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A divine story on strength:
One evening, as I sit on the floor playing with the kids, anxiety was starting to get the better of me. It was getting close to ‘leave time’ and go teach, and I still needed to look for an inspirational quote around the intention that I already knew I wanted to use this week; strength.
My son wanted me to play a minute longer, and the baby was pulling on my shoulder asking for mothers milk. My husband had just come home and was settling in and making his way to the kitchen for food. I knew I had two options. One, play a minute longer, or two, force a stop and say goodbye to go finish preparing for the yoga class. The anxiety persisted. However, I did something different. I consciously chose to stay and play, but WITHOUT allowing the anxiety to distract me, and to be FULLY PRESENT in those last moments with my son and daughter before dad would take over. I also made a conscious thought to trust that the Universe would support me in finding the right words around strength; whether it was in a quote I would find, or during the class and the inspiration to flow thru me.
I fed my daughter while reading to my son. Then, after closing the book we happily kissed each other goodnight. I handed baby to dad, and I left the room to have about ten minutes to look over the physical practice I had already created, and seek some inpsiration around the intention of strength. I went right for my “Offerings” book on my book shelf, which I hadn’t picked up in a long while; opened it, and this is what was on the FIRST page I turned to!:
“When we let go of our battles and open our heart to things as they are, then we come to rest in the present moment. This is the beginning and the end of spiritual practice.” -Jack Kornfield
Can you believe it?!! HA! I had just literally lived out the action and practice that this quote was speaking towards. I let go of my “battle” with worry and stayed present to each moment. I had opened my heart to just be with the anxiety, choose to let it go, so I could have the open heart with my family and be present with them, rather than battling them to leave. I was present. And it made my life easier in those moments.
I’m not going to promise that everything will happen in this manner. But, sometimes I DO wonder if everything would always feel like it does if I always have such a conscious approach. Maybe. Maybe not. What if that quote hadn’t been the first quote I found? I say to that, we cannot live in the “what ifs”. And, most likely, I would have found something else.
So, how can we find the strength to let go of our battles, even if for only a moment, and open our heart to things as they are?
Here’s a practice:
A first step may be to identify your “battles”. What are your concerns? What do you worry about most? What causes you dis-ease?
Once you name them, can you actually set them aside? Try it. For five minutes. Right now. Set aside ALL your concerns, and just breathe. Close your eyes if you like. Now, connect with your heart. That Spiritual/Universal Heart of yours. How do you invite it to open? I invite you to simply speak to your own heart and say, “you are invited to open to what is”. And then go back to breathing. In your minds eye, name everything you notice; every physical sensation, every outside noise, every internal thought, and every emotion that is present now.
Take a deep breath and exhale nice and long. You did it! You became present. Hopefully. Don’t worry, it’s a practice. Try again tomorrow!
When we continue the practices that help us to stay available and present in this journey of life, it is my belief that we ‘see’ more. We experience more. And we will experience more peace.
I can tell you, from personal experience, that time-and-time-again, when I have layed down my ‘battles’, whether the battles are in my control or not, more opens up.
The quote does not say, “see things as they are”, it simply, and courageously states to “open your heart to things as they are”. This is a big difference to me. When I ‘look’ to ‘see’ things as they are, I tend to start to name all the circumstaces in my life, and it pulls me out of the present moment. I am not actually present to what is, here and now. When I open my heart only to what is right now, I can only name what is present now. My circumstaces, my “stuff”, is not here now. Only I am here.
For me, this opens up so much spaciousness in my breath, my body, my heart, and my mind. Some call this liberation and the freedom. Jack Kornfield calls this the beginning and the end of spiritual practice. And in that space, lives so much. In my humble opinion, from that place of spaciousness and freedom, we can ‘see’ all things more clearly, and make better choices moving forward. We can feel our Truth, and we can come to know Universal Truths; like your right to be here, on Earth, right now!
Experiment with this practice this week. Take tim to let go, open your heart to things as they are, and just notice. Notice to notice. Don’t judge what you notice, just stay open with the moment. Don’t try to create anything either. Just observe. Watch. Breathe.
Later, let me know how it goes.
Breathe and Believe.
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P.s. Did you think this was about physical strength? Did my picture sway your thinking? The look of things from the outside can be deceiving. But, our Inner Guidance knows truth. Remeber this as you seek Truth, dear Seeker. 🙂