We often feel the intensity of struggle when we look at some aspect of our life which is just not at the point we think or want it to be, I mean it isn’t a disaster, but it isn’t successful either.
Just recently I hit another roadblock, some aspect of life yet again felt like a struggle. Things not going to plan, things not moving, things just not going my way, things ending and more. If only early on someone had listened to what I wanted, or a different decision had been made, perhaps then I would be successful at this by now.
I had that secret belief that I was somehow special, I certainly had worked hard enough, I had gifts of insight and I believed in myself (most of the time) all of which should make success a certainty, right?
Fast forward to later that evening, I went along to an introductory numerology class. The class was focused on the meaning of numbers and mapping life paths based on birth dates. Some of the life path numbers were great, I mean who wouldn’t want to be a 3, the Joy Giver. But mine being a 5 was ok too, freedom and change. Its just that that was when things went from ok to downhill fast – when my numbers were mapped.
I don’t know if you know anything about numerology, but when the teacher mapped my five 1s and 2 isolated numbers, I thought this is great, I mean five 1s sounds special doesn’t it. After all 1s are Pioneers… Its just that having 5 of them is actually far from special, the look on the teachers face told me that. In fact, I quote from the internet “these people often have so many problems with relationships and inner uncertainty that they tend to retreat from their surroundings”. A bad base to come from when you’ve been thinking about success.
At this point I think the whole class felt sorry for me, none more so than myself. The teacher was great she reminded us that we choose our numbers, the vibration of which we work with throughout our lifetime. Now while this and my faith enabled me to understand that how I am and how I behave is just an experience of those number frequencies, but finding out that destiny from your very day of birth comes with struggle, meant that faith just wasn’t quite enough.
Fast forward again, to the next morning and I have to admit things still didn’t sit right. The combined disappointment of not only feeling stuck but also now the knowledge that I am working with a ‘not so special’, actually no lets be honest, ‘a pretty difficult to stomach’ birth number combination, was hurting. So I meditated on it. I figured it was time to get past the idea that I was special and things have to be a certain way to validate that. I had to get past the struggle that things weren’t working the way I wanted.
Meditation for me is going deep within myself and letting myself be guided on a visual journey. So in my meditation that morning, my hopes appeared as a green gemstone for which I was the guardian. The gemstone represented the part of me that relied on validation, the need to feel special, the belief that things needed to be a certain way.
So I took the gemstone and put it in a box alongside all of the other gemstones representing all of the other dreams from the past that hadn’t worked. I sat with the box for a while letting the sadness come and go and then finally subside, then I closed the lid and walked away.
Life has a wonderful way of bringing together intense events resulting in such force of feeling that we have no choice but to sit, wait and feel the intensity until it subsides, ultimately bringing to light the real gemstone we seek – clarity…
Mindfulness is paying attention in a non-judgemental way to what is happening in the present moment, what is happening in our mind, our body, our thoughts, our emotions and what stories we are telling ourselves and others.
Focus is on what is happening not why.
Science behind this: When we use mindfulness meditation it helps us to switch from the alarm of facing a threat (ie the flight or fight response) to a calming response. When we are in flight or fight the hormone Cortisol is released to provide increased sugar levels for the body to use to get away from the threat. However Cortisol can have an affect on the Amygdala, the area of the brain that processes fear and threat, therefore strengthening negative networks in the brain which have a compounding affect.
Mindfulness meditation shifts the focus from thinking about the threat to simply examining how the body is responding to the threat. It takes a “scientific, removed approach” which should have a calming effect, reducing Cortisol in your brain.
Through Mindfulness meditation you check in with how your body is going, if there is fear you ask yourself – what does this fear look like? What areas of your body is it affecting, what are the physical sensations, do they move, what thoughts are arising out of the fear, what stories am I telling myself. It is like a scientific questioning process that pulls the focus out of the emotional, away from focussing on the threat. It is a stepping back, a non-judgemental questioning technique that shifts the focus and soothes the body and mind.
Mindfulness meditation is not a relaxing meditation, it is opening up to whatever arises. It is also not positive thinking, it is about opening up to all of the experience – the good, bad and neutral. Its purpose is not to find out why, but simply a shift of focus.