Be here

2nd March 2016

I stopped the cycle

 

 

I have been meditating and reading and learning about  meditation now for over 4 years and every now and then these little break throughs happen.

 

These break throughs can be physical, being able to sit for longer, or cognitive, being able to understand a principle about meditation in more depth or life changing, being able to apply meditation to my life.

 

These past few weeks, returning to China, have been challenging both personally and professionally and I have found support in my friends, my books and my meditation and when I least expected it BOOM the little break throughs started to happen.

 

Little break through 1 – Being present

Meditation 1

 

Over Chinese New Year I spent just over 3 weeks in Nepal, a land I love and have a great affection for. I volunteered on a farm, volunteered at an Eco-Park, went on a jungle trek, taught yoga, spent time with my friends, made new ones, went on long sunny walks, completed an essay for my MSc and felt alive every second.
Coming back to China I felt drained. I felt my light was dim. I felt frustrated. The weather was bad, the pollution high, I was sick and my job was messing me around. A constant cycle of complaints.

So I stopped the complaints.

Yes, my China Part III is coming to an end but is this how I want it to end? In a fog of frustration? Um no.

Guilin is a beautiful place to be and instead of complaining about what it is not. It is not Nepal. How can it be? Nepal is Nepal. Guilin is Guilin. Why compare them? Now I can take a step back and see the situation for what it is much easier than before, who knew !?! 🙂

It is what it is.

My life is what it is.

Accept it.

See it.

Be part of it.

Enjoy it.

Live it.

 

Little break through 2 – Not identifying with negative emotions

Life is way too short

As mentioned above I got caught in a cycle of complaints. This is a convenient narrative for my ego. One that will keep me in the cycle of negativity; one downward spiral to the next. 

So I stopped the cycle. 

When I sat in meditation I stopped every negative thought associated with my current situation now. I listened to it and my reply was this ‘That is one perspective but not mine’.

Thoughts are that, thoughts. They cannot define us, make us, build us or break us. They come and they go. Sometimes we hold on to them and sometimes we ignore them.

The Art of Living – Vipassana Meditation as taught by S N Goenka is a great book and this really stood out for me ‘awareness and equanimity…both are essential…and they must be equally strong.’

Previously my awareness was stronger than my equanimity which led to association with negative emotions and allowing them to overcome me.

 

I was anger.

I was sadness.

I was lethargy.

I was wishing.

I was clinging.

 

My body changed.

My outlook changed.

 

But now my equanimity is becoming stronger every day. 

 

I was anger but now I recognise the emotion and let it go.

I was sadness but now I recognise the emotion and let it go.

I was lethargy but now I recognise the emotion and let it go.

I was wishing but now I recognise the emotion and let it go.

I was clinging but now I recognise the emotion and let it go.

 

My body changed, I wasn’t so tense.

My outlook changed, I wasn’t looking for a fault.

 

It is what it is.

My emotion is what it is.

Accept it.

See it.

Observe it.

Let it go.

Carry on with your life.

 

 Little break through 3 – Not identifying as a failure

Breathe & smile

 

During my time in Nepal I wrote my second essay for my module. It was so challenging. Overwhelmed with information and asked to write a report with no previous experience of how to do so and asked to answer a question I had no idea how to develop I did what I could.

I tried.

Sadly, wasn’t good enough.

I failed.

29%.

I have never got that low before. First time for everything.

Go back to 2014 when I was studying for my PGCE. With every essay submitted I would stress over, did I do enough? Am I going to pass? Why haven’t they marked it already?

And then when I was able to collect my essays, I would be in such a panicked high anxiety state, What if I fail? What if…? What if…? What if…? 

I was not fun to be around and my actions were erratic and I was so associated with stress and failure for those 24 hours I was a mess. Not a hot mess. A mess.

So what happened this time when I saw 29%? Nothing. Which surprised even me! I didn’t know I had it in me to not react but it turns out I do. Who knew!?! 🙂

I saw it, I had a little split second moment of ‘oh!’ but that was it. There were no tears (and for those that know me, I cry at everything!) and there was no swearing and no blame.

 

I even emailed my tutor to thank her for her supportive and constructive feedback – which it really was and accepted the fact I am still learning. If I knew everything, why would I be studying?

 

It is what it is.

29% is what it is.

Accept it.

See it.

Acknowledge it.

Don’t ignore it.

Carry on with your life.

 

Little break through 4 – Not fixating on the uncertainty of the future


We are not born to just pay bills and die

 

As I mentioned before, China Part III is coming to an end. This is not the country for me anymore so the time has come to fill out application form after application form after application form.

I have applied to 14 teaching positions, 2 internships and 2 education related positions.

I have had 6 teaching position applications turned down and heard nothing back from the internships or other positions.

A few years ago I would be a tad concerned with this. I am qualified and I have experience, so why am I not getting through to interviews?

There are so many reasons why, the job market is getting tougher and there will always be someone who is more qualified and with more experience than me to highlight a few.

Now I am able to step back and understand, on some level, that the reason I have had 6 applications turned down is because that is not where I am supposed to be right now. My path will work itself out in it’s own unique way and I am more comfortable with the idea that I can’t control it. Who knew that would ever happen !?!

 

It is what it is.

My CV is what it is.

Accept it.

Send it.

Don’t attach to the outcome.

Let it go.

Carry on with your life.

 




 

These are 4 little break throughs I have had that I wanted to share as I feel, having spoken to some of my friends who are in similar positions, are relatable to by many.

I wouldn’t be this position of awareness and equanimity and calmness if it wasn’t for meditation. It is that simple.

I don’t know if you meditate but I would whole-heartedly recommend it.

“The source of all suffering is within us.”

S N Goenka

 

Pictures from Instagram

 

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