There’s one thing we can know for sure: this too will change.
Whatever it is, yes.
Some days will be easy, others hard.
The morning could be bright and sunny, and by evening there might be rain.
Just a quick reminder:
Whatever you are feeling right now is ok.
You’re allowed to feel it.
You can open up to it. A little, or a lot.
You can make space.
You can take a moment to feel how the body feels. Places you feel any tension. Places where you feel relaxed.
Connect to the breath.
Follow it for a few moments.
Allow it to be as it is.
For as long as you wish.
For as long as you need.
Then choose a valued direction – set an intention.
Return to it when you need to. Or set it again.
Make space for the weather, and remember the sky.
How is your gardening?
How’s the clearing out the weeds?
What needs to go?
What needs to grow?
What is just now waking up?
“The greatest and most important problems of life are all in a certain sense insoluble… They can never be solved, but only outgrown. This ‘outgrowing’, as I formerly called it, on further experience was seen to consist in a new level of consciousness. Some higher or wider interest arose on the person’s horizon, and through this widening of view, the insoluble problem lost its urgency. It was not solved logically in its own terms, but faded out when confronted with a new and stronger life-tendency.” – Carl Jung
I stumbled upon this quote the other day, and it really resonated. The way I interpret it: we don’t solve our “issues” – they dissolve on their own. They kind of slowly (or sometimes not so slowly) fade into the background of our lives and minds and eventually perhaps become completely invisible. Something else takes their place. It happens when, as Jung says, a new and stronger life-tendency is there. This life tendency for me means a sense of wholeness. It’s a leaning into self-compassion. It means aligning with what truly matters in my life – how I want to show up – and letting it guide my actions. I also means paying true attention to what is showing up right now.
The point is that if we are always busy trying to escape what we don’t want to feel or busy trying to solve our issues with our problem-solving mind, we lose sight of the things that actually are in our control. Like how we respond to what is happening, how we meet it, and how we choose to move forward. And we have less energy to put into what matters to us – into what really matters to us.
If we stop seeing our thoughts or feelings as enemies – if we make space for them – we have more freedom to go where our heart leads us. What if we see the the issue, our pain or discomfort, as a road sign pointing us to where we care the most? Eventually, we might notice that what we were so busy struggling with is no longer there. Or perhaps it still shows up from time to time, but it no longer rattles us in the same way. It loses its power.
Maybe there is nothing to heal, only things to fall in love with. And in there somewhere, all that is no longer needed, melts away.
Yesterday was the full moon. For me, the moon is a reminder of life’s flow and the ever-changing nature of it, – of everything, including myself. The things I was carrying yesterday – my thoughts, feelings, the stomach ache – they have dissolved into the past. I woke up to a new day, to new and different energy, and new thoughts and feelings. The night gives us that passage, the shift into a new day. But, the shift can also happen from one moment to the next. I’m constantly being reminded of this.
My wish is to not cling to any of it. To trust in the flow of life, and move with it, breath by breath. To let old things die, and new to be born when the time is right. To trust in the moments that feel like they are in-between the old and new, moments that might feel confusing, uncertain, or like there is nothing happening. I trust that there is always movement, even if we can’t always see or feel it.
My wish is to trust in the ache, and also trust that joy will return. Knowing that whatever is happening, this too will change. To be ok with not knowing – to still feel safe, because my safety is within me. While things around us can and will change, we can lean into our inner presence that is there to hold it all. To me, this is freedom.
Tonight we shift into a new year, with hope of something good around the corner. I believe we all have the strength and wisdom in us to meet whatever awaits us. And if there’s anything I wish for in this moment, it’s that we can know freedom. The freedom of being ok in uncertainty. Of feeling safe no matter what is and what’s to come.
As we’re moving into the darkness of the winter months here in Sweden (heading for that sunset at half past two…) I’m choosing to be here for it all.
Allowing the weather, the world, any feelings and sensations, to be as they are. At the same time reminding myself where I want to direct my attention. And let it guide my actions. Never easy, never perfect, always a process. And an ebb an flow from day to day.
To be present for what arises doesn’t mean we have to stay in it all. We witness, we feel and we release what needs to go. By staying open, but getting clear on our intention.
Presence is the alchemist, always there as our real strength, like roots of a tree holding us through all the shifting seasons. 🌘🌗🌖🌕
I know that in many parts of the world we are going into a second lockdown or having to follow stricter restrictions. We can’t change what the circumstances are right now. But we can connect to our presence and let it nurture and guide us.
We can remember that there’s strength in our inherent connectedness, even if we are physically apart for a while. We can still share all the things that were always meant to be shared, be it moments of joy, our love, our worry or our hope. 🖤
You are far more than the sum of your thoughts, ideas, opinions. Rest into what lies beyond, and feel it nourish you, give you life.
Pause, pay attention to the breath, feel into the space around it, and rest there.
Wishing you a beautiful weekend. 💕
Awareness brings clarity and empowerment. As we become aware of what arises in us, we can choose what to let go. There is no point in resisting what is already here, but we can practice seeing it all for what it is. By connecting to our presence, we can more clearly see what is ours and what not.
We cannot let go through struggle. Like a clenched fist trying to let go, it happens when the palm is open.
There are a lot of things we can let go of every day through staying open.
We can let go of what does not belong to us. We can let go of ideas and thoughts about who, what, and how we should be. Thoughts created by old, destructive values and conditioning.
We can let go of thoughts that are not beneficial to our well-being – and to those around us.
We can let go of the illusions (like the illusion that we really are our thoughts about ourselves).
We can acknowledge that for a brief while, maybe these ideas did serve us, maybe in some way they protected us. We can honour them, and let them go.
We can remind ourselves that they are based on the past, and that it’s ok to let them stay there.
We can let go of what is not ours. What we are not. What is not our Self.
Letting go is not a one time event, it happens over and over again.
We can put the past to rest, every new day. Every moment even.
We are always in the process of creation, and re-creation.
Living a mindful life means waking up from a kind of slumber. The slumber of living solely in the mind – of moving through life on autopilot. To wake up from that autopilot-state, we practice paying attention to, and truly allowing and feeling, everything that arises in us – specifically paying attention to the body. Because the body is always in the present moment.
Meditation and mindfulness are, in a sense, a deeper kind of listening. We listen, not with our analytical mind that wants to come up with solutions, new ideas, or stories. But we listen in a way that connects us deeper to what we are experiencing. In this way, we also get more in touch with the body and its intelligence.
Through listening deeply, and our willingness to sense and be present for it, we create space for all that is arising, for any emotion or sensation that is stopping by. Can we welcome even what we judge as negative, instead of following the impulse to push it away? Can we allow everything to come and go – as it does?
We practice fully observing all that is arising, without trying to change anything. There is no outer goal to attain.
We are simply gifting ourselves our full attention. This in time gives us a bigger perspective, an even greater sense of presence, and courage to meet things that come our way.
This practice also expands our awareness of how we relate to different sensations, maybe wanting to hold on to the pleasant ones, and to avoid the unpleasant ones.
The beauty of mindfulness, is that it is meant to be practiced in our daily life. And essentially, the more we practice the more mindfulness becomes integrated into all that we do.
You can choose any daily activity, like doing the dishes, taking a shower or taking a walk, and practice being as present as possible for it. Pay attention to the sensations or feelings that you are experiencing, especially all that you are sensing in your body. If you notice that your thoughts begin to wander someplace else, remember your breath is always there to guide you back to the present. It can also be helpful to pay attention to the sensation of the soles of your feet against the ground or floor reminding you to come back to your body and here and now.
Explore how you feel throughout your day. See if you notice when you are feeling present in your body, and when you feel less so. Are there moments or activities during your day where you perhaps feel less present? You can always use breath anchoring to deepen your presence in those specific moments.
Through meditation and mindfulness we expand our awareness of the constant flow of thoughts, sensations and emotions that occur in each moment of our life. Through our practice, we also begin to notice the connection between the thoughts, sensations and emotions, and how they are constantly influencing one another. Awareness is key in our practice. In one way, meditation and mindfulness are an art of paying attention. To meditate is to really pay attention, deeply and sincerely.
Once we become aware of, for example, the thoughts that are arising in a given moment, we automatically create a little bit of space between our being and those thoughts, or the mind. In yoga, teachers often talk about creating space in the body. Most of the yoga poses are designed to lengthen the muscles, and as we do them, along with breathing deeply, we are creating more space in the body – so hopefully muscles that were previously tight or had knots in them, become expanded and relaxed. Energy can flow more freely in the body. Similarly, mindfulness and meditation create space, not just in the body and the mind, but it creates a sense of space that expands into all areas of our life. The truth is, this space is always present, but just like the space in a room it can become cluttered with objects so that it ends up being almost unnoticeable. When we have more space it becomes easier for us to notice the more subtle things in ourselves and in our life. We might see patterns in our behaviour and simply notice things we would have otherwise missed. So not only does this space give us a bigger sense of ease and peace, but just like a muscle that becomes stronger and more flexible, we become more and more perceptive, and more skilled in that art of paying attention.
To pay attention is also to focus or concentrate on something. In meditation we work with different techniques of concentration. A common one is focusing on the breath. As I mentioned in the previous post, our breath is a great tool for our practice because it is always there with us. And it connects us to our body and the present moment. Once we start practicing this in meditation, as well as our daily lives, even just by taking a few moments during the day to notice and feel the breath in our body, we will notice that space is starting to expand.
If you want, you can take a moment right now to notice your breath, how it feels in the body, how it is flowing in, and out. Pay attention to the small pauses between each in and outbreath. Maybe close your eyes for a few breaths, and see if you can notice any difference in how your body feels when you open your eyes.