"Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working." ~ Pablo Picasso
I attended a teleseminar today on change vs. transformation that was very enlightening. Change is small scale, inwardly-facing, and all about adjusting your DOING. Transformation is large-scale, outwardly-facing and all about adjusting your BEING. Think changing positions in a company vs. losing your job and trying to find another one.
Transformation tends to be frightening to us humans, but there are ways to support ourselves during the evolution:
• Challenge your assumptions and perceptions. Is this a fact, or a belief? Keep your mind open and stay real.
I’ve always had trouble meditating – I simply can’t sit still for any length of time. But recently I tried Japa meditation, made popular by Dr. Wayne Dyer in his CD “Meditations for Manifesting”. In Japa meditation, you take a deep breath, and slowly breath out while you make the sound “Aaaah”. This is the sound of the creator, as is evidenced by the many names given the creator: God, Allah, Buddha, Krishna, Ra, Dao. All these names have the “Ah” sound in common. I’ve found that calmly repeating this sound allows me to focus my tumultuous mind for up to 20 minutes!
This morning as I drove into work, I noticed the patterns of the red taillights as cars wove back and forth through the heavy traffic. The rain limited my vision, narrowing the world into a wet, grey veil illuminated only by the taillights. I started to enjoy the interplay of the lights, the patterns as some lanes sped up, others slowed down. I thought of all those people driving into work, and how lucky we all were to be employed, and safe and dry and warm in our cars. This led me to think of all those who aren’t so lucky, those without jobs, or without cars, or even without shelter.
I was driving in to work the other day, and was caught behind an enormous tractor-trailer truck trundling along at about 10 mph under the speed limit. Now, you know how I like to drive fast, and it’s always a challenge to curb my impatience and drive slowly. I looked at this behemoth in front of me, and it seemed to take up my entire field of view. The more I looked, the bigger it seemed until my whole world seemed to consist of this large, lumbering truck blocking my forward progress.
This morning as I was driving in through scattered showers, I noticed how the trees were starting to leaf. There were startling colors of white, russet, magenta and spring green in the forest lining the highway, punctuated with occasional white flowering cherry trees. The effect was subtle and glorious. I was thrilled to see the leaves and flowers bursting joyfully forth. Part of what I love is that the trees don’t go to all this trouble to send out beautiful flowers and leaves because they should, it’s just what they do, it’s part of their whole, what keeps them alive.
I was walking through my favorite winding forest path today, the sun warm on my shoulders. The trees are still bare, although the buds are fattening up nicely. Peepers have started singing like their lives depending on it, thrilling me with the promise of spring. I looked up, and noticed that I could see quite a bit of the path in front of me. Actually, it was almost beside me, as it winds in exaggerated loops that help extend the walking experience. Seeing those loops stopped me for a moment, staring in disappointment.
Yes, I realize it is still winter, but it has been such a rough winter. I’ve seen more snow in the last few months than I’ve seen in my entire life! I feel like I made the best of it, and actually learned how to relax during my enforced inactivity on those snowy weekends. But yesterday I heard one of my most favorite sounds ever: peepers!
I’m reading a great book on body-centered coaching, and it has caused me to become more attentive to my own body signals. We tend to ignore our body unless it signals us in very dramatic ways: Back aches, stiff necks, viruses, and worse. Then we usually react by resenting our body, filling it with medicine and trying to ‘get better’. So, I figured I would try to tune in to see what my body is telling me.
Signal #1 – stiff shoulders and neck. Hmmm…. What does “stiff neck” bring to mind? I looked it up in the Thesaurus and was unpleasantly surprised by the results:
Last weekend we had our second big snowstorm of the season. We rarely get snowstorms here, and even more rarely accumulate anything lasting more than a day or so. But these storms have been monsters, relatively speaking, and the snow has lingered, icing over and road-dirty, for days. It’s hard (and dangerous) to drive, my small dogs have a tough time walking on the deep, crusty snow, and I really miss seeing grass!
I was listening to Echart Tolle this morning, driving in to work. In talking about being in the present moment, he said that hope can quickly turn to fear: “Everything will turn out well” morphs into “but what if it doesn’t?” Being an optimist, this gave me pause. I do tend to expect everything to turn out well, and am always full of hope. I’ve always thought of hope as a good thing, something that keeps us going when things around us are dark. But, hope does pull us out of the present moment to think (obsess) about the future. And Tolle is right, at least in my case.