As we close out the year and get ready to bring in 2012, I want to encourage you to celebrate yourself this year!
Step 6 in The Path Forward is TO HEAL, which is where
"We have a newfound compassion for ourselves and commit to live in the moment."
I believe finding ourselves again, practicing self-compassion and living in the moment is the KEY to our recovery.
Many of us find it easy to have compassion for others, but have very little for ourselves. It never occurs to us to feel it for ourselves. We must lighten up, relax and go easy on ourselves for a change. Living life with an unconditional love for ourselves changes everything.
We get rid of the “should haves” and the “could haves” and gradually discover ourselves by being honest and staying in the moment. Without any agenda except for being real, we begin to find ourselves again. We assume responsibility for being here in this messy world and realize how precious life is.
I am often asked when the grieving ends. Everyone is different. You can’t put a time frame on the healing process. What I do know is that the longer you avoid your pain, the longer it takes to recover. We must confront our pain and process it in order to heal and move on.
Writing about it helps, expressing ourselves helps, meditating helps. All of these things help, but it is up to you to put these things in motion for yourself. No one else can do it for you and until you do, you will remain stuck. You will not thrive. It is your choice.
By learning from the moments in life, we become more compassionate and can aspire to live in the now. We can relax and open our heart and mind to what is right in front of us in the moment. We see, feel and experience everything more vividly. This is living. Now is the time to experience enlightenment. Not some time in the future. Keep in mind, how we relate to the now creates the future.
“Nothing we can do can change the past, but everything we do changes the future.”
~ Ashleigh Brilliant
When we find ourselves in a mess, we don’t have to feel guilty about it and angry. Instead, we should reflect on the fact that how we RESPOND to the situation determines whatever happens next for us.
It is not WHAT happens to us in life, but how we RESPOND to it that matters!
Being brave enough to be fully alive and awake every moment of life, including the dark times, is to truly experience life to its fullest. What seems undesirable in life should not put us to sleep or deaden us. Instead, it should wake us up and remind us of the things we should appreciate.
The only true path to enlightenment is to drop all inner resistance and be honest. We must be true to ourselves. We must allow ourselves to feel our feelings and not be ashamed or afraid.
Eckhart Tolle explains that each of us has a voice in our head that reminds us of troubles from our past and also encourages us to worry about our future. Some individuals listen to this voice more than others. Certain events or experiences can cause this voice in our head to run incessantly. Cognitive Dissonance is an example of this happening as a direct result of the emotional abuse we suffered.
Tolle helps us understand that all negativity is caused by too much focus on the past or future. He explains that worry and anxiety are caused by too much future focus and not enough presence. Being stuck in the past, either feeling resentful or guilty, is a result of too much past and not enough presence. By focusing on the past or future and denying the reality of your present, you remain stuck. Identification with your mind causes thought to be compulsive.
Tolle explains that this mental noise prevents you from finding the realm of inner stillness inside you that is necessary to achieve enlightenment.
In my opinion, all of our anxiety in life comes from:
REGRETTING THE PAST
WORRYING ABOUT THE FUTURE
INSTEAD, WE MUST LEARN TO LIVE IN THE MOMENT!!!
Since the beginning of time, spiritual teachers of all traditions have pointed to the NOW as the key to enlightenment.
It takes time to learn to stay focused on the present, and you may need to try more than one method before finding one that works for you, but please don’t give up. It is easy to get distracted by time, noise, anxiety and fear. However, learning how to live in the moment is worth every bit of effort. Once you know how to do it, it is truly life-changing.
While it may not be easy at first, we can learn to enjoy the present moment and live life to its fullest by accepting that we are on a journey into the unknown. When we try to control the future, we obsess.
Life should be a journey...an adventure. Instead of being afraid, let this inspire you! Live each day as if it were your last and cherish every moment of it. Learn to live with uncertainty for this is the first step on the spiritual path of awakening.
The present truly is a gift to be cherished. An attitude of gratitude can change your life. If you stop in the moment and ask yourself if you’re ok, you realize you are not starving, you are not oppressed and you are not a prisoner of war somewhere. You are in a safe place and have much to be grateful for in life.
One of the best ways to learn to live in the moment is to stop allowing yourself to regret the past or worry about the future. Meditate, travel, find a creative outlet. Don't stop trying new things until you find a way to appreciate the now and live in the moment.
This little saying helps me re-focus when I find myself struggling to stay in the moment:
Yesterday is History
Tomorrow, a Mystery
Today is a Gift
That’s why it’s called
The present should be the primary focus of your life. You can always cope with the present moment. However, you CANNOT cope with something that hasn’t happened yet and you CANNOT change the past. You CAN control how you respond to the present moment, and how you respond to the present moment determines your future.
We have a choice to be happy and embrace the moment or remain stuck. The new year is an excellent time for new beginnings. Please celebrate yourself this year for it is the key to your recovery and remember to embrace the moment. You owe it to yourself and you deserve it!
Happy New Year!!!
Lots of Love,