How we attach meaning to events in our lives has a large influence on the quality of our life.
The meaning we assign to our experiences–whether pleasant or distressing, is a very powerful factor in determining the quality of our lives. What we imagine events to mean will color the way we feel about ourselves, about the people in our lives, and about the world at large. If we want to encourage a positive outlook, well-being, and a sense of self-confidence and even trust in the universe, we can begin by assigning more peaceful, loving meanings to what we experience.
Imagine, for example, that a friend fails to show up to a lunch date. You have choices as to what you will make this experience mean for you. You could allow being “stood up” to reinforce your feelings of unworthiness, you could begin to mentally attack your friend’s character, or you could assume that something big must have happened to cause them to miss the date–then, you might open yourself up to enjoying some relaxing time alone.
If you were recently laid off and are having difficulty finding a new job, consider that you might have hidden gifts or passions that were untapped in your regular career that you are now available to explore. The universe might simply be moving you in a more fulfilling direction. If you have recently lost a loved one, gained weight, lost money, or gotten in a fight with your partner, see if you can infuse the experience with meaning that feels loving and empowering and opens a door for you to embrace life and the world a bit more.
When we begin to bring consciousness to what we are making things mean, we may be shocked at the messages we have been feeding ourselves all these years. Try taking the reigns and begin assigning a kinder meaning to the events in your life and you will likely find yourself on a much more pleasant ride.
It can be the easiest thing in the world to follow the aspect of our personality that is logical and rational. It is easy because it is the side that is protective and guarded. The rational mind means well, but often times it prevents us from the abundance our spirit yearns to experience. This emperor like energy can prevent us from taking advantage of the opportunities that life brings our way. It is that overbearing voice criticising every last hope and ambition that rises up with each swelling of the heart. Eliminating every last shred of intuition. The one reason for that is doubt.
Tame the mind and start believing in yourself. If conformity is no longer serving your life; let it go. Find out what your blind spots are and make more room in your life for imagination. You might just surprise yourself. It takes a lot to step out in faith, trusting the goodness in yourself. Keeping an open heart. You just might discover that your heart isn’t inside of you, but that you’re inside your heart. Deng Ming-Dao says, “Imagination is a tool through which we can make our lives better, different, and creative. By cooperating with it, we can acheive things that ‘we never dreamed possible’.” Imagination can build bridges. Connect your life with love.
Today’s post was inspired by another post I stumbled upon in Instagram @shanananalove74:
What Are You Waiting For?
“I remember a time when I used to do a lot of waiting. With many decisions I would take the “wait and see” approach. So, I would wait and wait and wait. I would wait for the “right” time, some event to happen, enough money or for someone to give me permission. I realized after taking the “wait and see” approach for much of my adult life, that waiting, for me, was a form of fear. Fear of making the wrong choice fear that I wouldn’t follow through, fear of disappointing someone or myself, fear of the unknown or fear of what might change if I did follow through, but at the end of the day, it was all fear. I saw that if I kept waiting, I was cutting myself off from new experiences and new possibilities. If I kept waiting, I would spend the rest of my life waiting. Finally, at some point waiting became more painful than moving forward. So, I started making quicker decisions and letting my intuition guide me. I started doing things that scared me and stretched me outside my comfort zone. The more I did this the more my life expanded in extraordinary ways. I learned that stepping into the unknown is like a muscle and the more you work it the stronger you become and the more exciting life gets. It seems like the moment I stopped waiting is the moment I started living. Everyday I remind myself to keep stepping out. Even if I can’t see the path ahead, it always shows up to greet me just like magic. Each and every time.”
Like bubbles underwater thoughts rise up from the ocean of our mind. There can be so many bubbles. One thing to realize is that deeper thoughts have something to teach us. There are lessons to be learned when they rise to the surface. We can be out of touch with unconscious thoughts and desires, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t effect our lives. Conscious thoughts may reflect how we see things in everyday life, but so do those deeper thoughts, the ones that rise up from inner depths….and it can be dark down there. That is why it is so important to be mindful when they rise to the surface. There is such a need to be aware and clear of what it is that we want and desire. They will influence the outcome of our endeavors.
Where we put our focus will highly influence the energy of the thoughts that we produce. That is why meditation can be an effective tool in how we channel that focus. Recently, I stumbled across an excellent meditation that is good for visualizing positive outcomes in a given situation. Adding a few minor touches, I would like to share it here with all you valuable readers.
Close your eyes. Focus on a thought.
Let it rise to the surface of your mind’s ocean.
See it float lightly up to the water’s surface. Then onto a smooth, glasslike surface.
Visualize that thought moving across the water; gliding serenely, yet steadfastly towards a horizon of light.
That thought is moving across an ocean of peace. Skitting to a perfect, harmonious outcome.
Towards a wide open space. A horizon of freedom.
Cultivating focus can truly be a rewarding and enriching practice that can help on the path to self-discovery. When change comes into our lives, its so easy to get caught up in reshaping outer circumstances instead of looking at Self. Sometimes change lies in the way we experience ourselves, in the way we see ourself. Deng Ming-Dao says, “It takes great courage to keep going beyond your limits. You keep doing the same thing, like musicians who make a career of performing the same tune. But no matter what your field of endeavor, you mustn’t do that. Don’t jump out of the same hole twice. You may not be as materially successful, but you will be more successful on a larger level.” Take time to reconnect with your own strength, courage, and happiness in a spirit of kindness and self-compassion. Namaste.
Sometimes we have to repeat certain words to ourselves over and over again. Over days and even weeks just to help keep our focus. To help pick us up when we have fallen over a negative thought or feeling. It’s like that story that Pema Chödrön tells about the Buddha:
“On the night on which he was to attain enlightenment, the Buddha sat under a tree. While sitting there, he was attacked by the forces of Mara. The story goes that they shot swords and arrows at him, and that their weapons turned into flowers.
What does this story mean? My understanding of it is that what we habitually regard as obstacles are not really our enemies, but rather our friends. What we call obstacles are really the way the world and our entire experience teach us where we’re stuck. What may appear to be an arrow or a sword we can actually experience as a flower. Whether we experience what happens to us as an obstacle and enemy or as a teacher and friend depends entirely on our perception of reality. It depends on our relationship with ourselves.”
Well, that is why over the last couple of weeks I have needed to repeat some words over and over again to myself. Because I have been experiencing a lot of obstacles and unpleasant circumstances….particularly arising from within my own thoughts and emotions.
Here is what I’ve have personally had to write and say to myself over and over again to transform those arrows and swords into flowers:
“I am right on track, right on schedule. I trust that everything is unfolding perfectly. All is well. I am free to enjoy myself. I am right where I need to be, when I need to be, how I need to be. My life is enough. I am enough. Everything I say or do is enough. In chaos or order, it is enough. My life is natural and wholesome. I am natural and wholesome. I have the grace to recognize and accept that. I have the grace to be free. I go on and on past this moment, past boundaries, past time, past understanding. I am an infinite being. I AM Infinity, itself. I AM Essence.”
*this post is dedicated to a dear Twitter friend, Ishani, @musicmoonlove “Be blessed, Soul Sister.” ❤
“Lovely shell, lovely image–I am tempted to play with it in my mind. Is this the symbol for another stage in relationships? Can we middle-aged argonauts when we outgrow the oyster bed, look forward to the freedom of the nautilus who has left its shell for the open seas? But what does the open sea hold for us? We cannot believe that the second half of life promises ‘fair weather and favorable winds.’ What golden fleece is there for the middle-aged?
In speaking of the argonauta one might as well admit one has left the usual shell collections. A double-sunrise shell, an oyster bed–these are common knowledge to most of us. We recognize them, they are part of our daily life and the lives of others around us. But with this rare and delicate vessel, we have left the well-tracked beaches of proven facts and experiences. We are adventuring in the chartless seas of imagination.
Is the golden fleece that awaits us some kind of new freedom for growth? And in this new freedom, is there any place for a relationship? I believe there is, after the oyster bed, an opportunity for the best relationship of all: not a limited, mutually exclusive one, like the sunrise shell, and not a functional, dependent one, as in the oyster bed; but the meeting of two whole fully developed people as persons.”