In my last few posts, you have probably begun to notice themes developing around being present and self-aware, and learning to break out of old, negative habits. As with almost all meditative practices, these themes are important to learn, remember, and practice because they are what make up your whole being – a being that renews itself everyday, and enjoys/celebrates life.
We have learned through these first four posts that the only way to become unstuck is by actively being present in your own life, making conscious decisions that put the personal “spin” on the neutral situation we are presented with. It is now time to learn how to rise above our bad habits and start living a life free from the heavy weight of old, robotic responses that no longer suit us.
Deepak teaches us in this practice that self awareness is always an option. When we meditate, we develop a quality called “witnessing”. It’s in this that we can see ourselves in every situation we are presented with and how we will respond. Note that it’s no longer about automatic responses but instead, about how we consciously CHOOSE to respond. He calls this state of consciousness “living in a field of light”. He shows us that when you stand apart from the automatic, you are able to freely do what you WANT to do. YOU are in charge of your brain, not the other way around!
Over the course of the meditation challenges I’ve done and blogged about, I’ve given several examples of situations I’ve been in where I’ve chosen the “conscious path”, which has led to peace and better decision making. For those that are new to this blog, I use my story of the first time I realize I didn’t see the point in getting mad about things.
About 10 years ago, I was in a relationship with someone who was verbally abusive. At the time, I really wasn’t equipped with the mental tools I needed to get out of it. So, I remained in this for 2 1/2 years. He would get angry over everything and my defense mechanism would be to get angry back. In fact, I found myself having an automatic response of anger over (what seemed like) everything and usually, after the fact, would mentally think, “Why did I even bother getting angry over that? Did I feel like I was supposed to respond? That didn’t even really bother me.”
In July of 2006, he was being moved to another state for work and we were in the process of getting him moved there (I had already mentally made a decision I had no energy to start a new state with him). Imagine having a moving truck, towing one car; another truck loaded down with stuff; and two dogs, on top of two humans… in the middle of the summer heat. It can be a lot! Unfortunately, he handled it poorly when the A/C went out in his moving truck one night… in the middle of an Applebees parking lot. I remember sitting in my A/C’d truck, watching him as he kicked the tire of the truck and was yelling expletives at no one. It was in that moment that I had an epiphany of sorts, “What is the point of yelling and getting mad? What does it solve?”. From that moment forward, I never raised my voice or got that mad again (it was also a very long, silent, and uncomfortable dinner). I also began making more conscious ( and incrementally better) dating choices.
I use this example to show how the power of the mind (and universe) can work. Anyone has the ability alter their thinking and response mechanisms to a state of total awareness. When you begin to realize the power you possess over almost everything in your life, the freer and happier you will feel!