And as we step into the month of July, perhaps we can take a moment to ask ourselves; How shall I be? What shall I accomplish? How shall I show up for myself? How shall I show up for my colleagues? My loved ones?
I have been thinking a lot these past two weeks about awareness and the ways in which awareness can support us by increasing our capacity for freedom and abundance.
Last week I took a few moments to work with Jasmine (as a botanical oil). Sitting with this phenomenal presence, taking in the aroma and applying it to my wrists, allowing the energetics to entrain with mine, remaining emotionally and spiritually open and aware to whatever wanted to come to my attention.
My meditation was uneventful but oh-so pleasant! Nothing particular jumped out at me until I stood up from the couch.
The word – I could see it and I could hear it – popped into my mind.
And in a flood of recognition I realised that there – in that moment – was a steady hum at the base of my being that consisted of me appraising my environment, looking for danger of any kind. I was (subliminally mind you!) casting about for ways to either ‘do better’, or for ways to earn approval, and/or to ‘get on top’ of the situation in order ‘to manage’ and/or to ‘be prepared’ for any and all in-coming disasters.
Which – mind you – had not happened, was not happening and was unlikely to happen in the future to me in my living room.
For more on pursuing an awareness of ‘busy-ness’ check out this video by one of my teachers, Tara Brach.
Since my epiphany in the living room I have begun to realise how much energy I put into this busy-ness of calculation. I always knew that I accomplished a lot (and I confess I can be proud of that) but this was new. This was the beginning of a full-on realisation.
Having now understood this: that I spend a considerable (and unnecessary amount) of time in busy calculation, I am now in a position to work with it.
There is energy here! Energy that can be directed in more thoughtful (not to mention useful!) directions.
I attribute this epiphany to my AM self – my after meditation self. My PM self is my previous meditation self. These two selves exist in me at the same time. I travel between the two. Sometimes I am both.
Over the years, my AM self has become someone who is open to being aware. It looks something like this;
Ah. Now I am having a thought that says ___ (fill in the blank). Or ah. now I am having the feeling that _ (fill in the blank). Once I register there is a feeling/thought then I name it.
Anxiety. Planning. Sadness. Frustration. Despair. Futility.
I can then say to myself;
“Hmm. In this moment, is this thought, this feeling, useful? Is this thought/feeling helping me to feel happy? To be healthy? To feel content? To feel comfortable? To feel free? To be abundant?
And in that moment I can choose. I can choose to open directly onto my experience and have an experience of living fully in the realization that – wow – this is how I feel, or I can choose to make a cup of tea, to take in the scent of a botanical oil, go for a walk or I can call a friend. I may choose the latter because I need to resource outside my own mind. And that is fine! Either way I am aware.
So now I am aware there is (not always but sometimes) a part of me (a very very young and at the same time a very very old part of me) that is prone to calculation, to ‘sizing up’ the environment, to being ‘busy’ – I can now direct my attention to this (traumatized) self within me and I can care for her.
So ask yourself – is this drive for busy-ness and/or calculation useful?
Is there something I can do for myself that will help me to feel less driven/anxious when busy-ness and/or calculation is not required?
Are there ways that I can realise peace and understanding, trust and acceptance that support my happiness and my well-being?
The answer is a profound yes. Just realising the possibility makes me happy.
Isn’t she gorgeous? A mandala in and of herself. She blooms! And we too can bloom through the power of presence. This is what a mandala is – the unfolding of pure presence.
Cultivate this! Just as you would a plant. Presence is a living, breathing existence – no different from your beloved partner, your dog/cat, and/or your cherished child.
Love your presence. Sit with her. Enjoy her. No matter what bubbles up – she is you. Be good to her. Be supportive and learn how to be with her. Get to know her.
And remember- you can now purchase the Nature’s Narrative Element Oils to support your home practice.