Thursday, September 24, 2015

We have a choice

“Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).” – James Baraz

We have a choice, a choice to be free, to be peaceful and to hand over all our worries. A recent struggle allowed me to find this balance. It was a soulful surrender to the declaration of "I don't know." I think I know what I want, I want to know what's happening each future minute, and I want to know how it will all end up. Truth is I don't know anything. The Universe puts me exactly where I am supposed to be, every minute of every day and the realization is I don't know where or what this is. This is called living in the present moment and being mindful that what ever life throws at me whether good or bad I have a choice in how to respond. This is the only (I repeat - the only) attribute I have total control over. I can't make the sun shine for my birthday party, I cannot make a person like me, I cannot bring back a deceased parent. The point is I cannot control or change anything that universally happens. 

For example I received a letter in the mail informing me of the loss of a fairly large sum of money. I cannot change that I have "just" lost it, what I can do is pause, breath, invite a Power greater than myself to guide me into doing the next right thing - this we call action. Action is the place where my anger tends to arise. It is not merely the loss of money that I become resentful at, but the fact that I must act to fix or "handle" the situation. When I let go of how it all is supposed to look like, I can then and only then bring myself to the present moment, accept what is and then take action to make the most of the situation. Back to the letter - my next right thing was to write an appeal letter and hand deliver it to the office requested. At the time of arrival and date stamp of receipt I was told that it will take 75 days to process. Still I have no control. I just do the next right thing. 

The quote as written above mentions fear, and fear is what drives all these crazy monkey thoughts we have in which we think we can change the past or that by worrying about it will make it look different. I have learned that it doesn't work this way. I choose today to be happy, joyous and free and when I find myself in worry that happiness, joy and freedom is immediately taken from me - by my own choice! 

So today I invite you to handle each situation as it arises, if it is unpleasant be mindful not to worry about the results, but only focus fully and in complete presence on how to do the next right thing. Try this for a week and see how you feel. If it doesn't work for you, you can always go back to doing it the old way.