World a bit chaotic and getting to you?
You’re not alone.
Everything seems to be changing. New technology is disrupting both our private and work lives. The political landscape seems to have entered puberty and become more and more unpredictable and chaotic with each passing day.
In most business presentations around culture change work and high performance, the presenter will make a reference to how volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous today’s world is.
And how that’s taking its toll on our overall wellbeing.
Studies indicate that the levels of anxiety and stress are globally on the rise.
But, it’s not only the world out there that is undergoing constant change.
We can also look closer to home. Perhaps you notice, as I do, that your body changes as time passes.
What about your emotions and mental states? They are in constant flux too, aren’t they?
Upon closer examination, you may find that as long as you’re looking for a sense of security and stability in things, people, and circumstances you sooner or later will be faced with difficulty.
As a result, more often than not we experience some form of anxiety.
One moment you have a job you love and you feel on top of the world, the next moment that job is gone and you feel utterly dejected and despondent.
When you’ve fallen in love there’s seemingly nothing your partner can do wrong, yet after a while, you begin to notice all the little things about them that bug you.
Perhaps, as a changemaker, you’ve been working with a group of people and over time you find that the person you invested most of your time in, becomes unreliable in how they show up and eventually they move on to other interests.
When you are on a mission to bring a positive contribution to the world you need to be ready to face massive levels of uncertainty.
But, when people rely on you to lead them, you need to be the one person whom they can turn to.
What does it take to be that person?
The sages and seers of times past keep reminding us that if we keep looking to the world as that which gives us security and happiness we will suffer.
What is it then that can give us a lasting sense of security and stability?
The following story may give us a hint…
There once was a beautiful girl in a village and she was pregnant. Her angry parents demanded to know who the father was.
At first resistant to confess, the anxious and embarrassed girl finally pointed to Hakuin, the Zen master whom everyone previously revered for living such a pure life.
When the outraged parents confronted Hakuin with their daughter's accusation, he simply replied: "Is that so?"
When the child was born, the parents brought it to the Hakuin, who now was viewed as a pariah by the whole village. They demanded that he take care of the child since it was his responsibility.
"Is that so?" Hakuin said calmly as he accepted the child.
For many months he took very good care of the child until the daughter could no longer withstand the lie she had told. She confessed that the real father was a young man in the village whom she had tried to protect.
The parents immediately went to Hakuin to see if he would return the baby. With profuse apologies, they explained what had happened.
"Is that so?" Hakuin said as he handed them the child.
Hakuin had found the one thing which he could rely on which supplied him with an infinite reservoir of true strength and calm.
No matter what was happening around and to Hakuin he never lost his poise.
He had found the one thing that never changes. He had found his essential nature.
The same sages who warned us to not rely on the outer world to find true fulfillment have given us clues on what to rely on instead.
They said to look within and awaken to who you really are. They described your essential nature as eternal, pure, blissful consciousness.
Experience that and you’ll become fearless, joyful, and fully lit up with enthusiasm and energy for life.
The more you’re able to access that essence of your being the more you’ll find yourself to remain stable amidst change. You are able to accept life for what it is and nothing will disturb your inner peace.
You’re able to respond to life, intuitively making the right decisions from a place of mental clarity and wisdom.
To begin to get a taste of your essence I’m offering a few suggestions:
Begin to fall in love with stillness.
Learn to meditate. Learn to love quiet. There are plenty of resources only a google away or feel free to check-out the online meditation courses I offer.
Become generous in giving of yourself.
Give gifts, give of your time, of your attention and simply share your heart with the world. All of this requires to be done with skill so learn to apply yourself intelligently.
Discover what it really means to be kind. This is not the same as being soft, this means developing kind thoughts, speech, and actions. Setting boundaries or sharing your core truth with someone might be one of the kindest things you can do for someone.
Devoting yourself to bringing these three suggestions alive in your daily life without getting attached to the fruits of these practices.
One yoga teacher I once studied with was fond of saying that expectations blind you.
Over time I have learned that expectations blind you to the beauty and intelligence of what is true and present in each moment.
Let go of entitlement and expectations and approach life from a place of a quiet, generous and kind attitude.
You might just find that even though you’re not working with your mind and emotions directly you’ll start to realize over time that what you feel and experience at any one time is your thinking.
That it’s not your life’s circumstance that is causing your mental and emotional swings but your thinking.
As a result, you’ll become more and more aware of that part of you that is aware of you having all these different experiences.
You may just become more and more established in that part of you that lies beyond the conscious mind. That part of your that is like the eye of the storm.
Still and centered.