When we’re in the habit of constantly comparing ourselves to others and making snap judgments about how we measure up in comparison to ‘her’, we can never be in our true power and feel truly at peace.
And we must realise something. This behaviour can sometimes be very subtle. We may not even think we’re doing it. But know this, the more vehemently we deny that we’re competitive, the more underground and insidious it is.
Our need to compete even a teensy bit must be owned and integrated in order for us to make peace with it and get it under control. It’s not always bad, it’s just that cultivating an attitude of oneness is a more productive way to function.
We’re at our most creative, loving and joyful when we live from the belief that we’re all equal.
How does this play out in your life? Here I am revealing my personal struggle with competition…
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On the walk across the golf course to school this morning, my nine year-old daughter asked: “Mum, why do you meditate?”
My reply: “Well, it makes me more peaceful and calm. Also, it helps me to know myself better and become clearer about how I want to live my life, rather than just rushing around all day focused on what I have to do”.
“Hmmm” she said. “I’m already peaceful, sorta, well not really, but I’m happy (looking up at me with a funny grin).”
We had a little giggle at this because ‘peaceful’ is not a word either of us would often associate with this high energy, singing and dancing, extroverted, firecracker of a little girl. But yes, she is mostly a pretty happy child.
And I guess, for the most part, I’m a pretty happy adult. It’s just that since leaving childhood, I seem to have developed some not so helpful habits when it comes to being present, mindful, conscious and focused each day.
One of these is multi-tasking. Are you aware of how often in your day you are trying to do more than one thing at a time? Also, are you aware of how sometimes doing more than one thing at a time undermines your enjoyment of both activities?
In my assessment, some multi-tasking works and some doesn’t. It’s all a matter of being aware of how mindful you feel when combining activities and how you feel at the end of each day when you do it a lot.
For example, this morning I enjoyed listening to Dee Walllace on Masterworks Healing as I folded and hung washing indoors. This type of multi-tasking feels fine to me as I can remain calm and present when I do it.
A not so healthy habit I recently broke was reading while eating. When I did this, I found my posture became hunched, my abdomen was tense and I wasn’t really conscious of what I was putting in my mouth. I think conversing while eating is fine (my husband is always telling me off for talking with my mouth full). Reading feels different I think because it takes your mind away from the present moment and distracts you from enjoying the food. But hey, maybe that’s just me.
The bottom line is, when we try to do too much, we feel stressed and the notion that we are more productive the more balls we can juggle through our day, can actually be a bit of an illusion. Slowing everything down allows us to see that a happy life is not about getting through the washing so we can do something more fun or about eating breakfast while reading a magazine because we’ve killed two birds with one stone (but probably enjoyed neither).
This is what I know about myself: I can’t listen to an interview and write emails or a blog simultaneously. I can’t meditate and compile a shopping list simultaneously and I can’t truly taste my morning cup of tea unless I sit down to drink it instead of sipping it while standing at the kitchen bench filling lunch boxes.
What multi-tasking habits would you like to break? I love to hear from you…
In recent years I’ve been playing around with actively shifting my perspective when something I would usually label as ‘bad’ turns up in my life. I’ve become quite practised at looking for a spiritual meaning, a lesson or a benefit in every so-called ‘negative’ event.
Illness is one of those life events I find hardest to be relaxed about. Having recently experienced all four members of our family being knocked sideways by a flu for a week and a half each, I was handed yet another opportunity to go with the flow that this period of illness presented to me.
I have to say I’ve come out the other end of this experience feeling a greater sense of inner peace, surrender and gratitude than I have ever experienced before. Everything has been slowed down a notch (by necessity) and I feel like my whole being has been “reset” to a more calm and aware level of existence.
I certainly feel greater gratitude for my body as it slowly heals itself and a heightened appreciation for being able to do simple tasks like the grocery shopping and hanging some washing without feeling I need to sit down every few minutes.
I’m cruising through appointments being rescheduled by clients, only one woman turning up to my dance class (we had a fun class together) and a lunch my husband and I planned to have today being delayed until next week due to a work commitment of his. It’s all good, and I’m not just pretending or brushing upset feelings under the carpet, I genuinely feel at peace and blessed to be alive.
Listening this morning to Guy Finley talk with Jennifer McLean on Healing with the Masters, I feel even more that I’m on the right track. Guy is speaking about the value of looking at everything that happens in our lives (especially the unpleasant stuff) as serving our spiritual growth and leading us towards a better life.
One thing I enjoyed getting back into this week was taking some short walks in nature. I felt drawn to a grove of peppermint trees a little walk up the golf course from our house. Just wandering between these loving presences, touching their trunks and letting their soft leaves brush my head, made me feel rejuvenated. The plant kingdom just yearns to serve us. Touch a tree today!