The thanking corner: my morning coffee and books
What I've been up to: Remembering Presence
Back in London from my holidays in Spain in September, life has gotten very interesting.
Different events prompted me to question almost all my beliefs about life. I kind of started from scratch, even building a Cristina's model of life like the old philosophers did, starting from what I knew for sure, coupled with my own observations about life.
Whereas my mind wanted to get to some kind of definite mental model to deal with life, that was not the point of questioning my beliefs, as I saw once it was all said and done. The point was to clear the space and to start fresh and anew.
I once again observed and inhabited the deeper layer that exists after thought - presence, or awareness, if you like. I once again remembered the true essence of what we are. This, by the way, inspired the Thought of the Month for this newsletter.
It is interesting to me, as I observe, that I'm not the only one going through "major makeovers". Most of my friends report going through major changes too, whether in their jobs, relationships, or ways of life.
I see as well that these changes bring us to a more evolved stage, to a phase of life which is better than the previous one - more peaceful, more interesting, more intelligent, more loving.
If you've happened to be immersed in a swirl of changes in the last month, turn your attention to the positive results that these changes have brought. Then, keep going - life is only getting better! ;-)
The Positive News: The world's smallest waterlily is saved from extinction
You gotta check the pictures of this cute waterlily - a plant which grew only in a small place in Rwanda, and that due to a set of circumstances has been brought back to life at the Royal Botanic Gardens in London.
Read the full news at TreeHugger.com.
The Monthly Thought: What's Beyond Thought?
In times of change, when an area of our life morphs and takes a direction we hadn't planned for, we may feel out of control for a certain time. It may feel threatening, rocky, sad, or hopeless - or it may just be a general feeling of "things are not right".
"All structures are unstable", Eckhart Tolle explains in his book "A new earth". As life changes for us, also our mental models of life must change to adapt to the new scenarios.
Letting go of familiar patterns of thought or beliefs may seem scary, because we don't know what it is that follows. We want to cling on to a mental model which will explain whatever is going on for us in a satisfactory way.
Everything changes, and thus rocky times also come to pass, and we arrive at a new mental model of life which is useful for the new scenario.
However, that new mental model of life will eventually be put to test, and a new model will come to replace it.
Is there any way to perceive life other than through thought, so that even having a mental model of how life works isn't needed?
In my experience, there is. There is awareness - "presence" is another word for it. It is also described as the process of "enlightenment".
It is easy: whenever you are aware of your thoughts, you are not identified with your thoughts anymore. Instead, you are the awareness of the thoughts. This opens a whole new way of perceiving life.
What I find most useful of awareness is that it is particularly useful to navigate through life when it gets difficult. Rather than having to justify or explain circumstances, from awareness we're able to simply observe what is happening, without attaching ourselves to any particular story.
From awareness there is no need to attach ourselves to any particular positive outcome either. It is then clear that it's not even a matter of how much we get done or achieve, or in what way we contribute to the world - it is a matter of being present as much time as possible. Life will then bring to us the circumstances in which we can help the most while having the most joy.
For me, the sentence that always brings me back to awareness is "Welcome Home, Cristina". These three words have the power to allow me to drop any story I may carry in my mind, and come back to presence.
If you want to experience your life more and more from awareness, find out the pointers that work best for you - a sentence like mine, a piece of art, a particular song, even a body position. Bring them into your life daily. Observe.
You are safe. You are loved.
The Positive Recommendation: Anthony de Mello
I believe that the times we're living give way to a raise of consciousness - they are in one way or another calling us to live our life from a larger point of view. As I see it, they are calling for our living life in awareness.
However, waking up is not pleasant, as Anthony de Mello points out. Anthony de Mello was a Jesuit priest and psychotherapist, and wrote books and gave conferences on spirituality.
I have been listening to some of his recorded talks lately, and I find that he explains quite nicely the change from living asleep to living in awareness - which ultimately means living in love.
Check out this video for a taste of his talks: "On waking up".
The Thanking Corner
I believe that being grateful for something is one of the most powerful tools to feel better immediately. Here are the two thanking bits of the month:
Thankful for... my morning coffee! Because my journey to work takes me close to an hour, I make myself a fresh coffee in the morning and place it in my travel mug, and I enjoy having it while reading a book in the train. I love having that time to start the day nicely! :-)
Thankful for... books. I love reading since I was a kid - the feeling of a book, the advancing through the pages, the discovery of a story in the lines written. I also love that the right book seems to always enter my life at the right time ;-)
What are you thankful for? Send me an email through the Contact Me form and let me know!
Thank you for reading this issue of Dare To Play It Big, the free positive thinking newsletter of The Benefits Of Positive Thinking.
Care to send me your thoughts about this issue's topics? Email me and let me know!
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"The best way to break through any barrier is to access a point of perfect stillness at the center of your being, a self deeper than your senses or your mind."