Change and chaos seem to be in the air. It’s certainly a part of my immediate experience, and I hear stories of it all around me, including from many people in this community, judging by the emails I receive and the comments I see on articles.
If my last few months has taught me anything, it’s that it is critical to be constantly building your spiritual practice, especially when things are going great. It’s a path that you need to devote time to constantly because there is no such thing as a life free of obstacles. Practice now, so that when the glorious drama faces you down, you can sit quietly with it.
We always the choice of TV or meditation, a weekend with the family or a weekend retreat. It can seem selfish, even to take that time. But to have a foundation when the rug gets pulled out, that is how we can handle life. How do we deal with curve balls like radical change, grief, betrayal, financial problems, etc? With a practice. Silence, sitting, listening, leaning on friends and family.
I’ve found myself passing on these resources that I use (below) to a lot friends and family and people I see in person, so I wanted to them with our readers at Glad.is too. Click the links on the name to find out more about each:
1) Carolyn Myss. Could it be that whatever you are stuck in or not facing is a self-esteem issue? Even if you think it’s not, you may change your mind when you listen to her “Self-Esteem” seminar on Soundstrue.com. She is powerful and no-nonsense. I’d recommend it to anyone.
2) Jack Kornfield. Really hard times hitting you? Have a listen to his “A Lamp In the Darkness” book on tape. The book itself is fantastic, but he has one of the best Zen Buddhist voices out there, so hearing it is amazing. I’ve listened to it several times. Check out his book or audiobook on our Amazon site.
3) Byron Katie. Her way of thinking is seen by some as ‘radical.’ I personally find it practical. She was helping people realize the truth about themselves and their stories long before Oprah made that approach to dealing with our suffering popular. Her website has some great info on her and her ways. But I’d highly recommend going to one of her retreats and doing “The Work” with her in person. Absolutely life-changing.
4) Jeff Foster. Wow. We’ve run a few of his articles on Glad.is, and also sell his book “The Deepest Acceptance” on our Amazon store. Sign up for Jeff Foster quotes on Facebook if you want to get a good idea of how he can help.
5) Rumi. This ancient sage literally wrote the books on personal healing. He must be one of the most quoted sages on Facebook. We sell his books on our Amazon store too. We’ve got Rumi’s 15 most inspiration art card quotes here.
I’ve read and re-read these above resources many times. And knowing myself as I do now, I’m aware that the me 10 years ago would be a proverbial mess of resistance, fear and confusion right now.
I’m grateful to have the tools to go through this change. It’s helped me remain (mostly) calm, reflective, open to possibility and to have an absolute sense that while my world might read like an intense drama today, I can also choose the thought that right now, I have this very moment that is real and full of beauty between the cracks and it will never be here or be the same again. I am creating my life, and these other things, these words, are just part of a story, an ending which I can’t know, but one that I am sure I can weather, learn from, and come out stronger on the end. Our stories are important, but they only define us if we let them. Do your work when you can, look for help when you need it. There are always helpers out there. Seek them, have faith in yourself — and support yourself and others in practice.
What teachers do you turn to in hard times? Please share with others below!