They are not in such a good mood. How do you think they’re going to treat us now? …. Oh oh watch out and keep your head down!

The important thing to note here is that WE were exactly the same in both situations.

Yet, if we base our opinion of ourselves on how someone else treats us, the world becomes a fearful unstable place and we lose touch with our own reality. We seek answers outside of ourself rather than from within.

Take a moment to pause here and reflect on the last time you were upset with someone. Perhaps you were taking their behavior too personally.

People have bad days. Upsetting things happen. We all experience the highs and lows of life.

Take time to pause and find your middle ground.

Life isn’t personal.

pick yourself up

* Watch out for the Angry Monkey

monkey in the rain

This is a tale from the PanchaTantra, a collection of children stories from India. Take a moment to read this story and notice what comes up for you. My own reaction has changed over time.

“Somewhere in the jungle, there grew a huge tree. On its long branches, a pair of sparrows had made their home. One day, in winter, whilst the pair was sitting happily together, a light rain began to fall.

After some time, a monkey, battered by the strong winds, came and stood under the tree, his teeth chattering with cold.

When the female sparrow saw him in this state, she said to the monkey,’With your hands and feet, you look like a human being.
So why don’t you make a home yourself?’

The monkey got angry and shouted, “Why don’t you shut your mouth, you stupid woman ?”
But the female sparrow kept on advising the monkey.

Then the monkey said to himself, ” What a cheek this female bird has, giving me advice! This insolent woman thinks, she is an educated woman and won’t stop yapping. She makes me want to kill her!”

Then the monkey said ,”Why should you worry about my situation?”
But the female sparrow kept chattering ceaselessly.

Without much ado, the monkey climbed up the tree and tore up the nest in thousand pieces.

The wise indeed say : Give your advice only to those who deserve it else you will come to grief.”

When I read this story a few years ago, I could really relate to the sparrow. I would come across people who were unhappy and not open to accepting help or advice. When I read the story back then, I wondered how the sparrow could change her approach so that the monkey would listen to her and learn from her, instead of resenting her and getting angry.

Now I know to let angry monkeys be.

Namaste

 

 

* Beyond the Seeker

The seeker, in his searching comes to the river. Across the river a yogi is in deep contemplation. The seeker calls out to him “Can you help me get to the other side?” The yogi looks up and says “You are on the other side.”

sitting on river bank

As long as we believe we will find the answer to our struggle or pain and find happiness on the other side, we will continue to struggle in our search.

There is no actual resolution because it is our thinking that has created the idea that the answer is out there to be found.

The search for the other side is in vain.

When we realize there is nothing to find or fix, a different kind of journey begins.

In the words of Steven Harrison. “Coming to the end of the spiritual search is the end of spirituality and the beginning of spirit-actuality. Spirit-actuality is not an expression of our need for something, or the absence of something. It is the expression of the actuality of spirit, the articulation of what life brings to us,the exploration of unity, in which we are at once a part and the whole. The perspective has changed from the “me” looking for resolution, to a “me” turned inside out and upside down – “we” consciousness peering through the eyes of “me”.

The game has changed.

The point is not to find but to look.

Become an explorer rather than a seeker.

Discover that life is based on something more substantial, grounded and connected than our self identity and little “me”.