Remembering the Broader Picture
There have been many times in my life when I’ve been so overwhelmed by the actions of others that I can’t think straight or respond in a way I think is appropriate. Or something unfortunate would happen beyond my control and I couldn’t even begin to formulate a plan of action because I was so exasperated by the whole mess. It was always frustrating to me that I was unable to keep a stronghold on a peaceful, calm thought process at all times.
When alone I was most able to maintain an impartial view of my circumstances, seeing people and situations in an interconnected sense. But when immersed in an argument or difficult incident, sometimes all of my calm and reason was forgotten.
The worst of it came on the day when I was convinced I had lost everything. My husband who I had adored for years left me. I had spent many long months trying desperately to make it work, but the time had come for me to surrender and let him go.
It was at this time that I didn’t even find solace in solitude. At every moment of the day I felt attacked, afraid that the rug would be pulled out from under me whenever I felt a sense of security. Especially in the beginning, much of the mind training I had done felt like it was for naught, because I had almost no positive thoughts throughout each day. Thinking of a “bright side” only made me feel resentful. I felt as though I had no direction and no use in this world. I didn’t want to bother to try if I was destined to fail at matters most important.
But as time passed, I slowly began to feel whole and useful again. Having only two options: give up or rise up, I chose the latter, refusing to be beaten by my own self-doubt. As I allowed myself to become more malleable by my predicament, little changes inside me became evident. The sense of purpose in my life began to grow again. I realized that this challenge in my life had occurred in order for a better version of myself to emerge.
It was through this crisis that I learned that it is always important to keep your eye on the broader picture. If I had remained stagnant, stuck in archetypal patterns of victimization and thinking the same egocentric thoughts, I would have gotten nowhere. I had to pull back, see the situation for what it truly was, with a calm, open mind. I had to determine how I contributed to the world instead of focusing on what the world was doing to me.
While embroiled in a life-changing crisis or simply caught up in a series of smaller frustrations, you may get distracted from a more impartial view of the universe. At these times it can be useful to draw upon a vision that reminds you of the beautiful interconnectedness of the world.
Was there ever a time when you looked up at a star and realized the monumental space separating the two of you? Its sparkle traveled light years to herald the immensity of the universe. What a serene quiet in outer space. Certain life situations can influence us so greatly that we can forget that there is any life beyond our own nose. Even if we spend countless hours dedicated toward changing our mindset to the most positive one, occasions can arise where we are so distracted by an immediate influence that our inner calm is disturbed.
If you find yourself in this predicament, you may feel you've sunk too far into your own mind to see out. But there is an innate silence in every situation. It may help to step back and see the enormity of the space in and around you, and let yourself remember how tranquil it can be.
To recover that internal silence, I find the following exercise helpful. Take a slow, deep breath. Continue to breathe slowly and deeply throughout your visualization. Take a moment to feel the weight of your body in your seat. Let yourself be cognizant of your surroundings, noticing the sounds and smells in your room, and then allow these observations to softly pass. See yourself sitting quietly amidst what may feel like chaos. Pull yourself up gently from where you are. See the entirety of the room. Observe the home or building you’re sitting in. See it resting on its foundation, solid, stable and quiet. Pull out to your town or city. Distinguish the various districts, perhaps focusing on any natural, untouched landscape of birds and lush greenery. Next look at your state or province, noting the difference in the regions, the varied people interspersed throughout. Look at your entire country. See all the activities going on at one time. People driving, conversing, working, playing, being born, dying. Expand your view to take in the oceans. Feel the push and pull of the tide. With a fish’s confidence, let the water envelope you. Re-emerge refreshed, pulling back even further until you have a view of the whole Earth silhouetting a backdrop of countless stars. Perhaps at this point you can see the cumulative joy and tragedy that keeps this world vibrating, taking it in with an objective perception. Let any images come, accepting whatever you see, all of it part of the broader picture. Take as much time as you need to experience this open perspective with impartiality. When you are ready, you can bring this impartiality with you as you descend slowly back into your room. You now have this new perspective available to you as you reassess the tumult you once detected. You can take this image of a silent Earth and its inhabitants with you as you go. How does this image change your perception of your own existence?
Perhaps this practice will help you relax when the glimmer of a millennia old star is not visible from your seat.
Lisa Wright is a freelance writer in Connecticut. She is currently seeking a publisher for her novel The Invisible Visitor. In her spare time, Lisa creates human holograms from electricity and moxie. You’re encouraged to visit her website atwww.wrightwrong.com.
Photo Courtesy of 123rf.
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Article Copyright © 2007 Lisa Wright. All rights reserved.