Learning To Stay

Jul 14, 2006 by Luann Robinson Hull
Greetings and welcome to our ongoing dialogue on how to make happiness a priority in your life… right now.

“[Sometimes] we feel that there is a large problem and we have to fix it. [Instead,] stop. Do something unfamiliar. Do anything besides rushing off in the same old direction, up to the same old tricks.”—Pema Chodron

Last week we began our discussion by looking back at our lives to times of difficulty, and then noticing the successes, which followed. We challenged ourselves to review how we had actually used loss as a launch pad for success, even if we hadn’t been fully aware at the time of what had facilitated our process of transcendence.

Ultimately, each of us has an innate awareness that underneath all of our problems, there is a potential pearl (regardless of how buried the awareness and the pearl might seem). And so how is it that we can join forces with whatever “it” is that is creating that pearl and always working in our favor for the most expanded good (even if at times it may seem to be otherwise)? Our natural inclination when something goes wrong is to resist whatever is happening. And most always that resistance doesn’t help the situation. So what can we do to interrupt our instinct to become taught and tense? We can start by assessing the situation with reasoning and heart, rather than going purely on instincts and impulses. Once we realize that we aren’t really in danger or things aren’t quite as dramatic as they first appeared, we can usually loosen up.

The following is an exercise, which is most effective for such a process and can help you in “…[doing] anything besides rushing off in the same direction, up to the same old tricks…”

Be still for a moment. Start to really feel whatever the current (or past) difficulty may evoke in you. Stay with that feeling…even if only for a moment. Now, call to mind all of the people in the world, who may be feeling that way right along with you. Bring these people into your heart, and hold them there with you for a while. Ask the Universal Divine (Inner Stillness, etc….) to bring serenity and peace to the situation...for all of you.

Repeat this practice often, and watch in wonder as your life begins to soften, and transform. Start to really notice the simple, sublime insight in Pema Chodron’s words. Most often, we want to run away from the pain. And when we do this, we will likely miss the miracle that can emerge from learning to stay with whatever is happening. Without our willingness to honor what is going on, more than likely we will just keep stuffing things down into the dredges of our personal dungeon along with the other feelings we have held prisoner there. It is time to release these hostages…one by one.

How can we do this? We can start by recognizing what is going on right now, and remembering that we are not the only one who may be going through some challenges. As we bring others that are suffering into our hearts we realize we have companions on the journey…and through our loving intentions… we can all grow and transform, together.

Rest easy…

Love and peace be with you,