Don’t Get Over It, Just Go Through It

I never looked in the mirror and said it out loud, but I was basically trying to force myself to get over it. I left my job to work full time on my own business. There was only one problem, my heart wasn’t in it. I wanted to make money and build something on my own, rather than pursue what I felt was close to my heart. Six months later I decided to go back to my old job and reevaluate my life.

Through the entire process, I never allowed myself the time to experience the fear, regret, frustration and guilt. I just wanted to get over it and move on. I thought getting over it would be more beneficial than actually facing the emotional whirlwind. Or maybe I felt better ignoring the fact that I had experienced what most would consider “failure“.

Since then, I’ve realized that getting over stuff never works. Life is like a puzzle and each experience is its own unique piece. You can’t see the entire picture without all the pieces. If we leave out the experiences we identify as negative or bad, then we never see the full picture. Together the negative and positive experiences are what makes us whole.

Thats why I’ve given up trying to get over things. Going through something is much more valuable. When we go through something, we come out on the other side with more wisdom. Wisdom that we can use to help free ourselves from the source of our stress and anxieties. When we force ourselves to get over things, we try to skip over our negative experiences without acknowledging our feelings and therefore getting nothing out of it. That leaves us vulnerable to running into the same challenges over and over, suppressing emotions that will sooner or later find their way out.

Emotions have gotten a bad wrap, let’s cherish them for all the lessons that they bring rather than treating them like a nuisance.

Meeting Life Beyond The Model

Growing up I created a blueprint. It was an attempt to design my life. Then as I went along, I tried to model my life based off of my design.  A design that of course, I came up with based on what I thought I wanted or have been influenced to want. Now, I’ve decided to scrap the blueprint and start over with a sketch pad. I’d rather draw in my experience as I go. I’ve realized that behind my plans and designs are all the things that I’m truly reaching for.

If we keep life simple, we can meet it beyond the model, in a place where the possibilities are endless. Experience proves that our plans don’t always play out as we’d like. Life is fluid, it’s job is to erode away our model. The same way a stream flowing over rock, overtime creates a something as beautiful as a canyon. If we truly want to live beautifully, we have to let life work on us.

Meet your life right where it is at this very moment. If you’re looking for guidance then let go of your expectations. Meeting life beyond the model is about opening up and allowing for space. Space where answers can flow in and out freely. Space where things can happen, rather than be forced. Whatever is useful will be there and whatever is not will keep on flowing past.

Don’t impose so many restrictions on your life, just float freely through your experiences. And if you are going to make plans, hold them lightly.

 

All The Things We “Have to Do”

When we “have to” to do things, it can bring a lot of anxiety into our lives. Sometimes the things we think we have to do aren’t always needed. We also cycle through the same tasks in our head over and over. Yes, today you have to eat, drink, use the bathroom and sleep, but those are just about the only requirements. If you feel that you really do have certain obligations that must be handled, take care of them in a calm manner.  Throwing in the words “take care” can adjust the way our mind and attitude approaches each task. You can almost see and feel the difference. “I have to pay bills” vs “I have to take care of bills”.  Try using words that are more open and experiment with how they make you feel.

For the things you really must take care of, try not rush through them. Use them as a way to create peace, tranquility and calmness by doing them mindfully. Implement genuine care into your “doing”. Try to act in a way that brings joy, even when it’s not an enjoyable task. When paying a bill for example, bring to mind the blessing of funds that are available to you in order to pay that bill, rather than focusing on of all the other things you can’t afford.

Practice emptying your heart. You need space within your heart in order to be free. Limit the projects and ambitions you have and welcome more space. Space will bring you the happiness that you imagined the projects, ambitions and desires would bring you. It’s a much deeper kind of happiness. Just look at how beautiful space can be.

“Breathing in I see myself as space, breathing out I feel free.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh

| 2016 | The Year of Acceptance, Compassion and Right Action |

If there’s a thread of gratitude that we can pull from 2015, it’s our increased level of awareness. Through the media’s focus on violence, fear, anger and confusion, we’ve become aware of issues that for years have been swept under the rug or ignored.

Together let’s coin 2016 as the year of acceptance. In order to change and address what we’ve opened our eyes to in 2015, we must first accept the way things are rather than rejecting or ignoring them.

Awareness is the gateway to acceptance. Without awareness, there is nothing to accept, we are completely unaware of the issue itself.  Through acceptance, we can open the door of understanding. Once we understand, we can develop compassion and identify or “see” the source of the concern. After seeing the source, we can find a resolution and discover the right action that should follow.

In other words, to bring change one must…

  1. Become Aware
  2. Accept things as they are
  3. Come to a place of understanding and compassion
  4. Act responsibly or rightly

We can approach life with what Zen master Suzuki Roshi called “beginners mind” by addressing situations with an openness, eagerness and freshness and setting aside our preconceptions.

Acceptance doesn’t mean that we encourage the world to give in and have an attitude of “oh well, this is just the way things are”. If we become aware that something needs to be addressed and ignore it or act as if it shouldn’t exist, we are cutting ourselves off from the possibility of change.

Acceptance is simply seeing the way things are, nothing more, nothing less. Think of acceptance as the opening in our hearts that allows the truth to flow in.

Change will never come to a world where we see suffering and approach it from a place of ignorance or rejection. When we don’t accept things as they are or understand them, we try to force things to work. Suffering cannot be alleviated by force.

We need communication, awareness understanding and kindness in 2016. Let’s carry over our awareness from 2015, accept what is here, start to understand and take actions that support the well being of all people. By helping the world, we are also helping ourselves.

Follow Your Own Path

Like the veins in a leaf, there are many paths. Comparing your journey to those around you does you no good. We must understand that many of us are looking for freedom and it is ok if we all arrive differently.

Look through a leaf at the sun and see all of the paths that have brought nourishment and growth. Let that leaf remind you that your path is what brings you the nourishment and growth that you need in order to find freedom.

Start this coming year with an open mind and open heart. Let go of the comparisons and self judgement and you’ll see we are all just leaves, part of the same tree.