Tuesday, April 10, 2012

How to Gracefully Survive Transformations (should you ever need some ideas)

I cannot say when I experienced my first personal revolution.. when I decided to follow my heart instead of my head, or my parents, or what is considered the "normal", "logical", or "proper" path... We all come to crossroads in life, when we feel how heavy the weight of our choices are, that everything will never be the same again based on our decisions, or when we experience the death of a loved one or loss of a relationship or even the loss of a plan or dream that meant everything to us. Life will never be the same again...

This ties in with our teaching theme for April.. Healing, letting-go and growing in the experience of loss...

Even if death is not the loss we are experiencing, any time a chapter or era in our lives comes to a close, it is a small death. It is the "death before we die" that Rumi speaks of. Who we thought we were is no longer who we are. Life is different now. Our future has changed, our possibilities are very different. We are not that person that lived in that reality, we are somehow new and different.

This can lead to a feeling of disintegration, literally dis-integration. In time we re-integrate, we become grounded again, in our new, present circumstances. When the ground shifts beneath the feet, it sends you down to your knees. There is a deep sense of surrender. Just like the weakest moments spent before vomiting, we tend to be broken open, not physically so much as emotionally. Completely surrendered to what will happen.
             'Okay!!!! Please!!!!!! Just get it over with, let is go, c'mon.... Oh I can't take this!!!!!!'

The suffering is the greatest when we resist or fight it, so the first thing to realize is that no amount of denial or refusal is going to change reality in this moment. We are better off opening ourselves to it fully, resist nothing.... which means feeling the raw, searing pain of our circumstance.

 In the case of a break-up, for example- there is the sting of embarassment, of betrayal, of rejection; the punched-in-the-gut feeling of love that is not returned or the grimy, clinging feeling of the desperate grasping of one who wants you to be in love with them when you are not, anger, frustration, the shattering of something you thought would last longer or always be there, and more depending on the specific dynamic you are experiencing. This is not easy stuff, not for the faint of heart... but it is real. We have all or will all experience heartbreak in various forms at some time or another. Most of us will have our hearts broken in various ways numerous times during the course of our lifetime.

After accepting the reality, we can let ourselves have permission to feel, space to process, time to mourn. I like to give myself 3 whole days all to myself to feel whatever I need to feel, including self-pity, agony, sadness, depression, desperation, whatever. I cry out loud, I lay all the right music to get me sad or indignant or clear and happy again. I sing my heart out, I cry some more, I walk outside, I sleep a lot.. whatever I need. Then, day by day after that, I turn my focus deeper and deeper into the rest of my life- instead of clinging to what happened and what isn't anymore, I focus on what is and pour myself into that.

Remember that you are not the first person to feel what you feel, you are joining almost every being on the planet in one way or another. We all have loss, pain, sadness and fear at sometime or another. In this way we can develop our compassion and empathy. Suffering makes us love more.. as our heart breaks, it splits wide open, and as long as we embrace and not deny our experience, it heals wider then ever, we are capable of greater and greater love and compassion. Whenever I go through heartbreaks and difficult times, I wish for a heart big enough to swallow all this pain and love ever more then before.

So after a few days of heavy-duty processing and accepting, we can work on moving forward. Pour youself into your life as it is. Do good things for others, because it makes one feel so much better. We are at our best when we unselfishly help others. Take care of yourself too, mind, body and heart. Find a balance between doing good for others/being with others, doing your work, and taking care of yourself and being alone. Time alone is the space that allows us to come back to our Self. It is as if we are a foam cushion and life in the busy world is the ass sitting on us, we need to have time alone to bounce back into our shape, or else we will get carried away from who we are by life's little distractions.

"I won't let love disrupt, corrupt or interrupt me anymore"  ~ Jack White

We tend to let ourselves get molded into other shapes by our relationships with others, not just romantically but also by friends, family, co-workers. We pick up positive and neagtive habits. The ones that inspire us and bring us good health or help us to be more creative, fulfilled or compassion we can keep, they are us. The ones that drag us and those around us down, like gossiping, complaining, judging, excessive cursing, impatience, smoking.. these habits can go, they cannot be who we are at our essence, because they make us feel mean, depressed, or seperated from our iner greatness or health. So whenever we go through a transformation in life, we can reflect on what habits we have that are ready to leave us- the ones that keeps us seperated from our happiness, health, creativity and confidence.... and we can build stronger connections to the qualities and habits we have that are healthful, helpful, inspiring and being out our confidence and very best. Journalling this is helpful.. since we are a new person coming through a transition, clarifying to ourself who this new one is can be very grounding and clarifying, helping the transitional chaos to begin to subside.

Try not to dwell on the past... make peace knowing that you (and others) do the best they understand how to do in each moment given their awareness and inner experience. Don't worry too far ahead. Try to take things one day and one moment at a time. Your life will take a new shape and that shape will become clear to you very soon.

*****Remember to practice yoga and or meditation, during the most stressful times, try to practice everyday to help you process the energy. I know that this is CRUCIAL, absolutely MANDITORY for me if I wish to stay together as much as possible and suffer the least I can manage during difficult times. My reactions to others are more harsh when I do not do this.

Taking care of your body's needs, likewise, makes the process easier. If your mental and emotional state is precarious and tender, you can at least keep a comfortable, healthy body. Make sure to get extra sleep whenever possible; eat clean, vegan foods, as much organic and raw as possible; drink plenty of pure water, kombucha, herbal teas, and minimal to no coffee, alcohol or other intoxicants that will pollute your body and cloud your experience.

Give yourself completely to the experience, and trust that it will all work out for the highest and greatest good of all involved. Trust in the unfolding of reality, in the benevolence of the universe. If you send positive energy out, positive energy will come back to you, so keep your chin up, your mind open and your hopes high ( with no hard expectations!!). You have survived thus far so you shall survive this. One basic rule is that everything is in a state of constant change in life, so know that this will change, will not last forever.. and believe that life will get better then ever. Believe it and it will, as long as your mind is open to flow with reality as it unfolds. Good luck and blessings!

with <3, laura

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