Here Comes Love Again… Wait, Really?

Opennes to love

On desiring infinity while experiencing finitude. Thoughts on love. Part I. 

In our practical life, we love people, pets, stuff, nature, art etc. We experience this feeling not only in romantic contexts but in many others – or at least we can be open to feel love in multiple ways. However, the fact that we love those things/people doesn´t mean that we can have them all the time we want, or whenever we want them. Here we start to play the limits of the material life. There are duties, distance, and particularities that make us realize that we do not always have the opportunity to get what we want when we want it, no matter how much we love it. When you get the experience – not only the rational understanding of it -, you feel the limit. You acknowledge the space of separation between you and the object of your love that comes from outer circumstances. You feel it. 

On a more personal level, our reactivity is our limit. Whenever we react, we are on the edge. A reaction is impulsive, unconscious behaviour, a byproduct of the circumstance. Every time we get A, we react B. Every. Single. Time. Because of this simple formula we get lazy about our own self-development and/or life, judgemental about ourselves and others, we blame anyone, complain or become the victim of circumstances. There is another name for this consciousness or state of the mind, we call it EGO.

In basic etymology, EGO is the first person singular in Latin (nominative case or when the pronoun is doing the action or otherwise serving as the subject of the sentence). It basically means “I”. And because EGO is semantically very charged – we use it in a variety of contexts with multiple meanings – and can mislead, I prefer to name this person simply “reactive behaviour” (“persona” means “character or mask” in Latin, another insight there). Here we are complaining about our last breakup to our friends, blaming the other (ex-boss, boy/girlfriend, friend), being the victim “I don´t know how we got there” “I gave my all to that relationship” “Relationships are harder than I thought” “Life is not fair” and so on. All that talking and complaining is from our ego, our mask, that part of ourselves that is insanely fixed and reluctant to change or see things under another light.

Wings of love

 

“Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralyzed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings.” Jalaluddin Mevlana Rumi                                                                                             Credits @delnudotatuajes

One thing is the feeling that we have in our hearts, sincere and truer than any rational epiphany, and another thing is the thing that runs in our minds. The first one is our raw, vulnerable nature, the openness of our heart that sometimes feels like a painful break; the second one – our reactive behaviour. Here we rely on the meditation practice again in order to understand this in a practical and holistic way. When we notice our emotions, thoughts, and start training the “no reaction” attitude or equanimity, when we try to let those things pass, when we try to let them go without engaging in the inner drama, we are walking away from our reactive nature and gaining more than one important thing not only for our meditation but also for our lives. That is the whole thing of this simple yet not easy exercise of mindfulness. In meditation, we train ourselves to become less reactive and more aware by learning to control our habitual tendencies.  

We trust here in the basic principle of universal economy: everything has its raison d’être. And as in any type of economy, from domestic to global, restriction is essential. There is, though, a restriction to restriction: healthy restriction, not repression. What´s the difference? The difference is very simple: restriction implies awareness, repression is a denial of reality. This said, we now understand that it´s not about repressing our ego or reactive behavior, but to set a limit to it (and later on to transform it… but that´s for another post). To restrict our ego in a way that doesn´t become the king of our minds. Why? Because otherwise, we are far from love – love will always find ways to bring us back to its territory anyway… Here is a tough truth about love: love drives us down that path of stretching and restricting with the promise of abundant and unconditional satisfaction.  We walk the path and our ego has little to do there. The rest is yet to come.

Credits for the image @vip.mambo76

Who Are You When Things Change?

On staying sane in times of change. Part I.

Although we live our lives with a considerable degree of certainty regarding of who we are and the roles we play in our family and society, there are moments in which our own self seems foreign to us. We either feel that we have kind of lost ourselves, forgotten about ourselves or that we simply don´t know where it came from – some part of ourselves that arose in a given circumstance. These moments are, many times, a side effect of transformative experiences such as a significant loss or a painful end, the starting of a new career path, falling in/out of love, or becoming a parent. They deserve our careful attention. 

As we experience such changes in life, we need to re-frame our identities since these circumstances seem to demand something that we haven´t discovered yet or haven’t developed from ourselves (an impressive nurturing capacity, an unexpected resilience, a dormant creativity). We transition from A to B. During this process many things change, sometimes quickly, sometimes gradually, but the first thing that we need to do is to let go of the conditioning of our past experiences in order to flourish again in a new form, a form more appropriate to the present circumstance. 

This letting go is never about the past experience itself – let´s say that you had a boss who made you feel incompetent too often and you changed your job. You don´t let go of the skills you developed at that particular job, nor the colleagues you met or the experience acquired, but the negative aftermaths of the circumstance in yourself. The emotions (frustration, anger, regrets etc.), thoughts and judgements about it (I loved it, I disliked it etc.) is the stuff that, after a while, you will need to let go. And after a while because when the letting go phase takes place, we need to exercise some patience with ourselves and take some time out to process the whole thing.  It´s all about time during this phase.

 “Only understand where you are now, and you rediscover your power to make changes.” I Ching

The letting go phase is needed as much as a certain sense of stability since feelings of uncertainty are very present in the times of change. During this transitional time directing our attention towards what is really going on without prejudices (past experiences) is the source of sanity and the knowledge that allows us to make better decisions, to exercise our personal power, to bring out our skills and manage ourselves in a good way. It´s the knowledge that gives us some foundation and options, that makes us free. 

In order to “see” what is in there for us, what reality brings just in front of our eyes, we need a certain inner quality that is known as “equanimity”. In this context equanimity is the capacity that we have to bear the vision without fooling ourselves, to see what forces are working in the here and now, what are our available resources with clear lenses, without judgement or bias. Although a natural quality of inner balance, there are some exercises such as meditation that enhances it and develop it further and wider according to several scientific studies. And it makes sense because, after all, moments of introspection are not only delightful, but also and mostly, revealing. 

Equanimity can also be understood as neutrality, but never as indifference. Remaining indifferent is a form of escapism, a form of denial of the reality. But here reality is what we get and search for; it is our source of empowerment and sanity in moments of change and transition, not something to get rid of or escape from. Equanimity refers, then, to a certain inner attitude that enables us to deal with whatever is going on without feeling out of place, or worse, out of ourselves. And it is the safest passage to blend with reality.

More on reality, spirituality and all that happens in between coming soon.

Meditation Advice from #meditationweek Winners

From 23 to 28 of February Peace Revolution held a #meditationweek on Facebook and Instagram. Each day was dedicated to a new topic connected to meditation, and the participants were asked to share their photos and thoughts on the topic.

Today we are proud to announce the winners of the #meditationweek and to share their insights with our readers. Continue reading “Meditation Advice from #meditationweek Winners”