Don’t take it personally

A series of blogs arising from picking a contemplation card from my deck

But we do take it personally, don’t we?

Our usual habit, and it is so familiar that we don’t even realise we do it, is to view the world from a sense of ‘me’ – as though it is ‘me’ looking out into the world or ‘me’ that things are happening to. Life is just unfolding and yet it feels personal.

Do any of these examples sound familiar?

*You don’t get that job or enough clients, so straight away you think ‘I musn’t be good enough’

*It rains on your special day, so you assume ‘I didn’t deserve to have the perfect day, look what happened to me.’

*Someone pushes in front of you in a queue or to get a parking spot, so you decide defensively  ‘How rude people are, it just isn’t my day’.

Why do we think things are happening ‘to us’?

Not necessarily with any input from us, things happen. Why do we think the job, the weather, or other people’s behaviour are happening ‘to us’ when it is just life unfolding? If you can drop the sense of it happening ‘to me’ perhaps you can experience how it feels less personal.

Of course these are light-hearted, almost flippant examples. What if our partner or child dies? Gosh that hurts so much, feels so much worse as though it really is happening ‘to us’. It is not as though it is not happening, or that we shouldn’t feel pain or sadness. Of course we would. Yet it too is life unfolding, not really something happening ‘to us’. Life unfolds in all sorts of messy and shocking and glorious ways.

And if you really feel connected and whole, we feel the pain of injustices all over the place, the pain of damage to the planet, and the big love of connection and wholeness. Rather than feeling separate, when we feel connected and whole and free we ride the waves of emotion, we feel fully, yet somehow we don’t take it so personally.  And we are more free and able to respond.

You can purchase your own set of these contemplation cards from the store HERE and postage is free in Australia. The picture on the front of each card is by Gayle Stone Art. I’d love your feedback and look out for my blog about the next card soon.

Make space for Life to happen

Do you fill all your life with busyness?

Perhaps like many of us you have grown up learning that being busy is a good thing and somehow equates to success? Productivity rules, right?

The trouble is that if we don’t leave some space, we might find that life misses us.

A regular practice of Meditation gives you space. It makes your life seem more spacious because you develop a habit of observing your thoughts. You get perspective too.

Among other things, being still allows for:
• creativity
• insight
• problem solving
• feeling blissful
• feeling in the flow
• rest
• gratitude

Allowing some unscheduled time also allows for random unfoldings and encounters. Not to mention not feeling stressed or the pressure of being scheduled down to the last minute.

Maybe it takes some undoing of old conditioning. I’m not suggesting turning into a sloth (they do get maligned don’t they?) Simply allowing space means there is ease and perspective that is hard to experience when every moment is busy. There is the opportunity to notice the small things and be grateful too.

You can purchase your own set of these contemplation cards from the store HERE and postage is free in Australia. The picture on the front of each card is by Gayle Stone Art. I’d love your feedback and look out for my blog about the next card soon.

‘Meditation plus contemplation leads to insight’

A series of blogs arising from picking a Contemplation card from my deck

Meditation alone may not be enough!

It is true that meditation is a wonderful practice. You can step back from the dramas of the mind and find a quiet space. Even if the mind doesn’t quieten down, the time spent just sitting quietly allowing the thoughts to roll over is helpful. If you are looking for stress reduction and some peace, will get that. Along with the physiological changes from countering the effects of the stress response, that is a huge benefit of meditation.

And in that quiet place regular meditators may also find insight, creativity, flow and perhaps a feeling of bliss. How wonderful!

In meditation you can step back from being caught up in the mind to being able to observe the mind. But then who are you if you can watch the mind? And who are you if you can recognise that it is the mind that creates the ‘me’? ‘Me’ is a bundle of thoughts and so essentially a fiction, but it is also something that we are so familiar with that it becomes a central point from where we almost always operate. Maybe meditation helps us to see this mis-identification, this ‘maya’ or veil of illusion’. This may prompt further contemplation and questioning about how to integrate the experience of small individual self and the larger Self that we might call Universal Consciousness (or many other names such as God) into our everyday life.

This is the work of Yoga isn’t it – finding that we can experience that Union of the individual with the whole?

Then the experiences known as kaivalya, nirvana, moksha or enlightenment make perfect sense. Perhaps this can lead to further contemplation about being okay with the mystery of life and not taking the minds view of reality so seriously.

Fun, right?

You can purchase your own set of these contemplation cards from the store here and postage is free in Australia. The picture on the front of each card is by Gayle Stone Art. I’d love your feedback and look out for my blog about the next card soon.