“Mind is like the wood or stone from which a person carves an image. If he carves a tiger or dragon, and seeing it fears it, he is like a stupid person creating a picture of hell and then afraid to face it. If he does not fear it, then his unnecessary thoughts will vanish. Part of the mind produces sight, sound, taste, odor and sensibility, and from them raises greed, anger and ignorance with all their accompanying likes and dislikes.” Bodhidharma
Responding to Change
How much responsibility are you willing to take for what happens in your life? Are you creating your life or do you always defer to the ones around you? What guides your choices?
This has been a very wet year where I live, and I am grateful I don’t live in the drought-ridden part of the country. As a result of the dampness, a large number of large mushrooms have sprung up in my front yard which is very shady most of the day. One of them was huge, eight inches across, and several others of two varieties were almost as large. I’d never seen these before and had no idea if either the squirrels or I could eat them, but I don’t know mushrooms, so I thought it wiser to just admire them. The squirrels weren’t interested either.
The appearance of the mushrooms, which I think are lovely in their own way, is just one example of how conditions to which we are accustomed may change and surprise us with their uniqueness or beauty. But change can also be disconcerting, and how we experience it depends on what we think about the change. We create our perception of what is occurring. Instead of being afraid that poisonous mushrooms were appearing in my yard, I chose to appreciate their beauty and the opportunity to learn about something new.
Being in Charge of Your Own Thoughts
So many things influence how we think: our social environment, religious or spiritual beliefs, family or cultural codes of behavior, and past experience. In some way, we have all been programmed that certain things are good and others are bad. But as we become adults, we have the opportunity to reprogram our minds. We can make the decision to be the one who is in charge.
In order to truly be in charge of our lives, we must choose to be in charge of our thinking, for our thinking creates our emotions and together they determine what we create. The quote from Bohdidharma makes this very clear. You create what is in your mind and have a choice to hold on to that thought or to release it. The question you must answer is: What is the best for you or others affected by your decision?
Release the Resistance Fear Creates
Often we feel fear in our response to something new in our lives. Will that new boss value the work we do? Will a parent’s death destroy the family togetherness? Will marriage take away our independence or bring us more love? It is always best to release the psychological fears we have before we make a decision. Fear creates resistance and blocks our ability to see what is best for us.
So, when that tiger or dragon first appears in our thoughts, we need to center ourselves, find that place of quiet in our hearts, and say to our minds, “Release this fear.” Name it if you can, breathe deeply, and let it go. These psychological fears have no value for us. Repeat this gently until the negative image you have created releases. It is yours to reject. Then, in the quiet, ask Spirit or the Universe to fill your need and be willing to wait, knowing that what you need will appear, if not then, later when the time is right.
Releasing Your Fear Workshop
This process for releasing fear is what I teach each year in a workshop, “Releasing Your Fear.” In the workshop, we delve more deeply into the mind and how it works and how to practice this technique so that it is truly useful to you. If you want to learn more about the September 9 workshop, click here.
Creating Your Joyful Dance of Life
Dancing to our own creation means that we choose to be the choreographer of our dance of life. We can choose the steps we like best, improvise until the right phrase appears, and practice what flows best until the dance that truly brings us joy appears out of our own creative mental process. It is not some creator out there who is in charge of our dance, we are.
When we get stuck, instead of creating tigers and dragons, we can envision the positive outcome we want and take the steps to go there. If one step doesn’t work, we can try another, and eventually the right one shows up. We only have to have the courage to release our fear of what is new, unfamiliar and unknown, focus on what we truly want, and believe we are capable of creating it.
© 2012 Georganne Spruce ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5