The Great Opportunity
I often tell my students that hanging out and listening to the chatter running around in their heads is like going into a bad neighborhood. Getting hooked by our internal dialog and entertaining it can lead to misperceptions, false narratives, and just plain old made up stories we then tell ourselves over and over again as if to convince ourselves of their veracity.
Many times, that internal dialog is what gives us some degree of comfort, making it more palatable as we face the reality of the situation before us. In essence, we’re having a dialog with ourselves and our thoughts. The problem with that is it keeps us stuck inside of our own conceptual thinking.
In these COVID times, staying in our conceptual thinking mind can devastate us. We create fearful, anxiety-producing scenarios that stay on replay throughout each day. Fear is simply a thought that we project onto ourselves that keeps us from being present. If we fail to catch ourselves as we fall into its clutches, it can consume or devastate us. Even if we don’t become ill from the virus, and we are safe and sound, debilitating anxiety can take hold.
It’s only when you leave the present moment that there is fear. We can read articles and watch the news and live in fear. In this way, you may become paralyzed, residing in a state of extreme anxiety and suffering, although nothing has actually happened to you yet.
When things are going well, most of us cannot be bothered to go deeper. We instead look to the weekend, our next vacation, our next trip, or to our comfort zone.
Now we are suddenly confronted with our mortality, suffering, civil strife, financial collapse, illness. And at present, this adversity is a collective adversity that is affecting not just us but millions upon millions at the same time all over the world.
In the years I’ve taught and counseled others, I’ve never encountered anyone who awakened in their comfort zone. It’s when we are challenged or have our backs against the wall that we begin to question our existence, our awakened nature.
These are extreme times to be sure. However, this situation is also an invitation for us to go deeper, beyond the surface of the ever-present thought level of our consciousness. Today, millions of us are in a state of fear and anxiety. If we don’t go deeper than our thoughts, life will become almost unbearable, and we will suffer unnecessarily.
Use this current time as an opportunity to awaken out of your thoughts. Remember, your thoughts keep you from actually living in the present moment. Take this opportunity to come to realize that you are much deeper than you have ever known yourself to be before. Today, in some ways, we are all forced to go deeper because we can no longer stand the anxiety and fear anymore.
The most vital thing in any situation is the state of consciousness in which you meet that situation. Now is the perfect time to pay more attention to the state of consciousness you are meeting in this situation.
What is your state of consciousness? While you cannot do much about the external global situation, you can actually do something about your state of consciousness.
Use this precious time now because it’s all a part of the awakening consciousness of humanity. Circumstances may look right now like an obstacle to humanity from a conventional point of view. Yet, from another perspective, it is an opportunity for you, for all of us, to awaken to a deeper and higher level of consciousness.
Humans do not awaken in their comfort zone. They awaken when they step out, or are taken out, of their comfort zone. It’s adversity that forces us to go deeper if we aren’t already on a path. Many of us are already in the process of awakening, and what’s happening now is a wonderful opportunity to accelerate your own awakening. For those of us who have not yet begun the process, it’s not too late to start digging now.
The presence of who you are is deeper than the person.
There’s a Sufi saying:
“When the ego weeps for what it has lost, the spirit rejoices for what it has found.”
As much as possible, especially when you feel fearful emotionally, realize that in this present moment, there is nothing to fear. When we fear something, it’s a fear of some future moment. In this case, am I going to die? Is one of my loved ones going to die? But right now, none of that is happening.
Our emotions simply reflect the activity of our minds.
When you feel yourself drifting off into the fear, see if you can stop yourself and notice that you have left the present moment. The moment you notice you’ve left the present moment, come back into the present moment. Become aware of that presence that is inseparable from who you are. That presence is deeper than the person.
You needed the adversity to either find your presence or look deeper into it. Don’t lose yourself in fear. Stay rooted in that deeper presence.
This is a time of great opportunity. Use it, don’t waste it.
Maggie offers a 30-Min Complimentary Zoom Coaching session to help you pinpoint the issues that may have you feeling disempowered, exhausted, or stuck. All sessions are held via Zoom conferencing.
As a meditation and spiritual teacher, mentor and life coach, Maggie Kelly is your partner in an in-depth, thought-provoking and creative process that will inspire you to maximize your personal and professional potential, taking you from where you are to where you want to be.