- "Trying to control things to be the way we want them doesn't work."
When we realize that we are not, as I like to call it, "Directors of the Universe," we can begin to see all of the wasted energy we put into trying to orchestrate and control everything happening around us. While we do have control over which decisions we make, as we know, there are many other variables that we cannot, including the past, and to a large extent, other peoples' actions. The sooner we learn and accept this and live accordingly, the sooner we can reduce unnecessary suffering in our lives.
- "The Universe is much larger than any catastrophe [in our lives]."
My significant other often points this out to me when I am struggling with being caught up in a problem. On the one hand, it's important to be in the moment and to cope effectively and solve problems when possible, but when you've done all you can, it's like he says: "In six months, this will be a distant memory. Your past." I find some comfort in that. In the grand scheme of the Universe and time, at some point in the relatively near future, this situation will no longer be so powerful or have a hold on me.
- "Turning the Mind is when we say
- I will
- Every moment is perfect
- Everything is as it should be - it may not be what I want, but it is what it should be
- Radically accept the moment."
- When it comes to being willing and radically accepting the moment, we must turn the mind again and again, because it will naturally resist and doubt. It's a natural process for the mind, and in turning the mind, we retrain our way of thinking toward acceptance and peace.
- Something that can stand in the way of Turning the Mind:
- Not wanting to do it (resistance, willfulness -- we must let go of this in order to be effective in turning the mind.)
- Thinking if we stay on the path of our own, personal version of reality, things will somehow miraculously shift to the way we want things to be./Not accepting is trying to control the world to feel more comfortable.
Honestly, it wasn't until recently that I realized that I have been doing exactly this with regards to my family. From birth to age 18, I lived in Massachusetts, from 18-35 (present), I've lived in California. I ran away to California for a number of reasons, the first being I always wanted to live here, and when I turned 18, I was like a bat out of Hades. The second was because I wanted to be as far away as possible from all of the memories and heartache that Massachusetts held for me. In leaving, I naively left things as they were in 1995 in my mind. Everyone stayed stagnant. No one changed. I even had dreams that people who had passed were really still alive -- I was just far away from them. I have been living in extreme forms of denial. My Mom's health has gotten worse (I didn't want to believe it), people are getting older, and some have passed away. Opportunities to watch over and mentor young ones in the family are slipping away as they get older and become adults themselves. I don't know if the 18 year mark is monumental for me, but I actually feel ready, for the first time in my life, to turn my mind toward accepting the reality of my family -- their struggles, their lifestyles, and all of the memories that my home state holds for me. I am ready. I never imagined this possible before. In fact, I never even acknowledged the denial I was in. This is big. If I can be willing to turn my mind on this one, you can with whatever reality you're not accepting.
Here's a video I posted before called the Conveyor Belt Mindfulness exercise. It's a small way we can practice turning the mind. As we grow in confidence by practicing like this, we can apply it to those bigger things we need or want to accept.
I am really excited about how the Turning the Mind mindfulness skill can help all of us to better cope with life as it is. What reality are you not accepting in your life? How could practicing this skill help you and open doors in your life?