Well here we are once again in lockdown, this time nearing the end of the year.
What have we learned – if anything? Are we just sitting it out in the hope that things will get better, or back to ‘normal’? Are we desperately waiting for Christmas to distract us? Have we missed, or even lost, loved ones? Have we struggled financially, or lived in worry? And how is our mental, physical and emotional health?
It seems we are being given another opportunity to evaluate our lives and face ourselves. This is not easy with the background of anxiety in the world; there is great upheaval in almost every country, whether it be political, due to Covid, or other natural disasters. Humanity is journeying through a massive shift, and none of us know where that is leading.
So how do we face ourselves in a climate of constant change and the unsettled feeling of moving into the unknown?
The first thing is to begin with right now. Stop. Become aware of how hard it is to be inwardly still. Then don’t try and change anything. Let however you are be the gateway to your inner reality, without judgement or expectation.
Then notice how much of any inner conflict or unease is actually to do with what is happening outside yourself, whether personally or collectively. Notice how that may pull your energy out; either into your head or even out of your body.
Gently gather yourself and allow the focus to go deeper into your emotions, rather than your thoughts.
Just see if you can be with your emotions without moving away or having an opinion. As if this is your meditation point. Instead of gazing at a candle or listening to music you are witnessing your SELF. The more uncomfortable that is, the more it is needed, and the greater the potential for alchemy. So there is no judgment, only opportunity.
Instead of getting caught in any inner dialogue about how you feel or why you feel it, just allow any emotion to be felt throughout your whole being. Emotion has enormous energy, and instead of becoming exhausted by resisting it, we can use it as an opening to presence.
Imagine holding yourself in deep compassion as the emotion flowers and dies through you. If you are patient and willing, it will do this.
Then notice what is left. The vacuum left by the dying emotion is filled with the presence of the inner witness. Now, for a moment, there is no conflict, no resistance, no inner movement at all.
This lack of anything tangible is very subtle. Try not to let the brain comment or own it. Just remain aware of the absolute peace which remains when there is just presence. You with you. No distance between the you which was looking with judgment or resistance, and the bit of you which was feeling some difficult emotion or sense of anxiety or unease. There is just one presence. Being. Peace.
This is the challenge of the times, and it is not easy, nor is it to be done once and put away. This is a constant invitation to experience presence within the conflict of life, moment by moment, day by day…