Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Breathing’

Many things in life are meant to teach us patience.  Especially these days as the pace quickens and we get out of breath trying to keep up with it all.

 

A great remedy for a hectic day is to intentionally slow it down by either taking a walk in nature or closing your eyes and focusing on your breath.  It’s amazing to see how fast relaxation comes when you take a moment to recoup and it doesn’t have to take much time.  The meditation on your breath could be a few seconds when you’re in the car stopped at a traffic light, feeling the air entering your nose as you inhale and exhale.  The walk in nature could be during your lunch break in a nearby park.  Combine the two and do what the Buddhists call a walking meditation.  You’ll find that when you stop and get fully present with yourself while doing these things, (something Eckhart Tolle calls being in the “Now”) it becomes easier to be patient.

 

I would consider myself a relatively patient person when it comes to ordinary things like standing in line at a check-out stand or getting stuck in traffic.  I usually can entertain myself quite well by either singing to a song on the radio or just spend the extra time daydreaming.  That is of course, if I don’t have anywhere I have to be at that moment, I don’t like to be late for my appointments.  So if that were the case, I’d have to do some deep breathing to accept the delay.

 

Our beliefs shape our thoughts and feelings about what happens in our day.  If we could cultivate a positive attitude about whatever shows up in life, we’d be more relaxed and probably a lot happier.  Trusting in the perfection of Divine timing.

 

Impatience means we are trying to get to the next moment.  It’s when we’re not happy with our current circumstance and we’re restlessly eager for something better.  It could be personal like an illness we want to be rid of, losing weight, a better job or it could be global like world peace, the end of poverty, freedom.  Acceptance of where we’re at right now is key.  The Buddha says, all desire leads to suffering.  So if we get caught up needing things to be different, we’re causing ourselves needless pain.  Therefore, it would be wise to cultivate a detached attitude when it comes to our wants and desires.  Prayer helps.  We can pray for change, but we better be willing to wait, it seems that God’s timing is unpredictable.  It doesn’t mean we have to sit back and be idle.  We can take steps towards our future by eating better and exercising for increased health; going back to school to get that better job; or heck work for ourselves, live off the grid and grow a garden to become more self sufficient.  It’s possible to make things better, we just have to believe in ourselves.  Be the change you want to see in the world, I think Gandhi said that.

 

As for world peace…..I think the world would become more peaceful if we could learn to get along with each other.  Families can’t even get along, how can we expect the nations to do any better?

 

Relationships can be challenging.  The quality of our lives depends on how we interact with those around us.  Some people are easier to get along with than others, and we can savor those experiences.  What do we do about the unpleasant ones?  Nothing seems to hurt as much as when we’re wishing to resolve an argument with another person.  Especially if we’re close to them or work with them and have to see them everyday.  Sometimes reconciliation can take awhile and we may feel rejected and abandoned if they withdraw from us.  As Tom Petty once sang, the waiting is the hardest part.  It’s hard to keep our hearts open in those moments.  It hurts, so we guard ourselves and pretend we don’t care or convince ourselves we’d be better off without them.

 

I’m in this kind of predicament right now with my partner.  We had an argument and I tend to be quicker to forgive than he is.  He likes to withdraw and take a lot of time to process and recover.  Sometimes it can takes days.  It causes me some stress because I’m the type of person who likes to talk it out.  That’s where patience comes in.  In the past I would have tried to engage him even if it was just to get him to argue more with me.  Strangely that used to make me feel better thinking that at least we were together and talking.  I have since realized that it made things worse and I would end up saying something mean just because I was hurt and wanted to hurt him too.  This is a form of aggression.  I’m sure many of us saw this type of destructive behavior in our families when we were growing up.  It’s not a pretty sight to vent your ego on someone.  Once you say something, you can’t take it back.  On the other hand, maybe you grew up in a family that neglected your emotions by withdrawing from you or hitting you and not allowing you to voice your feelings.

 

Our parents did the best they could and we don’t have to blame them for it, but we can learn from it and stop perpetuating unhealthy forms of communication.  We have to emotionally mature if we want our relationships to improve.  It’s time to relate to one another in a whole new way.  Speak our truth in a way that promotes love.  I have always felt the importance of speaking my truth, but sometimes the truth hurts.  I suppose it all depends on delivery and timing.  Some people are masters at linguistics and know how to say things even if it’s negative, in a way that makes people feel good.  Be patient with yourself if you don’t have this gift.  Keep trying to improve the way you say things.  If somebody writes you a nasty email you can respond by mirroring what they said and validating their feelings.  Overcome the urge to escalate the conflict with a cruel reply.  Realize they may be hurting inside and give them the love they truly need by responding with kindness.  I saw a bumper-sticker on a car that said, “Kindness is my Religion.”

 

That is how we can change the world….one benevolent act at a time.  That doesn’t mean that you have to make your enemy your best friend.  It just means that no matter what people do, we can rise above it and respond from a place of generosity and altruism.

 

The electricity went out while my partner and I were in discord.  An unexpectedly early snow storm hit the Northeast this October.  It’s been over a day and I’m waiting patiently for the lights to come back on.  Luckily, we have a wood stove, so the house is warm.  However, there are many things we take for granted in our modern lives, like running water and refrigeration.  When the power goes out, all of a sudden our minor everyday annoyances seem trivial and survival takes precedence.  That might be the ultimate reason we experience natural disasters.  It wakes people up and disrupts their reality to bring greater awareness.  Who cares who won the baseball game or about winning some petty argument when you’re freezing cold?  The concerns become more practical.

 

Did you ever notice how much more caring we all become when our normal lives get interrupted by some misfortune?  We reach out to neighbors and friends.  Our compassion and humanity returns because we’re forced to ban together.  Out of necessity we learn to get along.  My relationship problem resolved quicker because of the storm.  We had many chores which required us to work together.  Our hearts softened as we worked side-by-side and showed concern for each other.

 

Life has a funny way of working itself out.  It seems that the Universe was just waiting for us to surrender to love.  Right when I overcame my pride and asked him for a hug — mid-embrace — the electricity came back on!  Some may think it was just a coincidence, but was it?  Never underestimate the power of love.  Power outages are like spiritual tests, and once we learn the lesson, the problem goes away.

 

All life lessons come to teach us something and it’s best to be patient with the results.

Read Full Post »