How many experiences have you had since you were born? Which ones do you remember, enjoyed fully, still regret, wish you never had, revisit over and over, or so totally rejected that you don’t even remember them?
What is an experience?
As crazy as it may seem at first glance, experiences are circumstances that you create, some consciously others not. Those you did not see coming, you created with the collaboration of your higher intelligence to learn something about or return to your essence, to your true self.
Most of us categorize our experiences as being good or bad according to the sensations and emotions that accompany them. Unless we have learned to develop awareness about them, we create stories or dramas that build those stories into belief systems. As we try to reproduce comfortable ones and avoid painful ones (according to the original perception we had) they become a reference system that solidifies and becomes rigid. If a current experience remotely resembles a previous one, you will “re-act“ to it as you reacted the first time instead of reacting to what really is in front of you. This is how emotional patterns set in. Unfortunately, a response that stems from a false perception necessarily leads to a false emotion which, in turn, makes your position even more rigid.
The source of your dramas
“When any of the stories that you form in your head touch the emotional body you start to spin with commotion. The intertwining of the mind and the emotional body really produce the type of perception you choose to have. If in your mind you create a story of being a victim, your emotional body will look to match this thought with feelings of despair, hopelessness and abandonment.” Read More
To break the rigid structures created by your false belief systems, train your mind:
– to acknowledge when your Drama Queen acts out
– to observe her neutrally instead of engaging with her story
– to refrain from any judgment or guilt.
Checking facts and challenging your Drama Queen brings you back to the present and to reality. She does not like it and even you may not like it, but you know what is real and sincere.
Material: a clock, a pencil and 1 sheet of paper
1. Identify one major event in your life.
2. Take a sheet (8.5 x 11 is good) and draw yourself at the bottom of the picture in a relaxed position. The point here is not to create a masterpiece but to launch your reflection. Eg. a stick person lying down is fine.
3. Let one judgment come up about this event. Write it as in the speaking bubble format of a comic strip.
4. Let more thoughts or beliefs arise and keep writing them in the same format.
5. Keep going for at least 10 minutes.
6. Observe the dialogue of your mind and emotions as if you were watching a movie, without judgment.
7. Express kindness towards yourself.
8. Write down your conclusions or insights in your journal.
Training the mind and emotions
Exploring this realm of the self is fascinating, but I can hear you say “There must be a way to prevent this from happening!” You are totally right. Prevention is preferable to having to break old structures. Rather than avoiding unpleasant emotions, allow them to express themselves 100%; feel them with full awareness. It pinches but does go away much more quickly, usually within a couple of minutes, and without leaving a residue. This requires a friendly attitude to the self and discipline. It doesn’t mean reacting, not reacting or being perfect but simply to “stay in the moment.”
At the other end of the spectrum, observe when you want fun times to last or when you want to re-create one. This form of manipulation blocks your ability to experience or express your joy differently.
To train the mind, simply observe your thoughts and let them go as though they are clouds. If you don’t attach to them, they’ll disappear. If you do, they’ll create a loop that drives you crazy, usually for a couple of days.
Tip: Uncomfortable emotions are not bad, they are guides that say “Hey, look at me, hear me! Check what’s really going on.“
The impact of the senses on perception
Our perceptions are built when the senses are stimulated, and our modern society overloads the senses. Shopping and going to the movies or the restaurant are perfect examples. Loud music and sound effects, colours, perfumes, music, intense lighting and vibrations, overly salty and sweet foods saturate and dull all our sense organs. This sensory overload also debilitates our ability to recognize what really happens and the subtle nuances in the events and environments that life presents to us.
“Meditation, silence, time alone, and contemplation on natural objects can clean the saturation of the senses. This understanding is necessary in order to see the true nature of inner and outer things.”
Berdhanya Swami Tierra, Teaching Art – The Occasion for Intelligence
In addition to the judgments you create about your experiences and because of the filters caused by sensory overload, identifying who you are becomes problematic. You start to attach to concepts of who you think you “should be”, which translates into “I should be good” or “I am bad, therefore…”. Or worst, you see ourselves as “being“ those experiences. You present yourself as a lawyer, a victim, a mother, a saviour, an artist, a boss, a militant, rich, poor, beautiful, and so on. These are limiting definitions of who you are.
Acceptance of your experiences
One of the benefits of aging is that it gives us the privilege of observing how our perception of experiences change over time. This is especially true with very painful ones such as breaks in close relationships, death of loved ones, being the target of acts of violence, loss of health, limbs and status, as well as wars, cataclysms, etc. You can even recognize that you went through the usual five steps of loss :
1. anger or rage
4. bargaining and
before acceptance comes.
Your experiences give you opportunities to master issues that we have not been able to understand and resolve. As long as you fail to take full responsibility and to detach from the lesson, life will bring you similar experiences as chances to complete your lesson. Once you are free of it you gain wisdom, a certain softness in that area, and then you can serve others.
Using the same event you chose for Exercise 1, identify at which of the 5 steps you are currently. If you select the fifth one, go deeper.
How to beautify your experiences
Acceptance is the first stage of beautification. The challenge is to destroy your habitual ways of perceiving reality. This step requires commitment and a strong sense of self-responsibility. The result is one of renewed energy, a willingness to let go of any judgment. Then benefits start showing up. You may find things you thought you never had or thought you had lost forever. And you don’t stop there. Once you found that piece, you want to learn how to use it.
1. Contemplate the sutra (sentence that quickly summarizes a fundamental truth) “I am not my experiences.”
2. Write down in your journal the wisdom that arose from your contemplation.
3. Create an intimate celebration for your achievements and go within to thank the people, thoughts and emotions involved in the circumstances that lead you to engage in this process.
The rewards of going deeper
As you keep going deeper in this exploration, notice that forgiveness, compassion and kindness towards yourself and others sprout and bloom in unexpected ways, opening a spectrum of new realities and potentials.
As you go along, you may recognize obsolete emotional patterns that won’t go away despite your best efforts. The Emotions – Chakra Creams set, complete with a 40-day meditation, was created to help you let go of those that are imbedded in your chakras or central channel.Read More
The course Balance Your Emotions with Aromatherapy was developed for individuals who want support during this process. Read More