Live What You Know

Learn, Grow, Accept, Appreciate, Realize, Love…Truly Live It All! Make Every Day A Masterpiece and Live Each Moment In Joy! —or— You are Divine. You are All. We are One. Let us Be still. Let us Listen with an open heart. Let us Live what we hear. Let us Love with All of our heart. BE. YOU. I AM. —or— wherever you're at and growing from now.

Tag: how to live in the present moment

Resistance

Somewhere along the path, we come to the moment.  We realize that life can only be lived in the exact moment we are in.  We figure out that our head is full of chattering nonsense that distracts us from the moment and we embark on the work of clearing the mind and embracing the moment.  We want to wake up.  There are many paths and many wonderful souls to help us see our path and live our moments fully.  We only need to listen and we are on our way.  As we begin clearing the field of the mind, we realize right away that we must hack away at the thoughts of the past and all our reactions to it.  Then, it is clear that we must chop down the thoughts about future worry.  All this makes perfect sense.  Get rid of past and future thoughts to clear the mind and come fully into the moment.  Of course in the case of the mind, one cannot simply plow the field, we dance with the mind and attempt various ways of allowing the thoughts to pass through until they barely get our attention anymore.  We don’t try to get rid of the thoughts, that would only make them bigger, we simply learn to put our attention elsewhere.  We learn to awaken to alert presence and reserve our attention for the thoughts that come from our higher selves and actually mean something.  That all makes perfect sense and will keep us busy for as long as it takes, but it is not the whole picture.  Accessing the moment is made up of much more.  Next up, resistance.  It comes in many forms and we must learn what it does to the moment in both subtle and obvious ways.

It is easy to “be in the moment” when things are going our way or we like the circumstances.  What happens when it is all going “wrong”?  As soon as we are resisting anything the present moment has to offer, we have slipped back into sleep.  Our mind will become busy wishing things were different or planning ways to make change.  We must embrace whatever the moment brings.  We won’t lose our way or become numb to life.  Life will show us how to flow and live in a much more alert and awakened state.  We will be one with life.  For me, learning about perception has helped a lot.  We must be willing to look at all our programmed perceptions on life.  We must open to the idea that we really don’t know what is good or bad.  We can evolve out of labeling everything and arranging things to fit into one category or another.  Watching our resistance to things and letting go of our attachments to what “should” be is a wonderful practice.  Not and easy one.  But, a wonderful one.  Peace replaces resistance, one moment at a time.

“To offer no resistance to life is to be in a state of grace, ease, and lightness. This state is then no longer dependent upon things being in a certain way, good or bad. It seems almost paradoxical, yet when your inner dependency on form is gone, the general conditions of your life, the outer forms, tend to improve greatly. Things, people, or conditions that you thought you needed for your happiness now come to you with no struggle or effort on your part, and you are free to enjoy and appreciate them – while they last. All those things, of course, will still pass away, cycles will come and go, but with dependency gone there is no fear of loss anymore. Life flows with ease.”  ― Eckhart Tolle

These are wonderfully comforting words from Eckhart Tolle.  Also ambitious.  We can do it!  It’s not too ambitious if it is grounded in letting go and letting life live us.  We can set our intentions to observe and allow resistance to pass through or to teach us something.  Let’s look at a few forms of resistance and its antidotes.

General Resistance – When we first begin watching our resistance to things in the moment, it may be surprising how much we resist one thing or another.  We have a lot of ideas about good/bad and right/wrong.  We spend a lot of wasted energy resisting what already is and wishing for something else.  We live in distraction rather than actually living what the moment is trying to show us.  We must be willing to accept that we don’t really know what is ultimately good/bad or right/wrong.  We don’t have to roll over and accept everything, but we must really look at what is just a programmed reaction and what really deserves our energy and attention.  It is exhausting to label everything and try to make it all go our way.  Our resistance plays a part in this.  Acceptance doesn’t bring more of what we think we don’t want, it actually opens up a place to receive more or what we are meant to have.  We can know we are meant to experience certain things because we already are experiencing them; we don’t have to wonder if this experience is meant for us because it is already happening.  With acceptance of what already is, no experience is wasted.  It is a delicate dance.  As we let go of all the little resistances we have in general, we can flow more deeply with our true being that allows us to know when something really is or is not right for us.  Our general resistance to life can dissolve and then we can learn to trust true resistance in a more meaningful way.

Subtle Resistance – I noticed this one more recently.  As our awareness of resistance helps us release it along the way, we can get better at accepting things and letting go of our resistance habits.  Even just acknowledging that we are resisting is helpful in the process and will move us along in our practice.  Then, we can hopefully open our eyes wider and see the ripples of resistance that are still playing a part in our interactions with life.  Sometimes we have this little voice that continues to subtly resist things as we go along.  A little nagging thing that says, “that is not right” or “that won’t happen to me” or “I can’t believe they did that.”  One particular example springs to mind where I noticed my subtle resistance ripples.  Many parents of older children seem to love to compliment my children on their choices/manners/habits and then proceed to tell me, “Just wait until they are older….” and then describe how horrible they will inevitably be when they become teenagers.  I noticed myself having this little, “that won’t be us” reaction inside.  Silly to give my energy towards resisting what someone else is experiencing or sharing.  Who knows what will happen when my kids are older?  Why give my energy and peaceful power away in the moment of someone else describing their situation?  Resistance shows up in many subtle ways.  After I noticed this particular recurring one, I consciously made an effort to allow people’s comments to just flow through me.  I chose to truly be there to really hear them and listen with my heart about their situation rather than making it about me and what may or may not happen to my family.  I can have an open heart rather than a reaction full of resistance.  It is helpful to notice even the subtle ripple of this waste of time and energy response called resistance.  We all have these subtle resistance patters happening to show us how to grow further into detachment and acceptance of all that is.

Providing Resistance – You know the saying, “Whatever you resist persists.”  Well, it’s true.  No exception.  If you are resisting something in any situation, it grows in power and presses harder.  You literally give the thing you are resisting something to butt up against and push on.  If you let things pass through  you and have detached acceptance working for you then things can flow through.  Parenting offers a lot of opportunities to practice this one.  It is always interesting to balance when to let things be and when to step in and handle the thing I think I can’t allow or tolerate.  I have seen the magic of not providing that resistance anymore and the situation completely diffusing itself.  All of our relationships allow places to practice no longer providing that resistance.  Life opens up for us when we no longer resist it.

Avoidance and Numbing Resistance – Sometimes we just don’t want to feel something, don’t want to face something and/or don’t want to deal with something.  We use all kinds of distraction methods to avoid actually experiencing the things we are meant to.  If we are honest with ourselves, we know what methods we are using and we can see how it would feel to just drop the distractions and experience what is waiting for us in the magic of the moment.  Maybe we don’t need the television on, maybe we don’t need to surf the internet or waste time on our smart phones, maybe we don’t need that cocktail to relax us, maybe we’re not really hungry and don’t need that snack, maybe we don’t need all those busy plans that keep us from going deeper inside to open to more of life.  We know when we are avoiding and numbing out rather than pushing through and fearlessly experiencing life found in the precious present moment.  The moment is Life.  We can handle whatever form it comes in by grounding ourselves in the moment rather than in distraction and avoidance.

Past and Future Resistance – Often, we see someone or experience something through the veil of the past or worry about the future.  We may see someone we have not had a “good” experience with in the past, and we only interact with them from the perception of the past.  The person in front of us is completely different from the last time we saw them and so are we.  If we remain stuck in past experience of them, we are not in the moment and we are using past experiences to resist what may be available to us in the present moment.  Instead of living with an open heart in the moment, we are closing the door to the experience that was meant for us.  The encounter with the very same person may be quite lovely if we can see them with fresh loving eyes that have only the present moment in mind.  The same thing goes for future worry.  We may be resisting what is happening in the moment because we fear what it will cause in the future.  But, we are not really experiencing the moment if we are caught up in the future.  We must stay right where we are at and allow all that is meant to happen in the exact moment we are in.  The “future” will only come in the form of another moment.  We can handle all of them as they come.

Creative Resistance – As we continue our practice of letting go of our resistance to life and opening up to the moment, we can observe and understand our resistance in a more meaningful way.  We are all here to do something and we are all co-creators in this life.  The more we get in touch with our truest purpose, the more we must be willing to push through our resistance.  We are sure to encounter much resistance as we approach that which we are meant to do.  The stakes get higher and fear can take a stronger hold on us as we muster our courage to try.  Here are a few favorite quotes on this type of resistance.

“Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.” ― Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles

Resistance is experienced as fear; the degree of fear equates to the strength of Resistance. Therefore the more fear we feel about a specific enterprise, the more certain we can be that that enterprise is important to us and to the growth of our soul. That’s why we feel so much Resistance. If it meant nothing to us, there’d be no Resistance.” ― Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles

There is only ever love or fear.  Resistance is just another form of fear.  Sometimes it’s just general stuff from programmed labels we resist, sometimes subtle ripples persist as we learn to gain more presence, sometimes we let resistance nurture bad habits and sometimes we listen to resistance and realize it is the strongest around things we are truly meant to do.  As we become better masters of our own various types of resistance, we will be able to let the waves of fear pass through and turn to love and even push through the important resistance that came to show us we are on the right track.  We can listen to the fear and resistance and act from our soul to overcome and pass through to our life’s purpose.  We can live each moment in love.

Wishing us all the courage and wisdom to listen to life and let go of resistance.  Wishing us the ability to know when to let resistance pass through without giving it our attention and when we should take note and push through it to our higher calling.  There is so much waiting for us in the moment.  Learning to listen and open with acceptance of with already is is a great way to open the door to the life we are meant to have with all the love we are meant to feel.

Sending you love and joy!

You Are Already There

Time is a bully!  Let’s stand up to it!

In our culture, our days are split into segments of time and our moments are given varying degrees of importance.  It is kind of crazy how we have allowed time to push us around.  We watch the clock, waiting for things to happen…”When will they arrive?”, What time do we need to be there?”, “When should we get ready?”, “How long will the drive take?”,  “When will this line get moving?”, “I can’t wait until…”, “I will be so happy when…”, etc.  We constantly think the next thing is what we are waiting for.  The truth is, we are already there; but, unless we can really feel that, we stay stuck in the world of being pushed around and bullied by time.

We are all at our own perfect place on our path toward self-realization and awareness.  We each have varying degrees of presence we are able to access throughout the day.  No matter where you are on your path, you can observe how you are treating the moments in your life and find ways to honor them and experience them more fully.  Are you using parts of the day that are your least favorite or that you dread as a means to an end?  Do you rush through things to get to the next?  Do you allow yourself to feel that things will be better when this chore or task is complete?  Is there constantly some future moment that seems like it will be a better one that will bring you happiness?  Is there some change that would make things much better?  Are you distracting yourself from your real life?  Are you truly present to the Life you already are (we don’t have life, we are Life)?

Many people live in the state of waiting for the next thing much of the time and don’t even know that they are not present in their life and much of their experiences are passing them by.  It is like sleep-walking without knowing it.  Your real life is there waiting for you to join in and you’re busy wishing something else was happening and resisting what already is.  Our life is made up of a bunch of moments and the one we are in is the only one we can ever actually live; life only comes in the form of now.  This crazy relationship we have developed with time is truly a dreadful way to live and sure to bring suffering as we dwell in resisting what is.  If we have a certain number of moments while here on Earth in this form, why should standing in line at the pharmacy be any less meaningful and present than attending a party or celebration?  Why is the drive to the event something to hurry and get over with?  How do we treat any moment as something to throw away?  We don’t have to; we can treat all of our moments the same and enjoy Life the way we are meant to.

Here are a few ideas that may help us do this no matter where we are on our path; they should apply in every situation (easy to say, harder to actually do…wishing us all the ability to live these things…with practice, we can do it!):

  • Accept Everything – Yesterday, for example, I woke up with excruciating back pain that was making it hard to breathe and a sore throat that felt like swallowing cement.  As I groaned in pain at every move I made, I also felt this wonderful sense of peace in the background.  I knew I had all these reasons mounting that would prevent me from doing what I needed to do for the day (or thought I needed to do)…but it really didn’t matter.  It slowed my day down and gave me many joyous moments I may not have experienced otherwise.  I resisted nothing, adjusted with the details, and in doing so, my throat pain eased up and my back improved dramatically.  I had a really peaceful day filled with a lot of sweet moments (even the kids and I cleaning up our third plumbing issue in the past few weeks…we just made it fun).  I could have resisted and been frustrated and stayed in all kinds of pain and misery, but in going with the flow, I accessed my inner peace and it was quite lovely.  I know from past experience that resistance and worry over things helps them hang around longer.  My day didn’t improve because I started feeling better…I was already there in the peace found in the moment and the details came to match the real me…rather than me allowing my circumstances to pretend to be me.  The truth is that everything happens as it should and everything passes.  So, why resist anything?  Just accept it all.  Sometimes we face little things like the examples above and sometimes we must face major difficulties and tragedies…practicing on the little things will help us when things really get tough.  Accepting every little thing as if you chose it will prepare you for anything and lead you to true inner peace that won’t depend on your outer circumstances.
  • Label Nothing – Part of accepting everything is learning to label nothing.  We have a tendency to label every single thing that happens as good or bad.  Truth is, we don’t really know which it is and we’re just guessing or reliving past experiences and assuming they will be the same…the experience is really neither good, nor bad, it just is.  By not labeling, we don’t have to draw on the past or take ourselves to the future to project how it will work out.  We get to truly experience each thing and each moment and use the energy we would have wasted on labeling it for actually living it.  We open ourselves up to all that Life is and expand to more of ourselves and the world around us.  We truly grow.
  • Get Comfortable With Not Knowing – If we already know how this is going to go, then we aren’t really present to it.  If we are playing things out in our minds by reliving things and projecting futures that may never happen, we aren’t there, we’re lost in some other experience.  Not knowing means we really open up our senses and awareness and see what happens.  It is magical.  I actually think this is an entire post on its own, so I will try to keep this short.  The not knowing is so much better than the knowing…it is amazing.  You know how the more you learn, the more you realize that you have so much more to learn…well, it’s kind of like that.  It’s like, the more you don’t already know, the more you have to live.  I love it!
  • Slow Down – Just try it.  Nothing bad will happen, you can add more space around things, take more breaths before you talk, more quiet before you react, more opportunities to just be.  You can build your life to support slowing down, even in today’s world.  You can choose your pace and make it stick.  You can make little choices and little changes slowly that point you in the direction of taking all the time you need to enjoy all the life you are.  You can do it!  On time is when you get there because you are already there.
  • Ritual – Anything can be a ritual.  We recently started a tea-time ritual at our home.  It’s a work in progress, but we’re trying to have a midpoint in the day that reminds us to slow down and enjoy where we are.  We are assigning duties to each family member to put it together and we are formally sitting down to sip tea, talk, enjoy silence together and eat our crudités, fruit and tea cookies in presence.  As we prepare it, enjoy it and clean it up, we can bring honor to it by making it a true ritual.  This ritual is a new one we are adding midday, we have our morning meditation and prayer, then we have poetry at night.  This added reminder in the middle of the day is quite helpful.  You could pick anything and make it a ritual worth honoring and as a tool to bring more presence into your life.  We recently added meditation bracelets to our morning practice; we put them on to remember the peace we felt on our mat and bring it to whatever moment we are in throughout the day.  Pick anything and make it sacred…even sorting the laundry, sweeping the floor or brushing your teeth…it really can be done.  Taking the time to honor things and make them sacred is so healing and can add so much peace to your life.
  • Listen — To everything and everyone.  Rush no person and no experience.  We are not in this world, we are of this world…everything is speaking to us and telling us something.  Manage your relationship with time so that you can hear Everything.
  • Love — Just had to put it here because it is always the answer and of course, all we ever need.  Spread it and receive it well.

These are just a few ideas to help us stand up to time.  Your soul already knows which ones will help you most; sometimes we just need the reminder that the time to do it is now.  Now is all there ever is.  Wishing you presence, peace and freedom found in timelessness. Sending you love and joy today and always!

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