Ouch… I thought spiritual people don’t fall!!

I have been feeling very irritated this past week. Nevertheless, I have been doing my meditation and cold showers, and anything that could possibly help me get out of this funk.

Mindfulness helps, but I do love the artist’s prayer from the book “Artist’s Way”.

You imagine giving all your irritation and everything that worries you to god/creator/universe and open your heart to everything that you want to receive, and through this, you let go of control and allow the universe to take care of you.

So yesterday, I decided, I really need to do this, because just focusing on my breath was not bringing me peace of mind. I did the visualization and I felt relaxed, and then I went on a bike ride.

…….. and that’s when I fell..

Thankfully nothing bad happened, just a few scratches here and there. I wasn’t trying to let go of the handle bars, or do anything crazy, I wasn’t going fast either, I just reached back with one hand to fix my shirt and lost control and…fell.

So afterwards I thought: I just trusted the universe and I fell on my ass.. great.. this is what happens when you trust god, you fall on your ass, but later I had an epiphany. Well, if you let go of control and trust universe, you have to trust whatever comes and what comes might not always look good to you or be easy, but it’s what you need at the time. Sometimes you need a slap in the face to snap out of your ego!

I don’t know if I fully understand why I needed to fall, but I will tell you this much. If this fall had happened before I was being mindful and working on myself, I would have immediately cried, yes, even as an adult I would cry because that was just an automatic reaction for me, then I would feel embarrassed and scared to ride my bike again. I would definitely never ever try to let go of the handlebars.

But, that’s not what happened.

I got up, a little shocked at first, as to why, even though I am so mindful and spiritual (haha..), this happened, then this nice guy came and helped pick up my basket from the ground and put it back, and I thanked him and jumped back on my bike, and a little while later, tried to let go of the handlebars, just to see if I still had the courage!

I have continued to ride, and will continue. I did have some fears initially. I thought: What if I had fallen in front of a car? What if (when I have a baby someday!) I put my baby on the bike and fall while riding? What would happen to the baby? What if I have an accident? What if someone is texting and is looking down and comes to the bike lane and hits me?

All kinds of worst case scenarios played in my head. I told my husband: what if we had a baby and I had the baby on my bike and we’d fall? He said: If you think like that, you wont be able to go out the door!

What he said really resonated. I could think of a million terrible things that could happen in my mind about anything and everything, and paralyze myself by doing that. Instead, I decided I will do what I want and need to do and if the worst case scenario happens, I will deal with it then, just like how I have dealt with many unimaginable scenarios.

Like loosing a loved one. You can not imagine living without them, until they are gone. Then, despite what you want to believe the first year, you find a way to live without them.

You can never imagine how you will deal with a situation until you are in it. Being in the present moment and fully aware gives you exactly what you need to handle anything that comes in the best way possible.

Vipassana, I have waited too long, it is now time!

Today life took a twisted turn, a turn similar to others it has taken before. These kind of turns would normally put me in long periods of self-hate and depression. My mind would normally go frantic trying to solve the problem at hand, feeling stuck in a hole with no way out.

I did feel a bit that way today, but thanks to my meditations and mindfulness practices I feel more together than I would normally feel.

I know what you might be thinking. “What happened?” Well I just don’t think it’s relevant, what is relevant is that it caused suffering, and how to deal with the suffering is what we can all relate to. The cause of suffering might be different for each person, but the solution will always be the same.

Observe your thoughts, observe, observe, observe, try not to identify. Go back to your breath. Which is why I have decided to do the 10-day Vipassana meditation. There is a long waiting list, but hopefully I can get in soon. I will tell you a little more about this soon.

I want to share this thought that came to my head as I was sitting in my patio garden. There are a few trees around the place that have rooted into the ground from the drain-holes of their original containers. I thought: isn’t it amazing? Here is a little tree in a little container and suddenly it feels a hole in the container and reaches out, it feels dirt and it digs in, it becomes rooted in the solid vast ground and despite what seemed like impenetrable limitations, creates deep strong roots and brakes out of its container. Literally! The container might be around it, but it is broken and no longer hinders the tree’s growth. The tree then grows so tall, it seems to reach the sky.

I feel like this is symbolic for humans. We must get rooted, we must find even the tiniest window outside of our suffering, and run our roots deep into our found salvation, until we break the barriers of suffering completely. Then we will reach our full potential as human beings.

Okay back to Vipassana (click to go to website), I will let the clip speak for me.

Why is “being in the present moment” not getting easier with practice?

I feel like, as the days pass, being in the present moment has gotten harder for me instead of easier. Today, as I was writing my morning pages, which are brain-drain style writing from the book “The Artist’s Way”, I realized why even though I meditate more than ever, I seem to loose the present moment more often.

What happens when begin to experience something for the first time is that we have no prior thought about it, in some cases we might be fearful, but if there is nothing to fear, then there is very little thought about it, but then what happens when we have an experience is our mind begins to form thoughts about that experience: “that was great”, “that was easy”, “I hope this feeling doesn’t go away”, “what if I loose this?”, “what if I don’t feel it again?” “oh no! I don’t feel like I first did!”. When this happens, you can no longer truly experience that particular thing in the same way you did the very first time, because now you are after a feeling that you experienced previously. I don’t know if I am explaining this well.

So lets take the experience of “being in the present moment”. The first time I felt this, was when I made a shift in my focus from “the thinker” to the “observer of thoughts” then that shift in focus gave me a an amazing feeling of awareness.

However, being that our brain is trained to compartmentalize things, my mind began to develop thoughts about what it means to be present and aware, and how I can go about shifting my focus in the future.  So now, instead of just being present, I am trying to reach it by accessing the information my brain stored about the experience of present moment. Well, by doing this, I am delaying reaching the present moment, because you can not reach the present moment through analysis and thought and past experience.

Each experience of the “present moment” is a new experience, and it can be reached in many different ways. Meditation, a simple shift of focus to your breath, an enlightened thought that quiets the mind, sitting in your garden. You will never know! You can not categorize mindfulness, because then your thoughts (or as Eckhart says the ego)  will take it over. If you don’t experience it the same way, if you don’t reach it the way you did the first time you experienced it, then the brain panics. “why isn’t this working?” “I am sitting here and meditating, why can’t I quiet my mind”. Observe these thoughts, and be okay with what is, and suddenly you find yourself in the present moment again!