“Many people forget their own body. They live in an imaginary world. They have so many plans and fears, so many agitations and dreams, and they don’t live in their body. While we’re caught in fear and trying to plan our way out of fear, we aren’t able to see all the beauty that Mother Earth offers us.
Mindfulness reminds you to go to your in-breath and to be totally with your in-breath, be totally with your out-breath. Bring your mind back to your body and be in the present moment. Look deeply straight in front of you at what is wonderful in the present moment. Mother Earth is so powerful, so generous, and so supportive. Your body is so wonderful. When you’ve practiced and you are solid like the earth, you face your difficulty directly, and it begins to dissipate”
“Let go… How would your life be different if you learned to let go of things that have already let go of you? From relationships long gone, to old grudges, to regrets, to all the ‘could’ve’ and ‘should’ve,’ to the dead friendships you still hang on to… Free yourself from the burden of a past you cannot change.”
“Every feeling has a message. Maybe that message is simply to allow yourself to feel the emotion until it dissipates. Maybe the feeling is guiding you toward some action… If something persists—anger, fear, or anxiety—simply ask it what it wants to tell you. Sit quietly and allow the answer to appear. When you feel peaceful, you have your answer, whether or not you like what that answer says.”
“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know…nothing ever really attacks us except our own confusion. Perhaps there is no solid obstacle except our own need to protect ourselves from being touched. Maybe the only enemy is that we don’t like the way reality is now and therefore wish it would go away fast. But what we find as practitioners is that nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know. If we run a hundred miles an hour to the other end of the continent in order to get away from the obstacle, we find the very same problem waiting for us when we arrive. It just keeps returning with new names, forms, manifestations until we learn whatever it has to teach us about where we are separating ourselves from reality, how we are pulling back instead of opening up, closing down instead of allowing ourselves to experience fully whatever we encounter, without hesitating or retreating into ourselves.”
Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
It’s so easy to get caught up in the drama of ones life, lost in the things that go ‘wrong’. Sometimes we mistakingly believe that we are the ‘mess’ of our lives, but we are not. Look up at the sky and remind yourself of the impermanent nature of weather; the clouds appear then disappear, storms come and go, but the sky, it is always there. This is who we really are. Remind yourself that we are not the moving, shifting experience of life. We are Eternal. Know thyself.
“Let go of your worries. Open your hearts and breathe in all the love that is waiting to pour into your lives.You are not on earth to make money, although we celebrate money. You are not on earth to find the perfect partner, although we celebrate loving partnership. You are not on earth to build bridges, start centers, or heal anyone else, although these are beautiful and necessary endeavors that certainly serve as vehicles for the one and only true purpose of being on earth itself… You are here to remember and re-experience your connection with Love – the love that creates you, the love that breathes life into you. You are nothing less than an embodiment of love in a human body.
Being human is an exquisite adventure. There is such a depth of love and feeling even in your tears. There is such a strength of spirit even in your challenges. There is such a desire for loving growth that arises even in the darkest chaos. There is nothing and never was anything other than love, trying to remember itself. Only different shades of love.
You connect with this love, by connecting with any love. Love is not an emotional high. When you witness something beautiful, you remember this love. When you appreciate yourself or anyone else you connect with this love. When you are kind to yourself or another, you feel this love. Any small loving act reconnects you with the eternal source of your being. As you seek love, see love, and strive to be loving, you reconnect with your deepest and most eternal nature. In spite of all human appearances, this is who and what you really are.
Be kind to yourselves. Treat yourselves as if there is nothing less than Divine love within you. When you dress, you are clothing the Divine. When you eat, you are feeding the Divine. When you go to work you have an opportunity to allow Divine love to work through you. When you drive in traffic you can allow Divine love to surface for all you pass, or you can feel separate. In every moment you have a choice to feel the love that lives and breathes in all things, even if only in a simply act of self-acceptance.”
“…when you go out into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You appreciate it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree.
The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying “You’re too this, or I’m too this.” That judging mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.”
“We are powerful beyond measure, and so deeply vulnerable at the same time. This may seem like a dichotomy, but it isn’t. We have misunderstood real power. It has been something assertive, non-surrendering, pushing on through. This is not real power. This is simply willfulness.
Real power is something else – receptivity, vulnerability, the courage to keep your heart open on the darkest of days, the strength to feel it all even when the odds are stacked against you. Real power is showing up with your heart on your sleeve and absolutely refusing to waste one moment of your life hidden behind edginess and armor. The art of enheartened presence. Now that’s power.”
There is a story of a woman running away from tigers. She runs and runs and the tigers are getting closer and closer. When she comes to the edge of a cliff, she sees some vines there, so she climbs down and holds on to the vines. Looking down, she sees that there are tigers below her as well. She then notices that a mouse is gnawing away at the vine to which she is clinging. She also sees a beautiful little bunch of strawberries close to her, growing out of a clump of grass. She looks up and she looks down. She looks at the mouse. Then she just takes a strawberry, puts it in her mouth, and enjoys it thoroughly. Tigers above, tigers below. This is actually the predicament that we are always in, in terms of our birth and death. Each moment is just what it is. It might be the only moment of our life; it might be the only strawberry we’ll ever eat. We could get depressed about it, or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life.
‘Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing. We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.
When we think that something is going to bring us pleasure, we don’t know what’s really going to happen. When we think something is going to give us misery, we don’t know. Letting there be room for not knowing is the most important thing of all. We try to do what we think is going to help. But we don’t know. We never know if we’re going to fall flat or sit up tall. When there’s a big disappointment, we don’t know if that’s the end of the story. It may be just the beginning of a great adventure. ‘