Just show up!

“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

life

While engaged in the “Creating the Impossible” course with Michael Neill, he used a phrase I’d never considered before. The phrase was ‘showing up’.

Initially, I wasn’t sure what he was getting at. I was showing up each day by waking up, going to work, taking care of my family and all the other little details of a busy life. I tried to keep my life balanced and positive.

But the more I listened to him, I began to understand what he was getting at. I was getting up, going to work and doing all the other things, but half of the time my mind was some place else or focused on an expectation.

Let’s take work example: I showed up every day, not really liking what I was doing, but I liked the pay cheque. I showed up with the sole purpose of monetary reward and went through the motions of productivity. I did what was required to get the reward, but gave little else. Much of the time I was tangled up in my thinking around liking or not liking the job/the people/the company. Or, I would drift around ‘been there done that’ so why am I here again, and the one going schemes for moving on.

When I saw this, I realized that I had been doing this for much of life. I had a huge list of hidden agendas for doing what I was doing, all of them lofty and designed to get approval. There appeared to be a hook at the end of all of my actions.

Then there is Michael’s version of ‘showing up’ that stems from the inside. This showing up comes from inner guidance. When you show up in this way you are open to whatever. It doesn’t matter what you are doing, where you are or what the conditions, you give it your all.

You leave your judgements, expectations and evaluations behind and give your attention to whatever is before you in that moment. This is what it means to show up to life.

As Eckhart Tolle says, “Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.”

When I began to show up, with my full attention and understanding that I chose this, everything changed.

I began to realize I could be happy anywhere, doing anything. I saw how the power of my thinking pulled me away from the present and was the result of so much of my unhappiness.

In addition to this, everything began to be easier. I was getting tasks done in record time with no stress. I was more creative and opportunities began to appear. Most of all, my actions came from a place of joy. The joy of doing a great job without strings!

Yes, I appreciate the pay cheque at the end of the month, but that is not why I do what I do. I see money is an expression of appreciation (a term borrowed from Robert Scheinfeld) for my showing up with joy! Life is so much simpler.

Life happens, that is inevitable, but how I show up for each situation is up to me. I know that if I am struggling I have stepped away from the moment and inner awareness momentarily. All it takes is a breath and an awareness of the moment to bring me back to centre.

I would love to hear from you. Did this article generate an insight or stir up some questions? Let me know.

In Joy!

“If only I had…!”

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”
~ Albert Einstein

 

This week I was asked, “Do you have any regrets about your life?”                                                                                                                          Perfection at last

Every time I get asked this question, it takes me by surprise because the concept of regret no longer enters my awareness.

I did what I did in the past with the limited understand of life I had at the time. My life was driven by my thoughts, beliefs and experiences up to that point. I did what I thought was best, needed or required in each situation.

But even if I did regret some action in the past, so what? I can’t go back and change it even if I wanted to.

That doesn’t mean I didn’t do some very stupid things, but I don’t dwell on them. The recurring thought, “If only I could go back and change things” is futile. It only traps one in thinking about a past that is gone and can’t be changed.

Instead, I laugh at how naive and foolish I was. I recognize my lack of understanding and experience, but I can also see how this situation broadened my understanding of life, helped me to make better choices, and accept consequences for my actions. Most of all it helped to show me how to live.

The deepest insight I had from looking back on my life is that Universal Intelligence doesn’t make mistakes. Each one of those experiences has broadened my awareness of life. Each one came into my awareness at the perfect time and in the perfect place. These were teaching moments, sometimes the experiences had to be repeated a few times before I got the insight and made changes.

From this isight I have been able to look back at the interconnectedness of my life experiences and know that all those situations – happy, tragic, depressed, fulfilling and just plain ridiculous – all happened to expand my awareness and to benefit my human experience.

I now see how each experience synchronistically lead to the next forward step in my life. As I took the next step forward I was doing so with a greater awareness and appreciation of life,  knowing that whatever was happening in the moment could change in a blink of an eye.

Much deeper was the understanding that I really didn’t know where my life was heading and I didn’t know what I needed BUT, Universal Mind did. I could relax and let a much greater Intelligence guide my ship. Life is so much easier and so much more fun now that I have let go of the wheel.

How about you? Think about the worst thing you ever did. Honestly, considering where you were at that moment could you really have done anything else? What did you learn from it? Did it change the direction of your life? What did you gain from it? With this understanding, would it serve you any good to keep thinking, “If only I had…?”

THOUGHT vs thinking

I have been playing this past week with the idea of THOUGHT vs thinking!

My understanding of the Principle of Thought is that it’s a neutral, formless tool for us to use. Thoughts aren’t self-generated, meaning that we don’t create thoughts. They float through our mind much like clouds pass by in the sky.

If you don’t agree with me then how do you explain that thought of your sister popping into your mind. You hadn’t thought about her for days, but all a sudden she was in your mind. Did you create it and then become surprised because all of a sudden you thought of her? Did it just appear?

Or how about all those times when you found yourself thinking of something and wondering where they come from. Did you create those thoughts or did they just appear?

Thoughts drift through our awareness all the time.

Now you’re beginning to get the idea of what a THOUGHT is, so let’s look at how this neutral thought becomes ‘thinking’.

Stop reading for a moment and pay attention to what you are thinking.

What did you notice?

Were you arguing with me in your head? Where you listing all the ways you think I’m crazy? If you were that is great, now we can look at thinking.

I am going to ask you one more question, when you were noticing your thoughts was there a certain amount of emotion attached to that thinking?

I am guessing the answer to that is yes, right?

THOUGHTS are a gift from creation that provide us with a bridge from the formless to the form. These thought forms are neutral. There is no emotional charge in the words boy, car, dog, house.

BUT, if you’ve experienced a dog attack in the past there will be an emotional charge attached to the thought form of dog. Where does this emotional charge come from? It comes from our personal mind or little mind/ego. The thought form dog is neutral, but your personal mind digs up your memory of dog and you immediately feel the terror of the dog attack even if happened years ago.

Our personal mind activates the neutral thoughts by giving them qualities – big or small, judging – ugly, beautiful, comparing – the green not the red, or labeling – BMW, Honda.

I find it so amazing how quickly the thought of ‘house’ can turn into: bungalow, open-concept,three-bedroom, two and half bath, granite countertops, soaker tub, fireplace, deck and attached garage. This happens even without us being aware that it’s happening. This is an example of how a THOUGHT becomes thinking.

Thinking comes weighted down with our preferences, likes, dislikes, beliefs, judgements and labels, which in turn carry an emotional charge. This house I created above is now equated with happiness and a whole different set of thinking about how life will be when…

Thinking tends to keep our focus outside ourselves. It’s focus is on the external environment. When we are in our thinking mode we are deep in the world of form bouncing from emotion to emotion.

THOUGHTS, on the other hand come from within. They reflect our creative powers and infinite possibilities. They are connected the creative force of Universal Mind where all is possible.

Operating from THOUGHT, as opposed to thinking, creates a flow of action with less stress and more ease. The THOUGHT appears and you move with it without letting thinking weigh it down.

Spend sometime today noticing when you are moving through life easily and when there is resistance. Then pay attention to what thoughts precedent the action. What do you notice?

As Sydney Banks says: “It is what we as human put into our thoughts, that dictate what we think of life.”

Unleash your thoughts!

What if you stopped trying to control your thoughts?

off leash

You know those thoughts like: “I shouldn’t be thinking that, it’s not nice, or positive or spiritual, or healthy or whatever.”
I think you get the idea.

Somewhere along life’s path, the belief that some thoughts are good/positive/desirable and others are bad/negative/undesirable took hold.

As a result you expend a huge amount of energy trying to have only positive thoughts. Then we exert even more energy beating ourselves up for those unfavourable thoughts that creep in.

Looks like a battle you’re never going to win.

What if you could unleash all your thoughts in the same way that you unleash your dog in the off-leash park? As soon as your dog is unleashed it bolts for joy. What about you, if you unleashed your thoughts could you be totally comfortable with all of them?

Or does the fear that they will run amuck keep you from taking that chance?

I was afraid of unleashing my thoughts. I believed that if I allowed my thoughts free rein I would get myself into all sort of trouble. I also strongly believed that I had to control them.

I spent a great amount of energy ignoring negative thoughts, pushing them away, trying to twist them into positive forms or looking for other ways to fix them. None of these methods worked! They just kept coming back.

As I watched my thoughts I discovered a Universal truth about thoughts, by themselves are neutral! It is only what we put into the thought, our labels and judgement, that give a thought its value.

I choose what I think. I choose what I add to a thought to give it value.

This choice was my power. I can choose to give a thought meaning by adding labels, conditions, and judgements, OR I could add praise, encouragement and kindness, OR I could choose to watch them float by without any involvement from me. It is very powerful to know that I can choose the world in which I want to live.

So, perhaps what you are afraid of isn’t that your thoughts will run amuck, but the fear of unleashing your innate power to create though choice.

Something to reflect upon from Sydney Banks: “Thought is not reality; yet it is through Thought that our realities are created.”

Therein lies your power and your freedom.