Being Yourself

It will get better when…

I find my soulmate.

I lose 10 pounds.

I have more money.

I get famous.

There is peace on Earth.

Poverty is eradicated.

I recover from _______________.

Hope has its place. All progress is based in some sense that things will improve in the future, if something is corrected now.

At the same time, there is no end to the project of progress. It spins like a Ferris wheel, never reaching a final destination.

Some of us, after enough go arounds, get hip to this and realize, “We’re moving but not going anywhere,” and become appropriately frustrated.

It takes a keen eye to catch because the drama of progress can be so all-consuming, so seductive and entertaining, we never pull back from it — even over the course of a life, or lives.

Abiding peace and fulfillment is not found in the future. Unfortunately, we have to learn that the hard way by watching our precious dreams and aspirations become subject to the Law of Impermanence, which means watching them come, stay for awhile, and go — over and over again.

Understanding we can’t count on the future and the filling in of “missing” people, places, and things to improve our welfare, our orientation and awareness moves toward the present moment.

We start looking for a way to transcend the Law of Impermanence by asking, “What is permanent?”

For this answer, you must close your eyes, sit quietly, and watch your breath.

Being in this world but not of it means being yourself without attachment to the outcomes you are working toward.

(But only if you want to lessen the struggle in your life.)

It’s All Medicine

Medicine is packaged in many different forms.

There are the types we are familiar with. Doctor-prescribed tablets, herbs, various physical and energetic modalities.

Pausing for a beautiful sunset, agenda-less walks in nature, and time with friends would also qualify.

What about job loss?

A divorce, or other painful end to a meaningful relationship?

A car accident?

Illness?

These are things we would never actively seek out or qualify as medicinal and, yet, if we are really paying attention, we will see that they can be some of our greatest teachers and catalyzers of change.

Medicine is that which brings about your highest good.

Unfortunately, we don’t know what our highest good is.

And so, we must learn to trust what is showing up in our life right now — the good and the bad.

It’s all medicine.

In Troubled Times

Darkness descends on us whenever there is something of particular importance to learn.

The most potent, transformative change is not created in exalted states of consciousness. It is created during the blackest nights, when the direness of the situation calls for — demands — a new approach (or else).

In such times, the temptation is to yearn for the immediate end to what ails you. That is like yelling at the rain, telling it to stop.

You don’t have any control over the duration or intensity. None.

What you do have control over is your reactions, your attitudes, and your ability to remain open to the new perspectives that are attempting to be given to you.

Even in troubled times, always ask, “What am I learning?” “What is this situation trying to communicate?”

Given our intolerance for the slightest abnormality, it can be difficult to bring presence to the issue at hand.

However, it was lack of presence that brought the situation forth.

You can rightly conclude that it will be presence that will send it on its way.