If you can’t see what you’re looking for, see what’s there

“If you can’t see what you’re looking for, see what’s there.”

—Mark Nepo, Author of The Book of Awakening

Image from Unsplash by Anne Nygård

What is your relationship with reality? How often do you find yourself upset by the fact that your expectations of things go unfulfilled? Many of us often resist aspects of our lives only to notice during times of “heel digging” that these things seem to become even more persistent.

My meditation practice over the past several years has increased my capacity to accept and allow more things to be as they are, and appreciate the law of impermanence. Looking harder for things that aren’t actually there prevents us from seeing what it is that we can actually work with and influence.

EXERCISE:

Where is it time to take off your rose-colored glasses and see things as they are? How can and will you work with and influence your reality to improve the things you can, and accept the things you can’t?

 

What part of your reality can you meet with more acceptance

What part of your reality can you meet with more acceptance?

—Calm App Reflection

Image from NBC

During the cold months Wendy and I often spend some of our quality time watching TV.  Although we sometimes differ in what constitutes quality viewing, we both agree that NBC’s “This Is Us” is toward the top of our list.

In a recent episode, the mother is diagnosed with plaque in her brain, with early signs of memory loss and dementia. Realizing this decline and other aspects of the aging process she does a beautiful job taking the viewer through many challenging feelings and emotions. Her authenticity, vulnerability, and courage to meet her reality with greater acceptance is done with grace and warmth.

EXERCISE:

Where would greater acceptance of your reality support you in living a more fulfilling and satisfying life?  Consider trying an equanimity meditation to explore being more accepting of your reality as a daily practice.

 

“The reality of where you are is always more important than the ideal of where you imagine you should be.”

“The reality of where you are is always more important than the ideal of where you imagine you should be.”

Jeff Warren, Canadian author and meditation teacher

Image from Unsplash by Alejandro Piñero Amerio

For the past few months, I have added Calm’s daily trip to my meditation practice. Jeff Warren, the author and narrator of these ten-minute segments, put the practice of meditation and mindfulness into an edgy and contemporary perspective, which I find novel and engaging.

Today’s quote is satisfying and reassuring. It reminds me to more fully appreciate where I am and what I have. This feeling and knowing helps in my happiness efforts and expands my capacity for gratitude.

EXERCISE:

How would embracing the idea that “someday” is not actually a day of the week help you live more fully today? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves — we might miss something very important.

 

“Your goals, minus your doubts, equal your reality.”

“Your goals, minus your doubts, equal your reality.”

—Ralph Marston, 20th Century professional football player

Image from Unsplash by Bruce Mars

How happy, healthy, and successful are you? If for some reason your answer falls a bit short of where you hoped you would be at this point in your life, today’s quote provides two nuggets of coaching.

To what degree are your personal and professional goals truly ambitious and inspiring? How passionate and motivated are you when you discuss them with others or even daydream? How much of this inner talk converts into committed action?

Personal doubts and other forms of limiting beliefs act like vampires that suck the life out of most of us from time to time. Consider your own awareness of these vision-draining thoughts. To what degree are they currently limiting your vitality and success?

EXERCISE:

What goal-expanding and doubt-limiting efforts can and will you take to move your current reality to far more extraordinary levels?

Consider partnering with a family member, friend, mentor, or a coach to assist you and guarantee your success.

When the Student is Ready

“When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”

-Gautama Buddha, on whose teaching Buddhism was founded

image from kevingcook.com

image from kevingcook.com

When people say, “perception is reality,” they often mean that the way we perceive something makes it real. What if we don’t perceive an issue, challenge, or lesson to be learned, simply because it is invisible to us?

As a student, we must first see a situation and determine that there is value, opportunity, or benefit in it. Only then is there the potential to hear the teacher and see how they might assist us in understanding the lesson.

EXERCISE:

Where are you stopped or stuck in your life? Where are your efforts to move forward being thwarted? To whom could you go with the challenge you face, to determine your readiness and receptivity to the lesson?