Creating change through meditation
I began a meditation challenge this past month, it was centered around a book called: Rituals for Transformation: 108 day journey to your sacred life. Each day had an intention and a lesson for learning. It helped open my eyes to the variety of things that we beat ourselves up over throughout our lives, and the deep wounds that still reside within the subconscious. It was time to forgive myself and others for the wounds that are still present within me, and I did not forgive myself for others, but for myself. In each reflection of meditation I was completely opened and answered honestly.
Day 1: I am grateful for my body
Sometimes our bodies look much different than we would like, it may not feel as energetic or comfortable as we would like either. It may not perform as well as we would like, or perhaps in great pain or dealing with a severe illness. This body that you have right now deserves your gratitude, it enables you to experience all the life around you, it is essentially your vessel to experience the outer reality of life through the senses. We see, hear, taste, touch and feel our way through life absorbing tremendous beauty from the senses (the sound of birds, the taste of ripe mangoes, the sight of waterfalls cascading, the touch of a loved one, and so much more).
It is important to reflect on how much our bodies actually do for us everyday even if we do have limitations. My body is strong powerful and beautiful. Some days it can be difficult when the body is stiff and tense from over work or simply stress. But I am entirely grateful for the body I have been given. It is small, but it is strong.
Day 2: I am NOT my body
You have judged and been judged for your body. You have cleansed it, You have abused it, you have dressed it, primped it, and even perhaps tattooed it. Your body has shaped the way that you experience life and at times perhaps even seemed as though it were your whole identity- but it is not. Your body does not define what you can experience; it cannot limit your capacity for joy or peace. It does not dictate your purpose, values or what you intend to do in this life. What you are is so much more than the vehicle that you utilize.
I reflected today on how my ideas about who I am because of my body limit my happiness and peace. The reason being is because it often times does not hold up to the expectations that I place upon it. We cannot expect to always have the perfect balance in tree pose, or sit in meditation without pain. This causes suffering. When we choose to simply be with whatever is already there, we find a sense of contentment.
Day 3: My body is a vehicle for spirit to experience life.
You are so much more than your body and your mind. You are more than your personality or your circumstances. You have been given this life this role to fulfill this path to follow but you do not have to be confined to it. You will begin to experience a greater clarity, that you are loved, and you have nothing to fear.
For me today’s meditation is about connecting to that inner lake of light that we can retreat to at anytime. This inner lake of light can fill you up if that is what you need. Every time that I meditate I feel like I connect to that inner lake and re infuse myself with the energy I need to accomplish my path and my goals for the betterment of myself and others.
Day 4: I notice the ways in which I withhold approval from my body.
This is a reflection of how it feels both body and mind when my body does not look, feel or perform the way I believe it should. Sometimes we get into patterns of judgement, punishment or hating it because it is not exactly the way we want it to be in one way or another.
For me the challenge was not criticizing my body for the way it looks and this really is depriving my body of the love and acceptance it deserves. When I look at myself in the mirror the critical areas of my body are mostly belly/mid section. Even though my body is strong in its small frame, there are still areas to which I would like to improve. Particularly core strength and arm strength. It takes time and effort to accomplish these goals. The more I work on it the more I see my inner critic show up less and less. I have to remember that although it may not be at the level to which I wish it was, it is important to still love and accept the way it is, because it could always be worse.
Day 5: My body seems to threaten me with its vulnerability
We develop limiting beliefs when we think all life revolves around our body. These beliefs can actually foster an inner war between body and mind. Perceive the nature of beliefs you have with your body. Rise above conflict and choose peace instead!
I do not believe that life ends with this body, watching a recent documentary science has proven that consciousness lives on after physical death even if it is just for a little while. In this way, my body is vulnerable to so many things, my consciousness however I can control what I let in and out of that filter. When we come to realizations like this one, we feel much more powerful, much less vulnerable to our circumstances especially when we know we can ultimately change those circumstances.
Day 6: I forgive my body
How would you feel if you were able to let go and relinquish all criticisms you hold against your body? How does it feel to accept your body just as it is? All of this is possible when you are able to forgive your body and notice the expressions of resistance to your body.
This morning I spent time releasing layer after layer of judgement, to reveal the peace and gratitude that are our more natural states, and as much as I can I tried to throughout the day release and forgive my body as often as possible. I think this creates a more beautiful, more close connection between the body and mind.
Day 7: I love my body
Continue to forgive your body and express gratitude for your body. Love your body fully and consider the sweet sense of ease you could have as a relationship with your own body. How much lighter do you feel when judgement and conflict are not present? We have a tendency to feel more open and relaxed when there is no judgement and conflict. Today’s meditation is about deepening the connection to each area of the body, entering those areas with complete consciousness, loving it completely and unconditionally.
During todays meditation I went one by one to each area of the body starting from the toes and offering it my complete awareness, and sending it love. Then continuing that awareness and love up through the legs all the way to the crown of the head. It was deeper than just skin, muscle and bones. I made it deeper extending into the various systems of the body as well as the organs (nervous, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, reproductive, excretory). I noticed through meditation that certain areas of my body tingled through the love and approval. There were areas of my body I had been neglecting or judging for a long time. My body felt energized and awakened after this meditation and I chose to share it with my students today.
Day 8 : I honor and care for my body
There is a wild difference between caring for your body our of fear and caring for your body out of love. Lavish your body with care, as if it were your child. When you realize how much of a gift this body is, you become inspired to care for it. This body is your vehicle that opens up opportunities to explore and adventure in life.
It is so important to fully care for each part of our body. My wrist today was feeling sore and overworked. I took the time today to do the opposite of flexion. In yoga we spend a lot of time doing chatturunga, or being on our hands. Our wrists usually in flexion during yoga poses, I spent the time today to work the opposite – work extension to help strengthen the tendons and muscles. It felt much better after both physically but mentally. I realized I have the knowledge necessary to help care for and improve my body.
Day 9: I delight in moving, stretching and working my body
We used to be in a world that required a significant of work from our bodies to survive. We had to chop wood, carry water, climb trees etc just to survive from day to day. In our current situation, we have almost everything we need right in our homes. This creates a lack of exercise for most people. Do you have an exercise routine? Is it a chore? Do you feel guilty when you skip it? Stop exercising out of obligation and find a routine or an activity that you love to benefit your body. It is important to exercise out of delight not obligation. When you approach movement in this way you begin to crave it.
I love to be exercising. This meditation did help me to see that sometimes I do exercise out of obligation and less out of enjoyment. There are certain exercises that we do that we do not particularly like but we know are good for us. I go to yoga not out of obligation but out of enjoyment. It helps bring me a sense of connection to my body, and realize my patterns of thought during challenge.
Day 10: I invite myself to fully experience everything that I feel
Four of our five senses are located in the head the mind can become very noisy. We often keep our attention focused on these aspects of experience and pay less attention to the body. The body is the perfect place to register conflict and notice where there is resistance not just in the body but that translates to the mind. Every time you think about controlling an aspect of life, every worry, every resentment, every thought that goes through you that you believe to be true is registered somewhere in the body. All you have to do now is just tune in, be willing to meet these feelings in order to release them.
Today was a little bit of a stressful day. I experienced some issues with my car and it is only 7 months old. The car place called said I needed to replace my tires, and change my cabin filter, yet they never mentioned anything about my windshield the whole reason I brought my car in, in the first place. There was a little bit of heat build in my body, and I felt the blood pumping through my veins. Heart started to pound a little bit harder than natural resting rate. I stayed with this experience to feel all the ways in which my body was reacting to this news. I felt like the car place was simply trying to wring out all the money they possibly could from me. So I stayed with it, even let out several tears, and then I let it go. If that was the case I would take my car elsewhere and find a better deal. My husband and my mother would help me figure out what I needed to do now and what could wait. Although very angry in the moment I did not let my mind take over- I stayed with the sensations happening in my body and let it be.
Day 11: I am not my mind
Although we give our mind a tremendous amount of power, and attention; even though you see your mental structures in large part as defining your identity, even though you may consider it among your greatest assets, you are not your mind. Our minds are our own creation through experience. When we are born we are mindless. When we begin to assemble these experiences into mental constructs we navigate our future situations. Remind yourself today that you are not your mind, nor the person whose name you use, or whose body you occupy. You have that person, you have that mind, but you are bigger, freer, and safer than anything the mind can perceive.
When we are born we are born without mind. With no experience, no walls, no social constructs. We simply are, we live each moment as they are and express our feelings freely. As we become older, we have created barriers both through experience and our environment which shape how we live. Today I focused on breaking down these barriers, diving deep into the mind and observing some of the walls that were made, that perhaps were not even my own. Some of the anxieties of my parents were placed on me, and they are fear-based anxieties. I choose to not accept them as my own and let them go.
Day 12: I notice my inner critic
We all have an inner critic. It is the product of an upbringing that emphasizes the value of being right, likeable, and approved of. In a very confused way, your critic believes it is protecting you by pointing out your flaws. By being your judgemental parent, friend, or tyrant- to let you fix your own mistakes before anyone else notices and then punish yourself when you fall short (acting looking thinking or feeling imperfect). The first step is to notice your critic. Notice these negative thoughts, turn up the volume and notice your inner critics personality and tone of voice. Maybe its an old teacher, parent, army general, or whiny baby. The better you recognize them, and their incessant negativity, the more readily you can evaluate its criticisms rather than being silently diminished by them.
My inner critic is the one that often tells me I can’t do something, that it is impossible, that I am not good enough, or it is too hard. It sounds like a whiny old lady- kind of like Lois from family guy. I was taking a yoga class with Robi today when I heard her chime in with her opinion. She said your thigh is working too hard, you are going to fall, it was nagging at me trying to get me to come out of warrior 2. Instead of coming out of Warrior 2 I stayed there, recognized my inner critic for what she was, she was trying to protect me, but in a non judgemental way, I simply watched and said I am ok, I am in yoga, I will stay in Warrior 2 and build the strength in my thighs.
Day 13: Thank you mind for your effort to protect me
When your mind criticizes you, limits you or pollutes your experience it is always attempting to protect you even while it may be destructive in the process. It is important to see it in that way to recognize the mind has beliefs (survive, control, approval, pleasure, and avoidance of pain) and these beliefs can be restrictive to experience. The mind does not respond well to attack so the most effective strategies are more gentle ones. THE POWERFUL, CLEAR, TIMELESS YOU WILL TAKE IT FROM HERE. Notice today the ways in which the mind attempts to manipulate your perception or grab for your attention and thank it.
I know my mind is always trying to protect me. For the last 2 years I have been dealing with PTSD triggers. PTSD is a form of stress disorder that often has depression and anxiety weaved into it. It makes you believe you are not as good as others because you are the one injured where there were other people involved in the incident that did not become affected. It is truly a mind game to which no one is a winner. There is never enough time in a day to complete all the tasks required to get done and you wonder how some people have the time to cook meals, clean the house, work full time job and go to the gym. This can bring a feeling of inadequacy as well. Sometimes when you have a significant other who makes remarks about needing to accomplish tasks it reinforces your ideas of not being enough, or doing enough. This is the mind interjecting and reinforcing the idea you have about not being enough. I recognize my mind is trying to protect me, and remind myself I am enough.
Day 14: I see the ways my mind limits my experience of life
Be a witness to your minds activities today without attempting to scold or alter the mind, see if you can simply apply consciousness to expand beyond it, so you can watch the mind from outside. To immerse yourself in experience without identifying with it.
Our minds are profound devices that enable us to communicate with others to learn, to solve problems, to create, and of course to survive. Our minds take survival the most seriously because your survival means its survival. Wrapped up in survival are the pursuits of pleasure, approval, and control which are what make us feel safe. On the other side of that however is the avoidance of pain (which creates the feeling of being endangered). In this way our bodies try to avoid discomfort, and threats and search to find comfort, safety, pleasure, approval and control. When our minds take on this search they inevitably find discomfort/pain because that is there focus. The more our minds focus on that one thing the more we recognize it. As marvellous as our minds are, they are great at pattern recognition, BUT err on the side of caution. That means the moment our bodies start to feel like a pattern is being recognized and we stay unaware of the bodies reactions, the more heightened the state fear.
When I was originally diagnosed with PTSD my fight or flight system was constantly kicked into high gear. Almost as though there was always a danger. Over time, and through a lot of self care (YOGA) it started to simmer. I recognized that certain yoga poses, specifically heart openers/backbends like camel made me relive the experience. I could feel the blood pumping in my body, the feeling of wanting to retreat and hide. Instead stayed with that sensation in my body. I knew it was only a stress response but at first it was so powerful, it felt like it overpowered me time and time again. Until finally I came to terms with camel pose. I kept practicing, and learned how to be okay with the sensation, and let go of the story that was associated with that feeling. It took a long time, and a lot of camel poses later but now it is one of my favourite poses because it showed me just how strong I am, and helped me grow exponentially. Specifically pertaining to this day, I had a interesting reflection. I placed a barrier on myself earlier in the day. I went to the gym and worked on arms and shoulders. I then thought I wanted to attend core class with Robbi but I thought it might be too much for me. I placed that barrier thinking my body would already be exhausted and not want to work out any more after. I went to core class and thought if I need to or feel so inclined I will just take childs pose. It was tired after class but I pushed through some of my mental boundaries and did the whole class without slowing down.
Day 15: I forgive my mind for impairing my ability to experience peace and happiness
Despair, fear, anger, sadness, shame, loneliness, and every other negative feeling do you know where they originate? In your own mind. This means it is your mind preventing you from experiencing peace and happiness regardless of the circumstances and whether those feelings are justified. FORGIVE your mind today, for all the ways it altered your perception and degraded your life. Today’s meditation is all about allowing yourself to perceive the presence of the mind amidst the sea of awareness and the emotions carried in your body. Can you see the way in which they obscure your awareness? Can you feel when you blame or resist your thoughts and emotions how they become stronger, more solid, more real?
I thanked my mind today for protecting me, I know that is what it is always attempting to do. Every barrier, every wall we create in our mind is simply a figment of imagination put in place to protect us from the evils of the outer world. When we become threatened or challenged we hide behind these barriers, and build them up even higher to solidify our experiences and our perceptions. Every time you shed your awareness onto these barriers it is like we remove one brick at a time, and soon that wall will come crashing down to open us up to the reality or truth of experience, untainted by perception. I know when I start breaking down my barriers I start to get a little testy with myself, but also with others. It feels like a recoil almost like my mind is trying to tell me no you cannot go out there exposed. It is a simple reminder that I am ok and I can take it from here without the protection of my minds barriers.
Day 16: Today I listen with my whole self
In early childhood, you were taught to place tremendous value on your mind. When you were right you were praised and received approval and it helped to avoid pain, and embarrassment to ensure survival. It is us who created the stream of judgement and analysis on others around us, these judgements and analysis provided us with data reinforced our beliefs. Let your perception expand. Listen to the symphony outside of your narrow view, let your attention spread wide open beyond the limits of your mind. See what insights await you when you broaden your awareness.
Today my awareness was constricted to my feelings of discontent and anxiousness. I had a full day to myself, where there was no one to please and I just wanted to do absolutely nothing. I did however convince myself to go to the gym since I had no gone the day before. I find when I spend a day not working or stretching my body, I almost become more lethargic. After spending some time at the gym yesterday I felt better and realised that the day to myself was exactly what I needed in order to boost my energy and reconnect to my intentions.
Day 17: I choose to stay conscious while eating
It is becoming more and more “normal” to not stay aware as we eat. We stop paying attention to what we are putting in our mouths, and how we are nourishing our body. It becomes life on autopilot. Eating is one of the most special acts you can engage in, when you take the most delicious parts of the outside world and incorporate them into yourself. When you take part in this experience not only do your nourish your body and cells but you also reaffirm your unity with the natural world that birthed and sustains you.
When I take my time to eat I get to savour all the flavours, and feel grateful to connect with what it is I am eating. It is also a way to really connect to the body and watch the body’s reactions to the different types of food. When practicing mindful eating you really get to connect with your digestion and realize how little you need to eat in order to feel satisfied. I have done this practice many times and it still blows my mind the reactions of the body. I enjoy smelling and savouring the smell of food, and when you finally go to put it in your mouth you feel your mouth start to salivate. This is before it even touches your tongue. More saliva is produced once you take your first bite. Concious eating is one of the most beautiful acts we can engage in, to tune into the body’s responses.
Day 18: I allow love and light to permeate, heal and illuminate me
We are all made up of and surrounded by energy. It flows through you unrestricted facilitated through breath. It is always available to us and we can easily alter or restrict the flow by resistance to life, defensiveness and fear. Everyday is an opportunity to bask in the light energy, to consciously absorb that energy into each cell of your body. Open yourself up to it, intend it, receive it. Let today be the day you let light saturate & illuminate you. Let you body, mind and soul be enveloped in love.
When I read todays intention it reminded of a yoga practice I did once with one of my favourite instructors. We came to Savasana after a beautiful slow flow practice and she said to go to your inner lake of light. Imagine its tranquility and stillness and you sit by the waters edge and let the sunlight permeate your body. The sun transfers its energy onto you. Invite light and love in. On this specific day I imagine my cells being healed particularly in the third eye area as I have had issues with my sinuses the last few days. I imagined those blocked energies being healed so the energy can flow freely and fluidly within my being.
Day 19: The way I use my words has an impact on the world
Your words have the power to insult or uplift, to hurt or to heal. When you choose to communicate in person, conversation, writing, social media, or any other expression remember that it will affect the recipient for good or bad. The words you think and share today were shaped by the generations before you. Not just the actual words as they are today but the way they were used and their implications from years passed. Only the most stable and aware people can hear your complaints, fears and gossip without being affected. Your words shape internal and external environment that you live in. Use your words wisely and use them to support your highest good.
My intention is to always use my words for good, I try to avoid gossip although I did relay information to a guy friend that a girl found him attractive. The way he responded I think the information made him feel a little uncomfortable and I felt bad for sharing. I thought at the time the information would have been appreciated due to the nature of the conversation however it seemed to make him uncomfortable. After I said it I immediately regretted it and realized how powerful words really are and how deeply they can affect us.
Day 20: I value my inner agreements
We all have made agreements with ourselves or others in one-way or another. There are repercussions when we do not value or we decide to break those agreements. You may feel a sense of anger, disappointment, loss of trust, or damage to the relationship when you break an agreement with another, but when you break and agreement with yourself you don’t think too much of it. Unfortunately those agreements you have with yourself are every bit as important, because they reinforce trust in yourself, the power of your word is weakened, you feed your inner critic, you undermine your ability to accomplish ambitious goals, and you send the message to yourself I do not respect you, you do not matter. Today begin to value your inner agreements and valuing yourself. Forgive the agreements you have broken with yourself and make agreements you know you can keep.
I set an agreement with myself for today, and chose to honour it. It was a challenge, because there were opportunities for me to break the agreement, however I did make a conscious choice to honour that agreement. It can be difficult if you set agreements with yourself that are unattainable. For instance, when I started my be healthy pillar, in order for me to give up chocolate for a month I simply did one day at a time. Today I will not eat chocolate, and then soon it was a whole month and I was able to give it up for 30 full days. It feel a sense of power when I honour my agreements, and a sense of accomplishment.
Day 21: My agreements are like seeds in the world
As you consistently keep agreements with yourself and others you harness power and develop momentum. When you do what you say you are going to do you make your intentions reality. When you keep your agreements, your mind settles and it no longer obstructs the circumstances you request. As any good gardener knows you do not simply plant the seeds and walk away never to return again. In this way you are the gardener and you agreements that you keep are the seeds that you plant over and over again. You water them with your awareness, and shine your light to enrich them over time. You pull the weeds that surround them just as you would pull your focus away from distractions to tend to the seeds.
The agreement I made with myself was to set goals for myself through this year. For the month of January I wanted to learn one new yoga pose, and learn two old ones as though they were new. Pranayama and Tree pose. Today I worked on that goal and found some new sensations in tree pose. This was for the benefit of my own practice but also the benefit of my students. It felt really good to rediscover an old pose. This agreement did harness a sense of inner strength and also that all the tools I need are already within me, I do not always have to search outside myself to find answers. It is important to recognize that when we take the time to relearn things we already know, we discover a new found wisdom both in ourselves and the thing we are learning.
Day 22: I choose to be intentional around making agreements
When making agreements it is important to be clear as it is an essential part in establishing a relationship of love and trust with yourself. We all know how important a strong foundation is, and ambiguity makes for a weak foundation. Make sure you are clear about your agreement, that way you know how to fulfill it. Don’t make an agreement that your heart is not invested fully, you want to make sure you devote your full attention to fulfilling agreements with yourself. These are opportunities to show the power of your word.
This is something I know is a challenge for me as there are times when I make agreements with myself and then break them. It might be because I tend to be vague about my agreements and perhaps get a little side tracked when it comes to certain ones. I focused more today on devoting my full attention to specific agreements and making sure I stick to them. There are always opportunities to give in, but it is important to remember to stay strong and let the power of your word be enough. I do not need this; I only want it because I want it to feel better.
Day 23: I use my words with care:
Your words spoken, written, thought, or simply held in your mind colour your experience and your perspective of the world around you. If it is a tragedy or a triumph – both largely depend on the language or script you choose. When you decide to shift and make that change on your script or the dialogue you choose, the community around you become aware and changes its dialogue too. Your words and actions are the means in which you make your intentions/agreements reality. It is important to realize how much your integrity and self trust rely on the agreements we keep with ourselves, it is also important to realize intentions are powerful tools of creation. Today notice the words you choose to express, and what is of value and what is not.
It is so true that it is all about where our heads are at when we decide to label it as good or bad. Events, situations can influence our decisions slightly but it is really all about your perspective in that moment. Two people could experience the day together and each labels it very differently. I know for me, it is challenging when I hear things in the news about police/firefighters dealing with difficult calls, mainly because I remember what that was like, and I had a hard time to distance myself from it not that long ago. This sometimes affects me more than I would like, but I know it is because I let it. Simple as that, we let things affect us both positively and negatively. We can choose to let it have the opposite effect. I choose for all situations good or bad to have a positive impact on me. Yes sometimes things will be difficult but that does not mean we have to let it affect us negatively. I know that it has surfaced to help promote my greatest growth.
Day 24: I take time for stillness today and everyday
Our minds are more active than ever. We are always absorbed in stimulation, analysis, judgement, and rehashing. All the technology around us help us to stay constantly engaged. Information consumption is an addiction and epidemic. Meanwhile deliberate mental stillness is a rare special thing. When we create stillness for our minds it helps foster a sense of peace and connection. The sense that this right now is enough. Stillness is healing especially to our minds that know not how to be present or focused very long. Dedicate some time for stillness for yourself today. Hold space for you to just simply be.
I love to give myself stillness everyday for at least five minutes. It is a great way to both start off the day with a clear un-obscured perspective, and to finish the day in gratitude for what was accomplished or learned. I was very distracted for this meditation as I woke up to my step son’s girlfriend using something that belonged to me without permission. It really bothered me as I felt it was disrespectful and it kept me distracted during my meditation, my mind swiftly being caught up with the story. I used this as an opportunity to forgive her, and realized that I was over reacting, I mean it is only stuff. It is merely the tangible that can be taken away at any moment. In reality all things tangible are subject to change especially life as it is now. This is where stillness opens your heart and mind up to clarify your perspective and let go of the little things. I was ok that I overreacted in my mind, but there was no need to dwell on the fact that something was once there and now it is gone. This is just like our human life, our belongings over the years we live, and some of the people we meet along the way. It is merely a reminder that this life is precious so do not waste it worrying about things.
Day 25: Forgiveness is the key to freedom
All the ways you do not believe your inner world and outer world are unacceptable to you shows the ways in which you are constrained. If life were a map of the world, the people you don’t particularly care for, the aspects of your personality that do not meet your approval, and the events in which you have not yet forgiven, these would be territories you have decided are off limits. You remain in regions where you feel comfortable and safe. When you are ready for complete freedom, you will have to venture to these undiscovered territories and forgive them to find deeper peace and greater happiness. Each time we forgive we drop one of the sandbags that has been weighing us down, dark rooms illuminated, locked doors unlocked, and scattered fragments of your power reclaimed. There are no places you can not go, explore those territories and open up to freedom.
I choose to forgive and be free! When you meditate on forgiveness and imagine the people and the situations that occurred in your lifetime that you wish to forgive, and you truly, from your heart forgive them and yourself you will feel a shift, a weight lift from your shoulders. This burden that you have been carrying for so long is finally gone, you feel so light. This was one of my favourite meditations because it really helped me understand that going back in the past to forgive people who have done wrong to you or perhaps when you did wrong to others, you can although you feel bad, you can accept it, and let it go. It no longer helps the person you are now. It helped you get here, and it has served its purpose.
Day 26: I am limited by withholding forgiveness
When we withhold forgiveness from others we do not completely accept them, it can be said for objects, as well as parts of our inner and outer worlds. Which means if we are unable to forgive a part of ourselves internally we can not completely accept it. This creates impediments or road blocks, and limits flow of life both internally and externally. LET IT ALL GO! Notice ALL of your complaints with the world and yourself and notice all the ways you do not accept things as they are. TODAY simply notice how restricted your experience has been or still is and simply let it go. Could I forgive instead of seeking to restrict?
I know I withhold forgiveness the following circumstances.
-for people who are unwilling to accept others as they are (which is a tad ironic because I technically am not fully accepting of them either)
-for those who intentionally try to harm others
-for not always staying true to my word or commitments with myself.
These are areas in which I strive to improve and try to forgive more easily. I recognize it, but it takes me a few moments to forgive, it does not come as easily as some of the other situations of forgiveness. I choose to let it all go. Forgive as much as I can, whenever I can.
Day 27: Resentment obscures my vision
When you harbour resentment it dims your vision by narrowing your perspective. In this way it shrinks the number of possibilities before you. Instead of a world of limitless options you see where things may be lacking. While open eyes perceive beauty, diversity, and innocence and a narrowed gaze comes with resentment, brokenness, deceit and separation. Take a step back and see the whole painting, the infinite expressions of love. When you take the narrow perspective you choose disapproval and although it does not change the painting, it does prevent you from seeing the bigger picture. LET GO, discover your capacity to see the bigger picture and understand truth. Choose to see beyond resentment and stop fixating on what appears to be wrong this way you will perceive the context and you will learn to trust and grow.
I know that I can become narrow minded when emotions get involved, especially if it is anger. Emotions are those little gremlins that try to nag and draw your attention away from truth, from presence. This was a great tool for me since the night before my husband was up several times in the night and decided to turn on the light at 2 in the morning. I woke up and got angry with him, since he was being inconsiderate to me who was sleeping by turning on lights. My initial reaction was to yell at him to turn the darn light off, which may have happened, but then I started to calm down a little when I realized the reason the light is on is because he is also having difficulty sleeping. I made him understand that if he is having a hard time sleeping, instead of making every cranky and with little sleep he should leave the room and watch tv, play on his phone, or whatever else he needs to do when he can not sleep. It helped me to relay how I felt in the moment, and come up with a better solution instead of just yelling at him for doing something “wrong” from my perspective. It was only a small portion of the painting.
Day 28: Forgiveness is an ongoing commitment
As much as you and I might hope to make a momentary expression of forgiveness and forever be free, the mind tends to not comply with that desire. Strong feelings create deep grooves and we can easily fall back into our old patterns. In this way, it is important to make a sincere, heartfelt commitment to stick with forgiveness to release harboured resentments. Even though resentments may be gone, they may rear their head decades later and force you to forgive again without judgement or self criticism. What complaints do I commit to forgive for now and forever?
It is true that although we can forgive and truly mean it, does not mean it will never come up again in future situations or conversations. I do choose however to forgive myself and all others to help create a sense of well being for myself and heal deep rooted wounds from the past & present. When I was a young child I was bullied at school by so called friends. They were cruel, and did terrible things. I was so angry with them for the longest time for making me feel bad about my body and myself. When I graduated from high school I still held that wound in my heart. It wasn’t until I was about 20years old that I forgave them and I do not think I fully did. I used this as a chance to heal that wound, and I know the wound is not fully healed. There is and probably always will be a scar that remains, but I no longer hold resentment for those individuals who helped me see how I needed to grow and become stronger.
Day 29: Forgiveness transcends time and space
When you forgive, time and space collapse. When you choose to not forgive and condemn you or others you allow your mind to stay and continually subscribe to it. As you start to forgive the past you begin to heal these age-old wounds, a story of sin is re-written. As past is released, present and future change as well all of time is altered past present and future. Light spreads across the mind, illuminating any pockets previously condemned to darkness. True forgiveness restores unity.
Forgiveness really is a gift that we give to ourselves because it re-connects us with others and ourselves. I do not want to be pulled into my past from mistakes, and ways that I have hurt others and myself. I choose to forgive myself and forgive others for the things that have happened in my lifetime. When I was about 7 years old, I was in a serious car accident. My face struck the dash and my lip was pulled from my jaw. I required 50+ stitches in my face and was bruised from chin to hips. My brother was driving our car and an older couple driving the other car that went through the red light. At that time, although it was traumatic and difficult to eat through a syringe, it never slowed me down; it never made my light or vision become dark. I forgave that couple as soon as it happened, and forgave my brother. It was an accident it was not intentional and it was something in my life that brought me here, gave me the tools I needed to be who I am today. I was the one who chose to sit in the front seat where the seat belt was not tightened fully, and I forgive myself for that too. Cars still frighten me, but I make it a point to breathe deeply and let it go.
Day 30: I heal wounds with forgiveness
Unhealed wounds can be easily reopened because our past is our life experience. We tend to lean into the things we enjoy or like and resist the things we do not. We resist those things because of past experiences that makes it seem as though we do not want to replay past mistakes. These wounds present an ongoing vulnerability that detracts from your freedom and resilience. It is worthwhile to dive deep into past experience to discover these wounds and help heal them with forgiveness. They can not be forgotten or pretend like they never happened because they will surface again. Apply forgiveness liberally and repeatedly to any and all wounds of past experience whether they are old or new, insurmountable, minor or seemingly insignificant. Let all these wounds heal, and just like a cut on your skin, it may leave a scar.
This has been a challenging experience for me to forgive all these past experiences. Especially today’s in particular. I took it back to my days as a 911 operator. I forgive myself for being too soft hearted, for having too much compassion, and wanting to help make the world a better place for all that live in it. I tried hard to not be as empathetic as I was, but as my dad called it, I was too soft hearted to not let all those emergency situations bother me. There are some deep wounds that left scars after I left my position as an operator. Experiences that I would have loved to forget or that never existed in the first place. Especially the man who made me question existence, who terrified an entire town, and who had no consideration or compassion for others. He changed the lives of many in one simple day. I forgive him, and myself for not being strong enough to handle the terror and misery that followed. I forgive that one family that wanted to kill their own dog because they did not want to take care of it anymore, and I forgive myself for having an angry reaction towards them because of it. My heart is big and I want the world to be a big beautiful place that we all live in, but I know from experience that there are some really terrible things in this world. These things can often make me wonder why do they happen, but without the bad there could be no compassion, no love and no light. Because we only see the good when we have experienced “bad.”