Keep flexible and keep going…
Hi EveryOne, A bit later than usual (a good chance for me to practice remaining flexible).
Another year racing towards the finish line as I observe many bracing themselves for one of the most difficult times of the annual cycle. A time filled with increased stress, more anxiety, more depression than any other time of the year. So lets do something different by doing some maintenance on our own emotional brakes (while they’re still working). This will enable us to stay flexible and finish 2016 in a calmer way than ‘normal’… We wouldn’t step into a car with dysfunctional brakes, so lets not focus on ‘how difficult it is’, lets focus only on the opportunity to do something, to change something, to give something… Keeping flexible by regularly braking throughout our day is one of the most powerful ways we can make a difference… Instead of reacting with anger or disappointment, judgement or justification (all which create friction and add heat to the world’s atmosphere) we respond by changing (adapting) ourselves. By not evoking resistance in others we get to stamp out many sparks before they rage into wild-fires. What a wonderful way to give back, to spread our coolness. What a powerfully subtle way to bring change to the world
Remaining flexible enables us to mould around any person or situation without the slightest compromise of our own worth – though this takes practice and commitment to our own wellbeing, a form of spiritual maintenance. This information is often overlooked by the compulsion to choose an easier option – to point the finger of blame away from ourselves. Unfortunately this single act of denial on our part becomes instrumental in our own downfall (no matter how far away we point). But when we learn to brake while still in control – to pull up our own attitude before it becomes a problem – we will not only help ourselves but those around us, immensely. Good brakes and remaining flexible in our responses to life’s ups and downs is extremely important – to adjust and change is essential – if we are to remain calm in a speeding car… And in a speeding world… So let us breathe and let us slow down.
In a circus, every action of the artist is an act. Those artists, or acrobats, are able to mould their bodies as they want, how they want and for as long as they want: that is a talent! A talent that without lots of practice may be mediocre rather than amazing. It’s the same with our own inner talents (we each have many that mostly lay dormant deep within). Keeping flexible means to regularly tap those inner resources for a little extra help along the way. But our inner powers (strengths) only remain powerful (and increase in power) when we exercise them regularly – you know the saying ‘use it or lose it’. Lets not be so arrogant or complacent to assume that our powers will be at the ready when we most need them. They can’t possibly get stronger without exercise or without getting any attention or any nourishment! If we don’t practice consistently, they will NOT be ready when we need them! And the closer we get to the so-called ‘silly’ season – a time when our thinking becomes even more rigid or scattered and our approach to life, even more fearful or resistant – we need to practice this now. Experience is about the practice because wisdom is about the experience!
Staying flexible in our mind is equally important as staying flexible in our body. For me it can be the difference between having a great day – a day of sparkle and endless possibilities. Or a day in pain – a day of battling frustration and fending off thoughts of limitation and inadequacy. Though it does take effort, I prefer and aim for the former, every single time. Why? Because it’s a smoother enjoyable ride. You see, in a world where physical flexibility can still impress and mental flexibility is still not recognised as a power, we need to get seriously flexible about giving ourselves permission to find another way. A way that works on an individual level so we can help bring change on a larger scale – no excuses. Flexibility is all about being supple, open in our mind. To have a go at things just once – to not be afraid to make it up on the spot, if necessary. From my own experience with chronic pain and indeed with life, I find while my attitude remains flexible and easy, I can beat pain (any pain – physical, emotional or spiritual) on most days. Keeping a positive attitude through regular meditation is my main ‘medication’. It’s what keeps me out of a wheelchair – it’s what keeps me peaceful and loving life. It’s cheap and it works! All I need do is stay committed to my cause – to keep one eye on the present and one eye on the ‘prize’. Working with the connection between mind and body is rather helpful here because chronic pain is not limited to the body. Chronic pain comes in many forms such as spiritual grieving and emotional anger or depression, physical pain is but one manifestation… So here are 3 points to remember to keep flexible and to keep going in November – through December and beyond – as peacefully and as powerfully as you possibly can
1. STOP looking back. Stop living in the past – it’s gone, you can’t visit there except in your mind. Stop dragging it around and into the present. Don’t let a negative or painful past define your present role. Don’t let it define you, for that’s a heavy load on everyone.
2. STOP racing to some point in the future, where you’ve missed entire chapters of your life. Stop! Enjoy and appreciate those fragrant moments of life and those in the present moment with you. Appreciate today and how far you have come, appreciate others and how far they have come. Plan for the future, take daily action steps till you reach your aim (keep going) all the while letting go of the outcome… Trust that what will be, will be!
3. STOP being inflexible in your thinking and rigid in your approach to life. Learn from past experiences and share – a lot! People love to hear how others made it through. Don’t complain to them. Inspire them! Apply today what you have learnt from yesterday. Don’t ‘save’ it for ‘the right time’. The time is here. The time is now.
So may we all be filled with all our many talents and stay beyond any negativity, by consistently making our thoughts and our actions equal. Lets give ourselves permission to stop focusing on what others are doing or not doing, to clear room to focus on self transformation only. Stabilise yourself at any stage by adapting and adjusting (changing) – for as long as you want, whenever you want – through practice and more practice… When you recognise and accept that you are the power, anything becomes possible
Question: Why do I allow myself to be influenced or negatively affected by how others behave?
Consideration: What would I do if I had no distractions? What would I do if I had no-one or nothing to blame?
Action: Write and sign your own ‘commitment statement’ for self-change and stick it on your mirror!… You can use this example (change it to suit your own circumstances – but mean what your say). This little daily reminder will help keep you on track
“I, ………………………. make this promise to myself on today …………….day of …………………. 20.. I commit to giving myself thirty minutes each day to work on myself. To love myself. To nurture myself. To heal myself. Be it through silence, reflection, meditation, writing, drawing, dancing, walking – it doesn’t matter. I just commit to this time to help me stay calm and cool and keep the world a cooler place. I allow myself to turn inward throughout my thirty minutes, so I can reconnect with my essence and recharge. I have no need to control others, so I give myself this gift of liberation because I understand and accept that change is not about no conflict, but about facing any challenge with love, courage, determination and openness.
Making a commitment (or promise) to ourselves is to give ourselves a gift of vision, a gift of spiritual purpose. To have a spiritual purpose is fundamental to keep our ‘gaze’ steady – it holds us stable and constant through stormy seas. It keeps us flexible because it keeps us going with love and appreciation, never with force! This way others will change if they choose or they will move out of our way, because they know we now have ‘somewhere to go’. They sense it in our attitude – through our vision of how we can bring about peace. So much so, no-one would dare stop us! Not through fear or compulsion but through inspiration and genuine support
Lots of love Annemarie
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