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November Message 2008
Dealing with Challenging Times

What can you do when you are in a situation that seems overwhelming? How can you move forward when it seems you must use most of your energy just to cope with your daily life situation?

1. Be with yourself and your feelings, without trying to deny what you are experiencing. As has been taught throughout the ages, "Know thyself." Try not to judge yourself too harshly, and if you do, just notice the judgment and what it does to you.  


2. Practice self-observation. Observe yourself in each present moment, without trying to change what you see. 

 

3. Sit quietly for 5 minutes and do nothing but observe what is happening in your inner world. Watch the fear trying to take you over. Just watch. You will see that it has no real power.


4. If your sleep patterns are disrupted, let it be. It won't last forever. Nothing does. It is more harmful to worry and judge yourself than it is to accept what is. Acceptance of what you can't seem to change leads to peace, and peace is what you want right now. Peace leads to a more relaxing life and more restful sleep. You could try drinking tart cherry juice or eating some cherries with walnuts and yogurt before bed. Or a baked potato.

5. We all know what a healthy diet is, but don't be hard on yourself right now. If some chocolate or a cookie is what you really need, just don't overdo it. If you overdo it, be gentle with yourself. Remember harsh criticism is harder on you than the cookie! Maybe you just need a cookie right now. 


6. If isolation and loneliness are part of your problem, try to reach out to others when you can -  join a group - maybe a meditation or yoga class or a walking group. Human beings are social creatures. You are not meant to do everything alone. No one does. No one can. We are an interdependent species. Take care of yourself by reaching out to people you can trust. 

7. Follow your visions, no matter how small or foggy they seem to be at the moment.  Sometimes the fog is so thick, it may seem that you are moving in slow motion or not moving at all. Trust that your vision will become clearer as you take steps toward it. Maybe your vision is as simple as getting out of bed and going for a walk. Maybe it is as large as traveling to another country or starting your own business. Find out the first step and take it. Without that first step, you can't take any steps at all!

8. Take steps towards yours visions no matter how small. Focus upon what you are doing in the moment, rather than on everything that you must do. Focusing on everything you must do is actually living in the past  - it is like carrying heavy luggage filled with all the things you haven't done. Bring your focus instead to the present moment and what you can do right now. Surrender the outcome to God or to the Unknown Future or Universal Truth - whatever works for you.


Stay focused on the Present Moment 

Imagine you are looking for 1000 pearls lost everywhere in your house. Focus on the pearl that you do find - not the 999 left to find. Allow yourself to feel good about that one pearl. Breathe a sigh of accomplishment. One less pearl to find! Smile. Drink some water. And move onto the next pearl.

Imagine, as you go through life, that you are just stringing pearls on a necklace and there is nothing more important than being completely in the present with each pearl. What matters, after all, is that we live our lives here and now, in as much peace as possible. In this way, we love and honor each moment as the precious pearl it is - and the little place that lives inside us snuggles into happiness - because it is loved by the one it most wants love from - you, yourself!

Need help finding pearls? Register now for The Clear and Simple Way School to begin receiving daily email messages and join your classmates in Your Open Classroom. Your monthly lessons will begin at the start of the next semester and arrive in your email box on the 8th of each month. 

Questions? Write to me! theclearandsimpleway.