I used the analogy recently when discussing meditation, of being at Sushi Train.
There are lots of dishes (or thoughts) that we see moving along the conveyor belt.
Some look good, others not so good. Some we know we will enjoy; others we know we won’t like because we have tasted them before or some of the ingredients just don’t sit well with us.
Anyone who has practiced meditation, knows that the point is to quieten the mind, not to avoid any thoughts. It is about acknowledging and accepting that your mind has wandered into the proverbial ‘fish market’, observing where it has gone, and then gently bringing it back to the present moment.
Wisdom is being able to acknowledge the emotions (or habits) that do not serve us, thank them, and let them pass on by.
At Sushi Train, there are many dishes that pass you by. You get to choose the dishes that are appealing to you and there is no obligation to try any of them or take them ALL off the conveyor belt.
I believe this is the same with our responses in life, our emotions, our state of mind, and our mind wanderings.
But putting the theory aside for a second, what happens in real life when we find ourselves powerless to not choose the perceived yucky emotion?
For a long time, I have considered myself on a journey of sorts – a path of soul searching and understanding. I am not striving to be of ‘monk status’, but I know I am getting better at learning and experiencing what I believe I am supposed to be here for.
To answer someone’s question recently, my definition of spirituality is believing that there is something bigger and much greater than me. It is knowing I am part of, and connected to, a greater cause and a bigger purpose.
It has nothing to do with religion (I do not follow any specific dogma) and it has everything to do with the way we live and conduct our lives and the way we interact with others.
I believe that we have incredible power within us and unlimited potential, and I want to find ways to tap into it.
In an attempt to grab every opportunity to do this, sometimes I have gone on retreats. These have not been to practice intensive yoga for 5 days or simply undergo a mind and body detox alone in the wilderness. They have all been with a deliberate view to finding a way to connect to a deeper part of myself that I believe is and always has been there.
I tell you this in the essence of being transparent. Whilst I have certain standards for myself and I hold my own set of personal values and beliefs, I also struggle with the balance between these and what I am presented with in everyday human life.
I had a discussion with someone recently, who on occasion, I have gained ‘counsel’.
The call was an emotional one, with me mostly pouring out tears of frustration and sadness in what I perceived was a gigantic struggle between me being human with human emotions and living and growing into the person I am choosing to be.
I sobbed as I shared how I have worked so hard on being non-judgemental and having no anger or animosity towards people or society. And how despite this, in that moment I found myself having a huge dilemma with processing a set of circumstances I was faced with.
“I feel like I have one foot in each camp. How do I process this and be human, but aspire to be spiritual at the same time?“
On one hand, I know we get to choose our emotions, to decide how we will be in response to news or events, and to show up as the bigger person, the more enlightened, and the good example.
On the other, how do you do this when you feel completely overwhelmed and are sure that any enlightenment or spirituality you thought you had has fast flown out the window?
Put simply, that day, I couldn’t get my mental sh*t together. Perhaps the only thing that made it worse, was the fact that I was fully aware of this. Maybe sometimes ignorance IS bliss.
My counsel reminded me that I am allowed to be both spiritually aware and a human being. In fact, in this life, there is no other way to be.
I am allowed to feel anger and resentment and being aware of these emotions demonstrates I have not lost connection to my spiritual awareness.
He reminded me of the importance of letting myself feel, being vulnerable, and being kind to myself regardless of the personal expectations and high bar I have put in place.
Shortly after our conversation, I came across the piece below.
Before I leave you today, my reminder is that despite what it might look like, no one has their stuff together all the time! And that’s OKAY!
It is absolutely possible and perfectly fine to:
- be strong and feel weak
- have courage and feel scared
- be inspirational and fall apart
- to empower but feel broken
- to make a difference and not know it and
- to be both human and spiritual
“There are four Native American Indian Spirituality Laws that say nothing happens for no reason in life.
The 1st law says: The person you meet is the right one.
No one comes into our life by accident. Everyone we encounter stands for something.
The 2nd law says: What happens is the only thing that can happen.
Not even the most insignificant detail of what happens to us could have been different.
The 3rd law says: Every moment that something starts is the right time.
When we are ready for something new, it was already there, to begin with.
The 4th law says: What’s over is over.
When something ends in our life, it serves our development.
Not a single raindrop anywhere in the world accidentally falls in the wrong place.”
And a note on death? Many Native American tribes believed that the souls of the dead pass into a spirit world and became part of the spiritual forces that influenced every aspect of their lives.
Dalya xx 💙