My Enemy, My Teacher – Part 3

Posted on Jun 14, 2011 | 0 comments

My Enemy, My Teacher – Part 3

The next form of “enemy” is any situation that pushes us to our limits.  By definition these situations would be things that are out of our control and they vary by degrees in seriousness.  These moments “enemies” because they stress us and therefore they are also teachers.  These issues can range from temporary to permanent and everywhere in between. These teachers can come in many different forms and what may be a “situation” for one person may be no big deal for another.  It can range from something as simple as locking your keys in the car to something as serious as a medical diagnosis.  Understand that I am in no way making light of serious issues that arise in people’s lives.  I am only pointing out that even in the moments when your world is rocked off of it’s foundations there is something to learn, and I content that we continue to learn for as long as we breath. I truly believe that the first step must be to ask “what is the lesson here?”.  Then more importantly, sit still and listen for the answer.  This means to find a quiet place and be silent and listen for that voice inside that will help you understand.  Your quiet place may be just a pause in a conversation or it could be to physically leave the space in which the events are unfolding.  I am not talking about running away here, I am advocating giving yourself physical space if you need it.  And the length of time that you remain quiet is up to you.  It could be a heartbeat or it could be a week or more.  The idea is to not RE-act, but to take the time to find the right ACTION for you.  Again this is where meditation comes in real handy.  By learning to sit in silence and identify that little voice, you will be prepared to exercise that “muscle” quicker in times of stress.  And with continued practice you will find that fewer situations will be stressful!  Because you have already learned that lesson (Ah Ha!) so you can save your energy instead of wasting it on keys locked in the car. Another lesson that situations can teach us it to reach out to other people.  We are not meant to be alone in this world.  Remember that we are all inter-connected (through Divinity) therefore we must rely on each other to survive.  All too often I have known people who suffer in silence because they don’t want to appear weak or different  in the eyes of others.  And even sadder are the people I have known in my life who did not share that they had a serious illness because they didn’t want to burden anybody.  I’m not advocating that you walk around with a sign, but do reach out to trusted friends and family.  Knowing that you are not alone can often be the first step in the healing process no matter what your situation may be.  In the case of illness understand that healing is not being cured.  It is possible to heal your life and the body still be sick. As usual I am asking you to do the hard thing.  It is easy to REACT, because we are hard wired to do so, but our ability to deal with things that are out of our control is no different than the muscles we strengthen in our asana practice.  It is only through “exercise” that we strengthen our ability to see difficult situations as our teachers and learn the lessons....

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Distraction

Posted on Mar 15, 2011 | 0 comments

Have you noticed all the devices that distract us from what is really important?  When we watch TV (a distraction in itself most of the time) have you noticed the crawl across the bottom of the screen?  When we go out for a meal with friends or family have you noticed how many TVs there are in the restaurant?  What about the radio playing everywhere?  And of course there are the ever present hand-held devices that make us feel that we are somehow missing something if we don’t know about it immediately. Have you ever stopped to wonder exactly what it is we are being distracted from?  How about why we are being distracted?  I am not talking about a conspiracy by the media or the makers of technology, they are simply filling the demands of the consumers.  The bigger question is; why are we, the consumers, demanding these distractions?  We can’t all have ADD!  My opinion is that we want to be distracted from ourselves.  This is why meditation is so difficult – because when we sit in silence we meet ourselves face to face.  And sometimes we don’t like what we see. We are running scared by constantly having our attention drawn to things outside of ourselves.  We are afraid that if we stop running away and sit still and listen we may find that the life we have is not the life we need.  And if that realization comes home to roost, we will be forced to make changes.  And change is hard and uncomfortable and scary. But when we look at the alternative, a life spent running from ourselves, it seems pointless.  Like a dog chasing its own tail!  It takes real courage to sit down with ourselves and truly listen.  To “hear” the fears and joys of our heart.  To be truly present with our lives.  Meditation and Yoga is not for the faint of heart. We can all begin by just noticing the ways in which we distract ourselves.  It may be checking e-mail/phones/news constantly.  Or maybe having the TV on all the time without watching it.  Perhaps it is being “plugged in” every waking minute.  But there is good news, once we are aware of something, we have the power to change it.  It may take time and energy.  But with patience, love and kindness we may just find ourselves living a life that is bigger and better than we ever dreamed. We owe it to ourselves, to the people we love and love us, and to the world to live our very best life.  It is only by changing ourselves that we are able to change the...

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