It's December. The traditional hallmarks of December are Celebration and Gratitude, innate qualities and movements of our true unfettered self. But this December we find ourselves in the midst of unique and challenging times which most of us have never faced before. How to celebrate and feel gratitude in the midst of so much loss and potential continued loss? You practice courage to overcome fearful thoughts and emotional states that cause you to contract from others and from your own sense of resourcefulness and joy. Some tips and insights for practicing:
1) Leap! Liberation and empowerment always come dressed in paradox. If you find yourself contracting and holding back and holding on, don't spend time stewing. Just give! Give your money, give your time, give your attention to others (especially outside your family). Disregard the fearful objecting thoughts of lack and limitation and just do it.
2) Make such giving a regular part of your life, daily or weekly is best.
3) Master your (fearful) mind! It is crucial to understand in a vivid on-the-spot way, the difference between imagination and perception and the nature of causality.
Perception doesn't cause anything! It is just raw data. For example, receiving a pink slip, or perceiving imagining you are about to, doesn't cause anything. In other words, you do not have to feel afraid. Fear isn't caused by perception of an outer event or an inner event (imagining possibility of a pink slip). Fear is caused when you move from perception to imagination of consequence (things will only get worse) to conviction that you can't handle the consequence and nothing good can come of it (you're screwed!). That "move from" moment is the on-the-spot moment of choice.
Instead of choosing fearful thinking, you have a choice to move from perception to imagining yourself to be someone you value and will stand by and encourage in the process of imagining constructive actions you can take to deal with the perceived event. No put downs, including complaining, which is a disguised put down! Do you see how? In order to complain, you first have to judge yourself not good enough or smart enough to handle the challenge.
It may not seem to you that it is just as easy to imagine positive consequences as negative ones, but that is just a function of habit. You can practice imagining constructive outcomes and practice brainstorming the means to get there.
Inspiration to create this new habit of constructive imagining and brainstorming increases easily when you realize that fearful thinking, and its resulting contracted mental and emotional states, are never required (according to the law of causality) and they never help! It is always a mistake to choose to give in to fearful thinking.
If you take some time to focus on this fact so that you really get it -- develop confidence in it, you will readily arouse your aggressive energy to reject fearful thinking and replace it with creative thinking.
Here is an example of how one person chose to trust the paradoxical nature of liberation and empowerment. Many years ago a very successful man shared what he said was his primary secret to success. He said simply, "Whatever direction fear told me to go in, I went in the opposite direction. That made all the difference."
May we all prosper with enhanced compassion and wisdom! Let's make a difference together. Good luck.