The edge of the “sea of me.”
Welcome to 2016. It’s a good time to look at ourselves openly and without judgment. Too much self-critiquing has gotten us into this autoimmune position and it’s time to stop. Or at least become aware of all the times we do this self-crunching, enthusiasm stalling, spirit emptying practice. Become aware of it.
What to do? Begin with this more detailed description of the awareness practice I referred to in my last entry, Truth and Lies, Do you Doubt Your Worth? (December 24, 2015) Sit quietly in stillness practice, without distractions, in a quiet, comfortable place. This simple exercise will prompt you to expect a particular outcome the first, second or even third time. And when the experience is not what you expected, you will be tempted to stop. That’s because your mind can’t stand simplicity. It will think of a million other things you should be doing. It might tell you this is boring. Or your body will begin aching or cramping. Your breathing might become stilted or forced. All this is normal, because when you focus your attention on yourself in this moment, all the reasons to not be doing this will show up most vividly. It’s OK. All those reasons to stop are not important. Just sit through this resistance and allow yourself this practice for yourself. As Louise Hay says, (and shows us how) be kind and gentle with yourself.http://www.amazon.com/All-Is-Well-Affirmations-Intuition/dp/140193501X Your mind is all too ready to discourage you. Commit to having the final say and allow yourself this fun, new practice.
If you do, eventually you will find yourself settling into a deeper awareness of self. I call this floating in a sea of me. Don’t be afraid, It’s OK to be with your “me.” Notice what your mind, your inner voice ( December 24th post) might be saying at this moment. Step back and allow the chatter to pass. When you are floating in the sea of me, you are present to your most essential self as well as the voice that is chattering (or silent, as it will eventually be.) This essential self is your true self and your connection with the divine source of energy. God. It is like being surrounded in a sea of love.
There is only one rule for developing this new habit, and that is to do it every day. How else can we call it a habit? I find that it’s easiest to practice sitting still before I’ve pushed my left brain into gear; spoken to anyone, opened my computer or even eaten anything. I do not drink coffee or tea, and I recommend you hold off until after you practice stillness. Begin your first week with ten minutes each day. Set a timer if you like. Get used to the ten minutes of stillness. When ten is no longer enough and you want to see what happens next, set the timer for 15 minutes, then 20, and so on. This is your practice. Make your timing up your way.
It’s easiest for me to practice the same time every day, right after I get up. I move around the room, turn on a light, drink some water and use the toilet, get into some soft, loose, and plushy pants and top, and then I sit. In a chair with a comfy blanket around me. Sometimes I doze off. When I wake, I call myself back into awareness. I follow my body signals, my pain messages, current and old feelings, images or thoughts. All of these will take turns passing through my mind. I let them all come and go while I remain still, breathing in and out. I’ve found if I do this every day, I get out of bed grateful for the new day and a chance for my stillness time.
Why practice? To begin to raise your awareness of self. Once you’re sitting daily for 20 minutes or more, you will be on your way to experiencing a stronger connection with your energy source, your higher self, with God. This practice will give you the ability to notice when you are being self-critical, critical of others and just plain disconnected from others. I call this state of being/thinking my rejecting self, when I am turning away from God, others, and myself. This is when I have forgotten being loving all together. I soon notice that I am isolating myself from everyone and everything while trying to figure out why I feel so alone. It’s an example of circular thinking with no way out, unless I can change my way of thinking.
With my stillness practice, I have found I can shift the trajectory of my thinking from self recrimination and rejection to one of self-love and connection. And when we are loving ourselves, we can love others. It begins with awareness. Oh, I say, this is what I am doing again, judging and rejecting. No shame in that, I say, but this is not taking me where I want to go. With my practice of self-awareness, I can note this and then choose another way of thinking; from fear and doubt, separation and rejection, to openness and receiving. Receiving what? The love that is always present. If we are attuned to it, as we learn in our quiet sitting, the healing energy of belonging, support, and care is available to all of us in each moment. Receiving these gifts is all we were originally designed (in the womb) to do. But in this life, in our man made world, we have forgotten how.
To make that shift takes higher awareness. And that awareness grows stronger in the stillness practice. I believe it is the fastest path to our own ability to understand and take responsibility for how we are perceiving and interpreting events in our lives; from a state of connection or one of separateness. Richard Rohr refers to this as seeing things from an understanding of oneness, or from a position of duality (me against you.) https://cac.org/online-ed/course-catalog/. With this awareness, we can choose to change our thinking and responses to people and events. We can choose to trust in a power that is greater than our individual selves and to allow that power to heal us. It is up to us.
A wonderful read for those of us wanting healing now is the book called When The Wolf is at the Door:The simplicity of Healing by Michelle Long O’Donnell.http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0981464904/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=
Michelle tells of several healings in her patients and exactly how she’s able to help them. On page 110 she cautions that she can not help anyone heal unless the person is aware of his/her own patterns of perceptions and is willing to release those beliefs no longer serving the person’s highest good. She says she discovered “…the mind, the belief, was the source (of illness and health) and the body only the effect.” She says to heal, the patient must trust.
To get to this awareness, simply desire it and stay with that desire more than any other thought you entertain. Know that it is by grace alone. Know that it is the ultimate will of God for each one of us. Know that it will come to pass…just trust.p126.
Right now we see individual souls and therefore individual expressions. But for a moment realize that there is really only one Life and the Life is expressing itself as each one individually and as all of us collectively. It expresses itself as all of Creation as well. p126.
Thank you for participation in your healing. And, if you choose, for your commitment to grow and develop a new way of thinking this new year. Please share with us your experience with sitting in practice.