I have this little book on my desk now, Yosemite Meditations. If you've ever been to Yosemite it will come as no surprise to you that many people find it a powerful source of inspiration and meditation. For the past few days I've picked up the book and randomly opened it to a page. I love how this little pocketbook continually offers me a moment to change my perspective, pause, admire a place I love, and breathe.
I am always on the lookout for easy and quick ways anyone, including myself, can sneak meditation into their day. Meditation, like most things that can improve our health and bring us more happiness, is something we often think, "Tomorrow I'll do that." However, if you spend one minute of your day, just one minute, in quiet reflection you will improve your mood, which will make your body feel better, which will in turn make your mind and spirit feel better, and these things will build on each other, which can have a ripple affect as far as you let it go. Taking time to get quiet, reflect and breathe deep will re-energize you, open you up to new and refreshed inspiration, lower stress, put your focus on what feels good, and so much more.
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One of the best things I've learned to do and make a habit of is to constantly ask for ease and grace. With anything. For a whole day. For a moment with someone. As I grocery shop. As I make a business call. Adding these two words, which only takes a second, to something before you go to do it can transform it from an energy draining endeavor to something you breeze through. It can positively shift not only how you approach something, but how you choose to view it afterwards.
In order to really use these words to my advantage I had to get my head around the fact that I wanted ease and grace first though. There's a thought that pervades in our culture that if something isn't hard or daunting it isn't worth anything. We also have a tendency to believe that easy means lazy. And again, if we aren't struggling and striving, then we're lazy, and therefore we're not worth anything.
To ask for ease and grace doesn't mean you're asking to sit back and do nothing. You're not trying to be lazy, to give up or to ask for some sort of cheaters way out. You're simply asking for the way that is the smoothest to come through. Here is an example:
I was visiting a friend in Christchurch, New Zealand. I had borrowed his wife's bike and spent the day exploring the city. I'd stayed a bit too long though and was nervous about biking back as the sun went down. I didn't have any bike lights and I was afraid if I got lost I'd be biking for hours alone in the dark. As I started to head back I thought, "Get me home with the most ease and grace possible." I had an idea which way to go, but doubted it, and after asking for ease and grace I started to go another way. And then I heard someone yell my name. It was my friend! I was in fact going the wrong way, but due to that I had crossed paths with my friend I was visiting, who did indeed have bike lights. I was able to bike with him, not be lost, and feel safe. So although my initial reaction was the wrong way, it had brought me right to my friend, right into the way home that involved the most ease and grace. Shortly after meeting up the sun went down, and I was very grateful to have him with me as we navigated back.
As you can see, I still had to do what I had set out to do - to bike the half hour home. Ease and grace didn't give me a free pass out of it, and I wouldn't want one anyways. I want to participate in life. I want to drive my vehicle so to speak, but in a way that doesn't constantly attract conflict, drama and more work than necessary. If you want this also try playing with the words ease and grace. With anything. No matter how big or small. Have fun with it and notice how things change for you.
To meditate means to go home to yourself. Then you know how to take care of the things that are happening inside you, and you know how to take care of the things that happen around you.
-Thich Nhat Hanh
There's an interesting thing that happens when you step into the energy of knowing.
A feeling of knowing goes beyond a feeling of belief. Telling yourself I know I will lose ten pounds carries a far more powerful energy than I believe I can lose ten pounds. You can feel it as you read it.
A belief can be proven wrong. It can be questioned, tested, broken and easily forgotten. But a knowing is a part of you. A knowing is concrete, where as a belief is more fragile.
These days, I am playing with the energy of knowing. When you get to that place of knowing you don't have to think about it. You just know it to be true, whatever "it" is. And when you know it to be true you expect it, and when you expect it, it will be. There is no other way. And that is magnificent.
When what you want is as natural and as sure as the sun rising, anything is possible.
Getting beyond believing and into knowing is the key to manifesting anything you want in your life. But how do you turn that corner? What if it feels like you are forever stuck in hoping and believing? I am still figuring it out myself, but I know with everything, the first step is to ask. Keep asking in your mind and heart, How do I turn this belief into a knowing or What step can I take today so that this belief becomes a truth?
The act of asking carries a lot of power in itself.
I put the little quote photo from Thich Nhat Hanh above because it is associated with one of my own personal favorite moments of knowing. A few years ago, a friend posted on her Facebook page that she had a ticket to Thich Nhat Hanh's speaking show, but she wouldn't be able to go. She was wondering if anyone would like to buy it from her.
When I read it I knew, I felt with a sense of 100% confidence, that ticket was meant for me and I would buy it from her. I emailed her with YES, me, I would love to buy your ticket! I could see the ticket in my hand. I was so sure this would work out. But then she responded with the news that someone else had already snagged it.
Wait, what? That can't be right. I'd felt so sure. I knew I was meant to go. But there was nothing else I could do, so I let it go.
And then, something even more surprising happened.
The next day, my friend emailed asking if I still wanted the ticket. The original person to respond couldn't go. I responded with a resounding HELL YES. I was so excited, and in truth, not that surprised. I'd felt so surely it was meant to be for me that this felt like the natural turn of events.
Playing with knowing vs. believing is like experimenting with different types of clay. Approach it with curiosity, the same way a child might approach a new game.
Ask yourself as you go through moments today, Is this a knowing or a belief? If you look at it is as a casual observer, you will start to note the difference in how you feel, how you respond, and so on. This will also help you in learning how the different energies work, how you move from one to the other, and which you find easier or more effective to work with.