“When I loved myself enough.
I began leaving whatever wasn’t healthy.
This meant people, jobs, my own beliefs and habits –
anything that kept me small.
My judgement called it disloyal.
Now I see it as self-loving”
(From When I Loved Myself Enough by Kim McMillen)
This is a time for reflection.
A pause in Life.
It is a time for simplicity, a time to slow down.
A time to love yourself, nurture yourself. How long is it since you have done that?
Do you even know how?
This time is a gift….. or not.
So many opportunities we miss, because they don’t come packaged as we thought they would be. So many opportunities for learning, for growing. For love instead of indifference. For rest instead of rush. For quiet instead of noise. For peace instead of fear.
As Eckhart Tolle says in his exquisite book Guardians of Being:
“We get lost in doing, thinking, remembering, anticipating –
lost in a maze of complexity and a world of problems.
NATURE CAN SHOW US THE WAY HOME,
the way out of the prison of our own minds”
“We have forgotten what rocks, plants and animals still know.
We have forgotten how to Be –
to be still, to be ourselves, to be where life is:
HERE AND NOW”
Most people live in the prison of their mind, thinking that is just the way it is. This is particularly apparent at the moment. So much fear and anxiety, whinging and complaining. Even abuse. Yesterday I heard stories of people with foreign accents being snarled at and told to go home. This is fear talking. Fear is dangerous because it can make people act in ways that are self-serving and ugly. It makes some people vicious. we don’t want to contribute to the fear.
If you are filled with anxiety and fear or anger and frustration, and you cannot be happy in this moment, then your mind is your prison.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Do you know what real freedom is?
This is what I think it is:
Real freedom is a peaceful mind. Real freedom is not being upset by our external environment. Real freedom is not being reactive because we have healed our emotional wounds. Real freedom is the ability to be present, totally in the moment. Real freedom is not believing our thoughts. Real freedom is being able to love deeply and fearlessly. Real freedom is seeing beauty everywhere. Real freedom is being consistently happy. Real freedom is not being afraid of dying. Real freedom is accepting what we cannot change. Real freedom is trusting that everything is unfolding as it should. Real freedom is knowing that we have no control over anything much except how we choose to experience life. Real freedom is knowing that we are worthy just by virtue of being alive. Real freedom is knowing that we are not just temporary bodies and minds, but more importantly, eternal Soul.
I am taking this time to reflect on my life. On how I am living my life. On what makes my heart sing, and ensuring there is more of that in each day. I can see clearly now, where I have been careless and arrogant, taking things for granted. Where I have not respected the earth, where I have chosen to be lazy, and where my actions have not been congruent with the values I believe are important.
It has been humbling.
For an interesting and rewarding exercise, go online on http://www.motivationalinterviewing.org and check out their personal values card sort. You can download and print them off (or just write them down if you can’t print). Sort them into piles of very important, important and not important. Reduce until you have eight values in your Very Important pile. These are the values that you want to embody. Then sit and review different areas of your life and see how they fit with the values you have chosen. ie in your relationships, hobbies, work, actions, thoughts etc. This can really help to get on track and living a life in congruence with your deepest values.
We can take this time to reflect and grow or we can whinge and stagnate.
Again, Love or Fear.
Which do you choose?