Sunday, July 15, 2012

Letting Go of the Future

"There is no problem in the world that does not have a spiritual solution. Problems arise in the first level of spiritual awareness, called "contracted awareness". This stage is like being in a totally dark room, with only a little candle, trying to find your way through an obstacle course, bumping into things, stumbling, tripping. The second level of spiritual awareness is "expanded awareness". It is like being in that dark room, but this time with a flashlight. You are able to see that everything you thought was an obstacle is actually an opportunity, that everything you thought was a "problem" has a purpose. The last level of spiritual awareness is "awareness without boundaries" or "pure awareness". In this stage you are in the room, but you can see that the walls, floor and ceiling are made of glass, the sun is streaming in, and you can see that all you have to do is step out and the whole universe is your playground. At this level there are no problems, therefore no need for solutions." Deepak Chopra

The past 6 months have contained some very challenging moments for me. Unlike most people who have to be dragged kicking and screaming into change, I am one of those weird ones who readily volunteers for major change on a regular basis. The simple explanation is that I get bored easily, but actually it is because I have a deep need to feel like I am learning and growing. Getting out of your comfort zone is the best way to accomplish this. So in January I made a huge leap of faith and moved to Hawaii, following my heart and my dreams. And the lessons and growth have been directly proportional to the degree of the scariness of this big change. But one of the best "gifts" I've been given through this experience is that I am beginning to have some understanding of Mr. Chopra's quote, above. For many years, I think I have been in the second level of awareness, able to see (usually in hindsight, not when it was actually happening) that my "problems" always arrived with some gift for me in their hands. If I was open to it, there was always some lesson to be learned, some opportunity for growth. But thanks to the experiences of these past few months, I am just beginning to see a little glimmer of what that level of "pure awareness" might look like. The past 6 months has taught me that no matter how horrific the situation might be according to my 5 senses, everything will work out in the end, and it will work out for the best. Even when I can't see how it can possibly work out well, it always does! I don't know who said it, but I can tell you it's the truth; "Everything always turns out alright in the end. If it's not alright, it's not the end."

I've discovered that I spend (like most people) an inordinate, unhealthy amount of time in my head, and in the future, a time period that doesn't even exist yet! I'm planning, worrying, trying to control what is actually completely beyond my control. What a waste of effort and energy! I heard recently that "Worry is negative prayer." Amen! We create our reality with our thoughts. Where your attention goes, your energy flows. Why spend all that energy feeding negative "oh my god, what if..." thoughts? I discovered that I spend a lot of my time telling myself scary, worst-case-scenario stories. Since I know our thoughts are very powerful in creating our reality, I realized that it is high time to STOP self-sabotaging. I decided to see what would happen if I literally LET GO of the future, completely. Yes, I still have goals and dreams, but I let go of trying to be in control of and worrying about the future. I decided to focus my energy right here, right now, in this day, this moment, to keep taking one step and then another, and to trust that the divine order of the Universe would sort out the rest. The big news? IT WORKED!!! I just show up every day, do what I can, and the Universe does the rest. This has been an incredible experiment, and such a gift to participate. It has changed my view of life completely. "Take one step towards Spirit, and Spirit will take 1,000 steps towards you."

This has been so liberating, and an amazing opportunity for growth. Learning this lesson hasn't always been pleasant, (it's been hard, messy and bloody, a bit like giving birth!) but I've come to see that all our challenges, or "problems" do have a spiritual solution. It takes trust, that there is a divine order to the Universe, including me, and my life. I trust that just as the planets revolve around the Sun, and the rain makes the flowers grow, the Universe is prepared to give me everything I need. It requires showing up in my life every day, with an open heart, ready to love, ready to work and do everything that is within my power. But beyond that I can let go, and everything will be alright. In many cases, things are turning out way, way better than I had envisioned them! I am beginning to realize that if I will just loosen my grip, I give the Universe permission to bring those things to me, and more! In letting go of worrying about "how" it's all going to come together, I am opening the space for it to happen. I am starting to see that the world really is designed to be our playground, all we have to do is step out of the "fear-box". To be in the present moment and to realize that right now, this very minute, everything is fine. In actuality, it's usually way better than fine, it's wonderful! How liberating to discover that we hold the key to our freedom, in our own thoughts and minds.

So if you are able to make that leap of faith, to reel your mind back in from all the scary possibilities of what the future might bring, I think you will find that problems as we know them don't actually exist anywhere but in our own heads.  I think you will also see that the sun is shining, and the Universe is a very beautiful place. I look forward to seeing you on the playground!

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