What Brings You Present?

Foundational MeditationI used to feel bad for my parents, growing up in the Great Depression. Their issues were whether they could buy food and toilet paper, keep a roof over their head, not whether they were reaching their full potential. Several days ago, my 99 year old ex-mother-in-law passed over and I found myself thinking how she, like my own parents, didn’t really like to talk about her childhood, because it was not very pleasant. She was Cinderella incarnate.

What I only just realized is that their sad childhoods kept them from hanging onto their stories about what had happened. What a gift. Since they didn’t want to talk about the past, they were left with the present and the future. And because the past had been so unpleasant, there was not enough trust in the future for them to dwell on it either.

Without realizing they were having a spiritual experience, they stayed in the present. Who knows if it is good or bad? There’s always a gift, and through their unfortunate childhoods, they got the gift of being more present than many of us today who are consciously endeavoring to do so.

Caught in MInd

Out of Our Mind

Likewise, sad and scary events for one of my children brought me this same gift. By nature a happy and optimistic person, I now felt like I was drowning in despair and suffering greatly (suffering = wanting things to be different from how they are). I had to stop my work on my upcoming small book, “Thrilled to Be Alive! 3 Steps to Living the Life You Were Born to Live” because I no longer was thrilled to be alive.

Instead I became my own best client…I immersed myself in those 3 steps relentlessly and clawed my way back to being thrilled to be alive. I am living proof they work. In the next month or two, I will be gifting that book to you for free, so stay posted.

Yesterday I was dismayed to learn my brother-in-law had a terrible skiing accident and crushed his spine. One of my sons was here with me as I heard the grim details. In his wisdom he said, “We have to keep our mood up anyway. The energy in the whole room dropped.”

And so, back again to the present, staying out of fears about the future for him, no lamenting about “if only.” The best thing we can do is to stay in the present, here now, out of our mind.

Cairn

Anatomy of a Simple Everyday Occurrence

Everyone acts as if positive thinking is something new. And yet, it is at work in the most simple of our everyday interactions.

Last night my daughter was stuck in a rut about various things that were not coming together. She sounded depressed, lacked energy and was moping around instead of doing things she wanted to do. Like most of us, she knew to try to get herself out of the rut, but kept falling back into it anyway.

All I did was ask her to tell me about her day, which she’d spent with a friend…the simplest of things anyone might ask anyone without even realizing they might help them out of a stuck place. She and her friend had had a lot of fun. By the end of that story, it had replaced the fell-into-a-rut story, and she was once again her cheerful self.

Notice what happened here. When someone is stuck, with the depressed emotions that go along with it, we say “She’s not herself today.” Well, who is she then? She’s become the story.

When my daughter’s mood cheered up, I said to myself, “She’s back!” What does that mean? Where was she, that she had to come back?

She was not in the present. She was in that timeless place of the story about how the evening should have, could have, would have unfolded.

Interestingly, simply going someplace else, into a different timeless story, a story with no judgments, broke the judgment bonds of the depressing story.

Then she was free and could choose how to feel and how to spend her time in the moment.

Once you see how this works, you can do it at will. You can do this at home, Kids, without adult supervision. Simply choose a different story to tell yourself.

Those entrapping judgments are old decaying matter living in your mind. It’s only when you are out of your mind that you can find trust in the present moment and know that your life unfolds according to your own journey, and that journey, as difficult as it sometimes seems, holds the brilliance of creation in it, the light of your Soul, the light of Source.

Sending joy and peace into your life,
Cari

 Practicing Presence 

a short foundational meditation
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