Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Victims or perpetrators?

We are such creatures of habit, in our actions and our thoughts. As little toddlers, we learn to put one foot in front of the other, eventually these single steps become several steps and before you know it we are walking and running. This a healthy way to learn by naturally trying, then falling, and repeating this process till we feel more comfortable and confident in travelling on our feet - and then, this becomes a natural part of ourselves. It seems simple really, common sense right? But what thoughts and habits have we created, recently and perhaps from many years - that are now, how we perceive as ‘ourselves’?

So think about the experiences that we have had over the week. How did they make us feel? Perhaps some more pleasant than others.

Knowing that we are creators of our experiences, what have we chosen to experience? And perhaps ‘become’. What perception/s of ourselves has made us feel these emotions from these experiences? It’s amazing how everyone can have a different perspective of the one same experience, even though all people were in the same room etc. Same with our experiences, each experience can be felt and enjoyed/not enjoyed through our own perception of ourselves.

A classical example is when we feel overburdened by our work, family and/or social commitments and obligations. Sometimes this can lead us to feeling quite overwhelmed and exhausted at times. Some can come to the conclusion of feeling like a ‘victim’ of their circumstances. My question, who is the victim? Of whom? Knowing that we have full choice (in theory) to choose whatever we wish to do with our time. What are we saying about how we value or perceive ourselves? Are our needs and wants lesser of importance than others? Are we not as deserving to feel good about ourselves? Quite confronting sometimes, yet very interesting to see how we meet our experiences from an internal perspective - it can become way too easy to blame the external circumstances isn’t it? So why ‘are’ we choosing to commit or do things that make us feel exhausted and overwhelmed. For some of us, it’s become ‘so’ frequent and more ‘the norm’ - we know nothing else but to feel exhausted and overwhelmed. And quite often wonder why. Why we fall ill more frequently. Why we cant ‘enjoy’ life. Hence my question again - who’s the ‘real’ victim of our experiences?

What thoughts of ourselves have we habitually told ourselves and experienced through those eyes and have now become? Knowing that these are all just habits, old perspectives of ourselves and experiences. So just notice, without judgment, but just notice how we hold ourselves internally in our experiences. How DO we choose to perceive ourselves in each and every experience?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Feeling 'Under the WEATHER' lately?

If you've been feeling like you've been hit by a tonne of bricks lately. I can assure you, you are not alone. We can look into the astrological reasoning or alike but the point is many of us have felt many emotions swirl around last week... and perhaps are feeling quite tired and drained to start this week. So depending what we have chosen to do to 'deal' with these unsettling feelings in the last few days, we could have watched our physical body show tell tale signs of discomfort eg. Tension or immobilization of parts of the body, or even feeling our ‘wheels’ of our car falling off (metaphorically, or in some cases literally). This would happen if we have chosen to resist or 'battle out' the unsettling sensations. Or we could have tried to just sit with it and notice that these emotions do exist within us and starting to look deeper and see what we need to 'tweak' within ourselves to make this a more comfortable journey. So the common question is: 'so what can I do now?'

My suggestions are simple, if these resonate with you. Or perhaps, knowing you are not alone gives you sufficient comfort. Clearly, if we are feeling under the weather of our emotions, we are already noticing that this is occurring. My question is what part of us is 'noticing' the movement of our emotions? If we have enough clarity to see that we are amongst the swirl of emotions, then technically we have already 'stepped out' of the fog of emotions. Let’s stop and think about this one for a moment. If we were still in the fog, how could we ‘really’ notice that there was a fog in the first place?? Therefore, we must have removed ourselves enough from it to notice that the fog is definitive, has a start and an end.

I have been recently reminded that ‘us’ humans are the one of the few species that has this capability. The ability to step back and watch our own thoughts and emotions. It’s pretty amazing if we just stop and ponder about this concept. So knowing we have this capability, why would we not choose to sit and watch the emotions? This does not mean physically site, but just to stop and notice our thoughts and emotions as they play out in our heads. We may perhaps notice the physical discomforts we are experiencing too. The key here is to just notice them as they are, without trying to explain them with a story but seeing them as they are. Without 'trying' to do something about it yet, just sit and watch - as the emotions do flow, from one to another or perhaps they circle around one issue in your current life now. Just watch.

Too often we are quick to try and 'fix' or re-adjust out of the discomfort we may be feeling. Yet, remembering that it when we feel the most discomfort we are just being challenged out of our comfort zone. Thus it’s also an opportunity to grow from that experience. So by choosing just to sit and notice the emotions and watch how the emotions evolve and eventually tell a story of its own. We learn more about ourselves. Perhaps we will see what we are ‘not’ too comfortable with, in our approach to life or lifestyle. Seeing the fuller picture of these emotions first - then making slow mindful adjustments in our approach to everyday life will allow us to work/play with 'ease' in our daily lives.

So if we are feeling quite drained to start of this week, or perhaps more than usual. Then perhaps honour this, and be selective with where we spend our energy this week. Learning to be fluid in our approach to our daily routine, gives us the freedom to be true to ourselves each and every moment. Respecting where we are at, and not where we think we should or shouldn’t be. Creating space and freedom for ourselves refers to not only the physical sense but more importantly of our thinking patterns and our approach to each experience.

So how are you ‘responding’ to these whirlpools of emotions and perhaps the lack of energy today?

The key of being ‘responsible’ - is being free to ‘respond’ in the best possible manner of the greater good of ourselves and others. But is this the definition we have of ‘responsibility’ in our daily lives?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Why the Angst?

Lately I have seen and felt a lot of anxiety... through my students and my own experience.
Funny where these angst lie, and how we re-act (or not re-act) to them. Most of the time ‘fear’ can be the cause of the angst. Fear of what? Fear of losing ourselves, others, relationships, things… usually all the things that we want to enjoy and embrace - yet we have chosen to add fear to these equations... why?? Why do we do this to ourselves? It’s funny. We tend to strive and want the ideal circumstances, whether it be in the work, family, social arena... yet, how often do we step back and enjoy what we do have? Or even stop to notice what we have in front of us? What do we do instead? We possibly enjoy it for a brief moment, when we are open to the new possibilities - yet, when we get attached to these things, people and circumstances... we tend to add fear into the equation by fearing the longevity of 'owning' these things and situation. The question is, do we 'own' anything in the first place?? Do we 'own' people? Do we ‘own’ money? Do we 'own' our jobs? Technically we don’t, people, money and jobs all come and go throughout our lives. Yet how often do we get attached to our loved ones and our heart strings are pulled dependant on their actions? Likewise with money, how often do we sit and enjoy what we purchase rather than stress about our next pay cheque or purchase?

Why do we get so attached to our current circumstances and fear the possibilities of changes in the future??

When we attach value to these things - we seek to control the situation. So our actions tend to be driven from this fear, fear of change, fear of 'losing' what we current 'have'. But again, I ask: what do we 'own'?? How can we own people? Does a parent really 'own' a child - as he/she grows up and finds their choices in life? Does a person 'own' their partner? Do we ‘own’ money? So why, are our actions geared towards protecting these 'controls' or perceived 'ownership' of things?? Wouldn't it be more fun to just embrace and enjoy the experiences that we have with our loved ones, our jobs, our ideal circumstances etc? Yet, why do we sit in such a fog of emotions based in these fears and anxiety that really just exist in our heads... what experiences are we choosing for ourselves... ones of guilty and fear? Or enjoyment of what is really before us - the great company of our loved ones and our perfect situation of what we've wanted in the years past and is now reality, before our eyes. What are you choosing to see and feel today?

I choose the perfection of ‘what is’ now…