Even in the heat of the day
A shady spot
Is not far away
About the poem:
Peace is always within our reach. But we do need to make the effort to reach it. To be it.
Bumped into you
Give me just a sec
To freshen up
About the poem:
In Sahaja meditation I learned about something I’d experienced a lot, but never named. That is, that when we aren’t solid, we tend to pick up negative energy from others. I think of it as having a leak in my force field.
This happens normally throughout the day. But when I’m dealing with an addict, a serious mental illness, or a confused intimate relationship, I’m even more likely to get out of balance.
There are two strategies: One is to protect myself before I meet others by balancing and protecting my own force field. The second is to acknowledge that it’s natural to get a bit unbalanced as I move through your day.
I can strengthen and restore my inner peace through quiet time, meditation, nature, music, dance, art, nutrition, play and exercise.
I like the idea of excusing myself to freshen up, because I don’t need to pick up bad juju then spread it around. When I’m not feeling peaceful, beautiful, it takes just a sec to freshen up.
p.s. Isn’t discombobulated a fabulous word!
About the author:
Joan Gregerson wrote some books for you! They’re on Amazon and Kindle. Buy them!
Three bows to Buddha
Bibimbap, rice cake, melon
Shady spot of peace
About the poem:
Buddha’s Birthday is a national holiday in South Korea. On my day off of work, I went to a nearby Buddhist Temple, Yongunsa, here in Samcheonpo. First we visited the main prayer space, slipped off our shoes and bowed three times to the main Buddha statue. These are full bows, meaning that for each you start standing, then kneel down and bend forward, touching your forehead to the ground, then come up.
Then we chose one of the many bibimbap serving lines. Older ladies served us each a bowl with the veggies and kim (seaweed), we added a dollop of gochu sauce, and in another line we added the rice.
We sat and at the bibimbap, then went for the dessert: watermelon, Korean yellow melon, and rice cake.
It was a very hot day, but there are many shady spots to sit, resting and enjoying the holiday.
Many Korean holidays are family-centered (bowing to ancestors graves). So this was great for me, as I went with my Korean friends and could participate!
Time slows down and
I can see myself
Beginning to turn red
Eyes starting to water
About to lose my head
I’m letting them get to me
I’m making myself crazy
I’m on the verge of losing it
I have half a second
I hit the pause button
Faces in awkward poses
Are frozen in time
We all look very funny now
I breathe deeply
What was nearly lost
Is easily found
About the poem:
Are you one of several billion people that still believe that anger has some value? I am not. I think anger is one of the most damaging thing in our lives; it is the one that gouges regrets in our life stories.
Do you have a pause button? Meditation gave me one. I’m not sure how exactly. It’s something about the combination of meditation balancing me so I’m less shaky, and also developing a hypervigilant sensitivity to my state of inner peace so I can adjust and pause when I sense things going downhill. Oh, I haven’t been able to hit that pause button every time, but nearly so. At least, I have a pause button now! That’s been a big help in my life.
It’s also true that when we are yelling and throwing things, it’s hard to prove our point that we are the smart, good people in the discussion. The calm one is the peaceful, powerful one in the discussion.
Finally, when we say, ‘I lost it’, consider… what is ‘it’? This ‘it’ is our cool, calm, collected self. It is our inner peace. We can develop our skills so instead of easily losing it, we can snap back to that peaceful state just as easily.
Nothing to rush to
Nothing to rush through
Nothing to dread
And today I didn’t say
Anything I regret
Nothing to worry about
Nothing to complain about
Nothing to act insane about
How many years
Did I live
A day like today
About the poem
Giving up chaos is the focus of one chapter in my book, Tuning In to Inner Peace.
At the end of a day like this, I feel blessed. Finally, I know that peace is always within my grasp.
No One to Hate
Setting off bombs that ruin happy celebrations?
I have done that
Leaving landmines in my wake, that harm innocents that follow me?
I have done that
Threatening to hurt if I don’t get my way?
I have done that
Greedily taking what wasn’t mine?
I have done that
Turning away instead of responding to your call for help?
I have done that
I don’t see terror
With my eyes
I see what you see
When I see you
I see me
I can find no one to hate
About the author
Joan Gregerson hopes you will find a way to forgive yourself and others, to tune in to inner peace, and love and laugh today. She writes books and blogs about this.
Still have work to do
You are driving me crazy
Because I let you
If you live your life in inner turmoil, this book is for you. If the mental chatter in your head drains your energy or if you feel like you’re in a continuous battle with yourself, walk with me!
No matter what your religious views are, or if you have none at all, this book is for you.
It’s designed to be picked up and read any way you like. Read it all the way through, or flip it open and read a single chapter as an individual lesson.
Inner Peace is our inborn guidance system. By simply TUNING IN, soon you’ll be living the joyful, purposeful life you’ve always known that you were meant to live!
“How am I supposed to live without you!”
“If you leave me now, you’ll take away the very heart of me.”
“Love hurts. Love scars. Love wounds and mars.”
I love listening to music of all kinds, but you gotta wonder! How many really messed up beliefs have been passed on this way?
Being hurt emotionally by love, by friends, or enemies, or the fear of it, keeps us from being our biggest and our best. This fear is so insidious it appears true.
In actuality, though, you can’t be hurt!
Love, Peace, Joy at Our Core
If at our core, we are love, peace and joy, we are always solid. This was eloquently and concisely stated by Eckhart Tolle. If someone does or says something to you, or hurts your body, that does not change your perfectness at your core.
You don’t need anyone to love you or make you happy, because at your core you are love. You are joy.
Arguing with yourself about why you can’t love someone can take up a lot of time in your brain. It stirs up point and counter-point debates that can rage for decades.
In contrast, resting with a simple, “I love her”, with no story connected, is like changing the channel. You can instantly silence the cacophony and return you to your natural state of peace.
So, feel free to love anyone and everyone. If they don’t respond lovingly to you, so what? That’s not your business.
What will make you feel crazy is when you convince yourself that you must stop loving someone. If you have relationships that are no longer close, if you feel some hurt, it’s time to let the hurt go. Don’t let your pride and ego weave a story that says, stop loving them. Stay loving.
If someone that you love dies, and you are stuck in grief, it means you are denying the fact that life and death are a package deal. Gratitude will turn it around and you can be thankful and marvel at the blessing of knowing a person intimately when you had the chance.
You can love from near or far, by words or energy, through touch or clouds. You never have to stop loving.
If you can see that we are all doing our best, you can see that no one is really hurting anyone. No matter what happens, we are still at our core perfectly fine.
When you give up the hurt stories, when you forgive and stay loving, you’re going to feel like you’ve arrived home. Allowing yourself to love, you’ll feel perfectly safe. You’re exactly where you should be, doing what you were made to do.
So, go on and love anyone and everyone, without the fear of being hurt!
“Seeking love keeps you from the awareness that you already have it –
that you are it.”
- Byron Katie
“But I can’t hate you.
Although I’ve tried.
I still really really love you.
Love is stronger than pride.”
Sitting down alone for a few minutes is the last thing we think to do, and the easiest, most powerful thing we can do.
For the first forty years of my life, I never really argued. But, in a post-divorce relationship, I found myself in intense arguments, every week or so. We argued about everything and nothing: economics, politics, rainbows, and relationships. Most times when the arguing subsided, I didn’t know what happened. It was like when you get tossed upside down by a wave. You’re struggling and swimming for air, but don’t know which way is up. When you make it up for air, that world of tumult is a scary dream, that has no relationship to your normal reality as you bob along the surface and breathe.
He suggested, maybe we should try meditation.
“What?! Are you saying that an hour forced saying nothing would be better than being together naturally?”
“Yeah, maybe,” he replied.
For once, I couldn’t argue. (I tried.)
I picked up guided meditation courses from Pema Chodron that advised to watch your thoughts with an amused chuckle, but not attach to them. I loved listening to her and got a taste of the power of meditation. I was curious but I didn’t stick with it long enough to jar me out of my well-worn ways.
I tried a Zen meditation class, but it wasn’t for me. If my thoughts were a sometimes a problem, they definitely were when I was trying to sit motionless for 20 minutes with a slightly itchy nose. When a monk pulled me out of the class to correct my posture, so I could sit longer, again, my thoughts definitely didn’t quiet down or become more compassionate.
A few months later I saw a sign for a Sahaja Yoga Meditation Class at my local YMCA. I like yoga! And if it’s yoga-meditation, maybe I can handle that. So, I put on my yoga pants and showed up.
Just for clarification, Yoga in the title of that class reflected the meaning: yoga = connection to the divine. So, to my surprise, I found myself sitting in a 90-minute meditation class. The class itself was a combination of discussion, guided meditation, silent meditation, and/or meditating to music.
Sitting there doing nothing, things changed. Getting dinged with nuggets like “Thinking is limited” and “thoughtless awareness”, I was changed. From the first week, I knew I had experienced a subtle, but definite shift in my world.
I wasn’t sure what all was happening to me. Primarily, I just liked it. I felt good during and after class. My research-based mind could not deny that on the days I meditated, my behavior was better. That is, at the end of the day, I just had fewer things to beat myself up about.
Meditation is simply taking a break from the arguing in your head, and realizing there’s nothing to argue about anyway.
When I started meditating, I started watching my thoughts. For the first time ever, I had a way to get out of the argument with myself. I was able to step back and be the audience, chuckling at the antics as you would observe toddlers bickering over a toy.
By that time, I wasn’t dating the original reason I got into the class, but he and I remained friends. I noticed in the relationship with him, my family members and at work, things changed.
If I was at peace, really solidly grounded, before meeting with someone, I wouldn’t slip into arguments. Instead of immediately reacting to something I heard, with an onslaught of thinking, accusations, and analysis, I could stop. I would set thinking aside for a bit and start with the truth of the situation. That is, you and I are more alike than different. We are connected and I admire you. The words you are saying don’t define our relationship.
Family relationships are the hardest to evolve, because like magnets, we keep snapping back into the original pattern. And so it was with me and several family members. I could head out with the best intentions, but within a few minutes of contact, I’d be complaining, gossiping and talking about people who I had no business talking about. I’d leave and feel terrible.
Once, I was on my way out the door. I had my purse over my shoulder and keys in hand. But I’d felt scattered and uneasy and didn’t want to meet anyone in that condition.
So, I ran back in and plopped down on the floor and set down my keys. Sitting there, I did my grounding meditation. Two hands on the floor, letting the earth (or floor of my third-floor apartment) accept all the negativity. I did a kundalini raising motion. I said affirmations, moving my hand to different locations as I’d been taught. I ended with a protective shielding ritual, moving my hand like a rainbow from side, over the top, down to the other side.
I felt better. I walked out the door and had an easy meeting. Things were said, but my slow-mo response would kick in. I’d hear the words, but I wouldn’t accept them as truth. And I would watch the fury going off in my head too, but I wouldn’t accept that as truth either. Instead, I felt the simple, unarguable deeper truth of love.
I developed a new response. I would sit silently, smiling. It sounds innocent enough, but it’s actually pretty awkward. If you’ve been a partner in gossip and complaining for decades, to simply leave your cohort hanging without reinforcement is noticeable. They are definitely going to think you didn’t hear, and after they repeat it and get the same response, they are going to think you are rude and probably mentally slow.
The other person is going to feel a bit awkward, but it is indeed the best option. This magical combination of slow-mo, silence and smile let me float about the murky knee-jerk habits that had been ingrained forever.
By trial-and-error, I did the research. I learned that making sure I was totally grounded and at peace before I encountered someone was the key to a successful interaction. Then I could grab that split-second of pause, that allowed me to walk a new, wonderful path in my relationships.
Aha, is that what the smile on the seated Buddha statues is all about? Serenity.
When I read a fitness book once, they said, do whatever combination you want, but if you just want immediate results, go running!
Meditation has a similarly powerful effect. You can do all kinds of things, but if you just want to cut to the chase, meditate. Or, as my Buddhist friend says they say jokingly, “Sit Down and Shut Up!”
Meditation changed my life for the better, in a profound way. Simply sitting down with the many sides of yourself and making peace, is a surprisingly powerful act.
When you do this, though, you’ll also feel like you are a bit lost and could use a mentor. That’s where audio books, online podcasts or in-person classes come in. Search and keep trying various types. Little by little, you’ll learn more and find one or more that you like.
What is so scary about sitting down doing absolutely nothing for five minutes? Nothing. Try it!
Since my childhood, much of the advice about health has evolved. While there are many differences of opinion, most converge with some basic advice: Get regular exercise. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Limit processed foods.
Many now espouse that meditation, or mindfulness, should be a basic part of the recipe for good health. And that within a decade, it will be a commonly accepted fact.
A cursory search shows dozens of applications of meditation for improved health. Meditation has been shown in some cases to improve irritable bowel syndrome, lung cancer, acute respiratory infections, sleep disorders and stress in teenagers.
Are you struggling with an addiction or a chronic health condition? Meditation could help! Certainly, it is less expensive and has no side effects, thus making it an attractive alternative to prescriptions or surgery. If you’ve tried everything else, or aren’t sure what to do next, try meditation.
Eastern philosophy often considers a physical illness to be a manifestation of an emotional or spiritual inner conflict that has festered. Meditation is a way to address these conflicts, thus limiting or healing the physical damage. Skeptical? No problem. You don’t have to believe anything about a mind-body-spirit connection. Just act as a scientist. Try meditating and see how you feel.
“Silence is the
language of God.
All else is
Meditation is simply taking a break from the arguing in your head, and realizing there’s nothing to argue about anyway.
It clears the way for an easy connection with pure creativity and divine energy.
On this holiday when we remember the price of war, let it remind us of the value of peace.
If you can’t see that about yourself, whatever you do, do NOT look in the mirror. Look deeper.
(And if you feel like poopoo, you probably invited the party pooper, perfectionism to the party!)
Now, I hope you can see that Inner Peace is always within grasp. And for each of us, maintaining it is our individual responsibility.
So, the obvious questions, is How? The answer is that there are as many paths as there are people.
Many, Many Paths to Peace
I was brainwashed, oops, I mean raised, Catholic. I liked a lot of the teachings, but I grew up worrying that our neighbor and my best friend was going to burn in hell because she was the only non-Catholic friend I had. No, silly, I was reassured. She’ll probably just be in purgatory for awhile.
And all the people from other countries and other religions, will they be there too? I never saw anything in the bible that supported this kind of thinking. Jesus was not a card-carrying anything. He preached Love and Forgiveness, but never Membership.
There is no name brand on love.
When we do make some spiritual progress, it’s our nature to go a bit hog-nutty about it. We think everyone around us should do it too, and that our way is the best, or maybe only way. Thus, the ideologue is born.
But, there is no one way to peace. There are many, many ways. For me, when someone starts trying to sell me a ticket to the “My Way or the Highway” approach to spirituality, my Inner Peace starts rattling and clanking, and urges me to speed off the other way.
Stopping to Pray
When I went home after being in Saudi Arabia for two months, the thing I missed most was the sound of Prayer Calls. Five times a day, Muslims bow down and pray. The air is filled with the sound, as different mosques start the calls at slightly different times, making a familiar but unique symphony every day, five times a day.
I think this is a funny commentary on just how short our attention span really is! We humans start the day with the best intentions, but within a couple hours get completely distracted. Thus, the need for the call to stop what you are doing and pray.
I’m not much of an organized-religion-kinda gal, and I may not call it praying, but, I do pause often to notice I’m alive!
What is a Practice?
Whether you operate within an organized religion or without one, you’ll want to develop your own Practice. This is a set of guidelines, rituals and community you put in place to support you.
When I first started a weight loss program, I did some informal research. In talking with my slender, fit friends, I found out that they each had a system. “I don’t eat after 8 pm.” “I always eat fruit before going to a party.” “I weigh myself every Saturday to make sure I haven’t overeaten that week.”
What? And all this time, I thought they ate crap all day and were just lucky! That may have been the case when they were 14, but 50-year olds don’t continue that trend and stay fit and slim.
In that same way, you can manage your Inner Peace easily, by developing a set of rules to live by.
This is your Spiritual Practice. You can tailor design your peace management system to fit you, and adjust it over time. It’s likely to encompass some or all of these characteristics:
Designing Your Practice
Having someone prescribe exactly what you must do to achieve Inner Peace is like asking someone to order for you at a restaurant. It’s better for you to decide. Do you like it mild or spicy? Vegan or BBQ? A little hungry or ravenous? Kid’s meal, salad bar or the special of the day?
So, in designing your own practice, be creative. Choose what suits you. Learn from others. Ask those that you admire about theirs.
A daily practice allows you to enjoy your life and become that powerful presence you were meant to be.
A daily practice is a system for managing your Inner Peace, and making all of life a joy!
I have to admit, my ego often gets the best of me. I usually think “I’m all that!” (Just ask anyone close to me and they’ll concur.) So, when you’re a card-carrying egotist, it’s hard to accept when “I’m NOT all that”, and what initially seems worse, that I need help.
Here’s what I mean…
Over a year ago, my sister and other encouragers started sending me emails about the Hay House Writer’s Workshop. “You should do this!” “This is a perfect fit for your book!”
Like most people, I like to argue with good advice. But, since I’ve said, “I want to grow up to be Louise Hay,” and I’ve been writing a book that actually would be a perfect fit, I was intrigued.
But, when I was reading those emails, I was in South Korea and later, in Saudi Arabia. The workshops were in San Diego or New York.
So, it was just a couple weeks ago that I remembered about the workshop, as I was imagining myself as the next version of my hero: sweet, inspiring, lovely Louise Hay. I checked the 2012 Hay House Writer’s Workshop schedule and saw that the next workshop was in Denver on April 28-29. Hey, I’ll be in Denver those days too, because I live here (for now)!
Slight problem. I’m cash and credit poor at the moment. Hmmm. After mulling it about for a couple days, I realized, I have two choices:
1 – Give up. This is the results of this thinking, “I can do it later.” “I don’t need anyone’s help.” “Now’s not the right time.”
- OR -
2 – Ask for help.
Argggghhh, how I resist asking for help. I loved being that person that had her financial sh!t together, who could help others. I bristle at being the one that has to ask for help.
So I bought lottery tickets for a few days, but no luck! After a few days, I threw up my hands and asked God/universe, “Really?” Okay, I’ll do it.
So, I asked for help. I decided if I could get 11 $50 sponsors, I could do it. I called on friends and family, and invited them to join the “Inner Peace Circle”. Well that was a week ago, and I already have 8 sponsors and am confident that 3 more will turn up.
I agree with how Byron Katie says it, that anything that we think, “I could never bear that”, is probably something we should just do. And that’s how it feels. I thought it would be hard to humble myself and ask for help. It was just a little. What’s been better is feeling the reciprocal nature of growth, when someone that I ask, actually wants to help.
And together, we’re walking along this very fun, exciting, inspiring path of life.
And I’m again learning that when you need help it’s okay. And H-E-L-P is not a four-letter word.
I hope you will join me in spirit!
A man walks into a meeting. A woman greets him.
“Good morning, I’m a 2007 Lexus. And this is our executive vice president, 1980 Restored Mustang.”
“Nice to meet you, I’m a 2012 Jaguar.”
“Have you met my assistant, 2009 Ford Focus and our office manager, Rides-the-Bus?”
Silly, right? You might shudder at the thought of identifying a person with their mode of transportation. But, we misidentify each other just as seriously every day.
We identify ourselves with “I am” but then link it to some temporal feature or accident of birth. When you see someone, it’s common to identify that person with “He is” or “She is” by a feature:
But, in no way, do these features begin to capture the essence of that person. Instead, you are seeing something as trivial as a mode of transportation. Or, it’s as if you’re mixing up the person with their choice of clothes today.
And, when we focus on what makes us different from others, we are setting ourselves up for conflict, disappointment or a feeling of separateness. If you put your antenna up, you can feel yourself start to bristle. It’s this separateness that is needed to start an argument, continue a conflict, or to feel envy, loneliness or resentment.
Losing My Labels
I learned this personally over a few years, when one by one, I lost the labels that I’d used to prop up my self-esteem.
After a divorce, I was no longer a wife. With no kids at home, I didn’t feel like a mother. I distanced myself from my family so I wasn’t much of a daughter or sister then either.
I quit my job as an engineer. As I tossed aside that job title, my finances also crashed. I went from being a homeowner and landlord, to a debtor with no place to call home. I had been one that helped the kids financially, picked up the tab at dinner, or bought the unexpected gift. Suddenly, I was unable to do any of that. I was staying for weeks or months in the spare bedroom or on the extra couch.
In my late 40’s, I’d also giving up any claims to being a sexy siren. (Actually, I never claimed that role, but got there a bit later …but that’s another book!)
During this period of losing my outward identity, I went to Ghana. There I found people that had less than I did. I had an American passport, the ability to get a travel visa easily, could read and write, had a college education, and a multitude of opportunities. There, I made friends who at age 16 had not yet learned to read, who had no parents, no birth certificate, no passport, no money in the bank and no job prospects. With an estimated unemployment rate of 70 percent, I imagined people would be sulking and downtrodden, bemoaning their fate.
And yet, they had a presence about them.
Those of us that have invested our identities in our achievements and our stuff, spend a lot of time fearing the loss of it. My friends in Ghana impressed me with a groundedness, and a sense of being satisfied and content, no matter what. This was a stark contrast to myself, and what I knew as normal behavior. Where we Americans had a sense of fragility, irritability and oversensitivity, they had a sense of contentment, strength and joy.
I felt the power of their presence as a profound healing impact. Having dropped so many labels, myself, I was feeling free but teetering ungrounded. But the more I was around them, the more I appreciated this outlook. And I realized that I could have this powerful healing impact on others …and that it was totally unrelated to my bank account, my job title, or family.
“The identity you think you are, does not exist.”
- Hugh Prather
And at that point in time, when I’d dropped those labels,
so many miracles happened. Family relationships that I’d been trying to wrestle into my assigned world view, suddenly ironed themselves out. When I didn’t have money to spend, others stepped forward and developed new bonds with each other. When I needed a place to live, friends and family allowed me in. I showed up and was able to pitch in. I babysat, drove, cooked and counseled. None of this depended on my bank account or job status.
Ego was and is probably one of my biggest challenges. When I lost my financial and professional prowess, I was humble. Without money or a place to live, I had to be humble. That was a blessing and a lesson long overdue: one that I have to review, again and again.
Not attaching to an outer view of yourself allows you to move freely and flow smoothly through life’s ups and downs, learning to cry less and laugh more!
Teaching in South Korea in 2010, I learned that the suicide rate was skyrocketing. Some parents tell children: “There are too many of us. You have to compete.” And many parents measure their child’s worth with their test scores. Children are pushed to study longer and score higher, at all costs. Some stressed-out students jump to their deaths when they do poorly on tests or imagine that they might.
Professionals there, as elsewhere in the world, often strongly identify themselves with their jobs and their status. And as the economy waivered, friends who lost their jobs, dropped out of communication …unable or unwilling to be in contact if their finances or status were not up to their expectations. They attached their identities to their positions, and when the economy crashed, so did they.
Identifying the value of yourself with your achievements, your scores or your positions is risky. When someone misidentifies themselves as a ‘failure’, depression and suicide are associated risks.
If you find yourself saying, “I’m a failure,” you’re a victim of your own identity theft.
Get a Good View of Life’s Ups and Downs
In my twenties and thirties, things came easily to me. University degree, marriage, kids, jobs and houses. But as life often does, what is given can also be taken away. And most people experience these ups and downs. If you attach your identity and your happiness to these things, you’ll be disappointed and in shock if and when they are gone.
Imagine yourself as a tiny speck on a bicycle tire. If you position yourself on the outside of the bicycle tire, you’ll sail through times of sunny blue sky, then suddenly be flung through mud and thorns and rocks. But if instead, you move to the center of the wheel, you’ll be just fine.
Growing up we had a merry-go-round on the playground. You could hold on to the bars on the outside edge and run and get it going pretty fast. It would take all your speed and strength to hop on and hold on. But if you could crawl to the center, you could sit peacefully, smiling, watching the world go by.
Knowing that you are not simply your labels puts you in the peaceful center.
Take a Step Back: Mid-Day Adjustments
Even if you have a clear identity for yourself at the beginning of the day, it’s common to lose it as you go through the day.
When I feel myself getting all wound up about something, I notice the feeling first. Then, I know I need to take a step back and get a new perspective.
Your Life vs Your Life Story
Eckhart Tolle says it succinctly. “Don’t confuse your life with your life story.” Your life is the unchanging “I am”. Your life story is the series of ups and downs, the saga that unfolds over time. Sure you can describe yourself, but don’t attach to any of that description of those temporary features.
My favorite mantra is one I learned in Sahaja Meditation:
“I am not this body, these thoughts or this day.”
This reminds me not to attach my identity to the current drama unfolding, the story.
See yourself as the movie viewer holding the popcorn, gasping, crying and chuckling as the story twists and turns. On the screen, the title appears, “My Life: The Romantic Comedy.” Appreciate the richness of the story, but don’t attach yourself to it. When that episode is over, you are unscathed. Life is more fun from this perspective.
The better way to complete “I am” is something you can capture in your own words. For me, when I start to feel separate, I think, “I am more like you than unlike you. I am connected to you. I am part of you. You are part of me. We are overlapping souls.”
And further, I know that I am connected to those that went before me and those that will follow. So, “I am connected to my father. He is connected to me. I am part of him. He is part of me.” I am trying to life my life as best as I can. And so are you. And so is she.
That means, “I am” is unchanging. Nothing can hurt me. What’s important about my dad lives on. What’s important about me also will live on. Thus, “I am one with all. I am eternal.”
Thus, simply “I am.” = “We are.”
Understanding the difference between your life and your life story allows you to weather the storms. You can sigh and relax with that amused chuckle, knowing that any challenge is certainly a blessing in disguise.
“Transform loss and change into gift and opportunity.”
- Shakti Gawain
How Meditation Helps
Our most serious struggles happen internally. All the various roles we have taken on argue their sides of the story. But when we take a few minutes to just sit, the voices have their say but then within a short time, it becomes clear that there’s no one to argue with.
When I get to this “I am, We are” state, things quiet down nicely. I laugh as I imagine something like a global kindergarten holding hands in a circle!
In this state, I can see myself as I would see a good friend or a newborn baby. I dismiss the fears and worries, and see a person that is a stunning, gift of creation that is not limited by any temporary role or situation. The world is full of possibilities and fun awaits!
Notice how you introduce yourself in business, school and social situations. What did you say? What did the other person say? How did you feel?
Imagine meeting someone in the future in these settings. Before you say anything, remind yourself, “I am more like you than different. I am part of you and you are part of me.” “We are overlapping souls.” Use these words or your own.
If you notice that you have stopped taking care of your body, are berating yourself or feel tension building, stop. Develop a quick ritual to adjust your perspective: a few minutes looking out the window, a walk and an affirmation will do the trick. “I am not this body, these thoughts or this day. I am …bigger, one with everything.”
Do you ever hear yourself saying, “I’m a failure.” Edit out this red flag for misidentification. Find the humor and the good twists of fate that have come out of any perceived shortcomings, by appreciating your uniqueness.
When you hear the ranting in your head, criticizing and finding shortcomings, use the image of watching a movie of your life story. Lighten up and enjoy the show.
“I am not
or this day.”
- Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi