Everything that arises in any given moment provides an opportunity for us to grow, expand our awareness and increase our level of consciousness. You could even go as far as to suggest to that each moment of our lives provides an opportunity for Divinity to express itself through us. Although it may not seem this way at the time, perceptually difficult situations such as dealing with what may be considered difficult people or situations is also such an opportunity to bring ourselves towards wholeness.
A practical method that can assist each of us to journey beyond our difficulties starts with applying space between ourselves and the perceived difficulty that has arisen. This can be achieved by something as simple as noticing our breath. The next step is to journey inwards to see if this person or situation is reflecting, acting out or mirroring something within us that has the desire to be expressed. Perhaps something we have hidden or something that has been waiting to be acknowledged. Without going into our normal patterns or being swept up in our stories and judgements, try simply bringing awareness to what is arriving in the present moment. Asking ourselves questions about our inner state can provide clues and assist us in drawing to the surface some of these subtle impressions being held within our body-mind. Questions such as; What feelings or sensations are occurring in the body at this time? What thought patterns or memories is this person or situation triggering? If these feelings or emotions are hard to define in words, try instead expressing these as shapes, patterns and/or colors.
Although easier said than done, as well as sometimes frightening and painful, this process can provide a starting point to transform each of these so-called difficulties into opportunities to learn more about ourselves and release those things no longer serving us. More than often, however, we become so overpowered by our thoughts and emotions in the moment and immediately react or attempt best we can to suppress what we often perceive to be negative thoughts and emotions back down deep inside. This may also include attempting to shield ourselves from acknowledging our vulnerabilities and insecurities that we may or may not even be aware of. Although protecting ourselves from these at times powerful emotions in the moment may sometimes be necessary, it is also important that time is set aside later on to re-examine this event and the feelings it created. If we don't, these emotions have the opportunity to fester and can become lodged within the body-mind.
Yoga and Mindfulness practices can assist in this process. The practice of Yoga as well as Mindfulness Meditation teaches us how to enter the present moment with peace in our heart, how to create space between ourselves and our thoughts/emotions and then work with what arises in order to bring into the light aspects of ourselves that would perhaps otherwise remain in darkness. In the beginning it may seem as though we are continually failing at this process, only noticing well after the occurrence that an opportunity was present. However, every time we are mindful of this missed opportunity, the closer we are to applying this method within (or even prior to) the actual moment arising (making sure to always remain kind and compassionate towards ourselves). Over time, we often discover re-occurring patterns of difficulties arising. Going deeper, we can generally track these patterns towards deep-seated and tightly-held (often limiting) beliefs about ourselves and the world that regularly do not reflect reality and which, therefore, may be of benefit for us to let go of and transcend.
Although this may seem like a lot of work initially, it is definitely worthwhile. This process has the power to take us on an exciting journey of discovery within ourselves better than any book or movie available. In essence, we start to unravel just how much of an extraordinary being we truly are. Approaching difficulties with this frame of mind, over time, we develop an attitude of gratitude towards them. We learn to give thanks for the difficult people and situations that turn up in our lives. If this supposed difficulty arises from dealings with another person(s), it behooves us then to silently express our thanks by showing kindness and compassion (perhaps even love) towards them. They have provided us with a gift. Alternatively, if this difficulty (i.e. opportunity) has arisen from a situation presented before us, silently give thanks to ourselves. How we can do this? By acknowledging and expressing gratitude towards that part of each of us that is connected to the Divine.
For more information on specific Yoga and Mindfulness practices that can assist us to better deal with difficulties in our lives and help us to journey beyond our inner wounds, please contact me and sign up for my fortnightly newsletter here.