Saturday, September 7, 2019

Living Gracefully in Times of Upheaval

We are living in a time of great uncertainty, upheaval and change. Indeed everything seems to be speeding up—and will continue to accelerate. Time feels more compressed—a day can feel like a month in terms of the amount of experience compressed into that period of time. Energy is moving at a faster and faster rate through our bodies—in order for that to happen, stashes of unresolved emotional issues that we habitually carry in our bodies have to be healed and cleared. This is a precious time of transformation, unprecedented in scope. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, anxious, and fearful of all the changes both in our personal lives and in the collective. It’s easy to get lost in the outer drama and lose touch with our own source.

How can we live gracefully in these times of upheaval? How can we maximize the transformative potential?

1) Think of a hurricane—a hurricane generates some of the most powerful forces of wind, rain and waves on the planet. However the destructive fury of the hurricane revolves around a center that is absolutely still. That still center is the source of all the hurricane’s power. Every day go into the eye of the hurricane. Close your eyes and return to that source at the center of your being-- sink into that stillness. The words of T.S. Eliot come to mind: “At the still point of the turning world. . . Except for the point, the still point, there would be no dance, and there is only the dance.”

2) During that still time, turn within and pay attention to what is going on physically and emotionally. What sensations are you feeling in your body? What feelings are surfacing? As consciousness goes about clearing and emptying whatever blocks its expansion, we will be shown whatever needs to be healed. But you have to take the time to pay attention to what is showing up. You may not understand what is going on within you—your job is to observe and feel what’s there without judgment, without a story. Trust that what shows up is what needs your attention. We’re being guided by the universe—so that each one of us can be a part of that greater transformation.

3) As you go about your day, open to the joy of ordinary moments in your home, garden, neighborhood. Be present to whatever is showing up in this moment. Nature is constantly calling out to us, as though to say, "Look here and here! Wake up to the beauty all around you--that flash of a hummingbird, this tree ablaze with red gold leaves, the cool wind brushing your face, the raucous chatter of jays. Open all your senses to the wonder that surrounds you in this moment!"  When you cultivate joy and gratitude, you benefit the collective—your joy lightens and brightens the world. It may seem like a small contribution but it is felt!

4) When you go to bed, empty out from the day so your sleep is restorative and restful. Take some time to watch the events of the day pass by, noticing where your attention catches, where you get caught up in some emotion. Every day we are inundated by information. Emptying ourselves out allows for something greater to move through us while we sleep. When we aren’t processing the events of the day, our dreams can connect us to the depths of our being. Those dreams are gifts—they are messengers from the deep. When you wake up in the morning, write them down and savor them—let the images work on you throughout the day.

Sink into the silence that is here now—
Inside you,
In this moment,
In this sound,
This tree, these eyes.

Let this silence bring you home,
And the sweet smile of Buddhas
Spring to your lips.
That wind is your breath,
Those waves are your pulse.
This silence is who you are.
     --  From How Did I Miss All This Before? Waking Up to the Magic of Our Ordinary Lives 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Alexandra! These are really good reminders. Sometimes when I walk to school I am so involved in my thoughts that I forget to pay attention to my surroundings. This past week I made an effort to notice Mother Nature and was rewarded often. One favorite moment - a monarch cruised over my head and floated in front of me. And then another one! Very sweet!