anantakasainlife

creating boundless space in our lives


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Letting Go

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When I am afraid of the unknown, I cling to the known, sometimes to my own detriment. I hold on to what I know since I’m scared of what I don’t know. The future is uncertain, so I hold on to the past. I forget about the present moment because it is obscured by the noise in my head.

But when I realize that there is a purpose and place for everything, I change my perspective. I clear my mind and see what I need to do. I equip myself with the right equipment and learn how to navigate the situation. I let go of the past, the future, my fears and insecurities, and learn to trust life. I let whatever happens happen. Thus the unknown that I feared becomes a wonderful opening into the beauty of life.

It is like climbing a ladder and walking on the roof to do maintenance work.  I wear the right clothes, use a harness connected to a rope that is tied securely to a structure in the house, and secure the ladder. At first, I held on to the ladder for fear that I would fall.  It took a few minutes to calm my nerves. But I began to put one foot ahead of the other. Tight as a fiddle, I began to make my way up the steep slope of the roof, holding on to the rope.  I nailed the siding (it fell off in a high wind) to the side of the dormer. I felt good securing it in place. I was getting the hang of being up on the roof. I continued to nail the siding in two more places. When I was done, I looked down at the ground below me and I realized I conquered my fears. Then I looked at my work and felt empowered.

Looking back on my daring experience, I recall the words of Anthony DeMello: “It is our illusions that prevent us from seeing that we are, and always have been, free.”


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Renewed

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I am renewed everyday when I keep my mind open, my heart pure, and my consciousness clear and fresh. I let go of my past and future (good or bad), regardless of whether it happened yesterday or several years ago.  Whatever happened in the past was meant to be, otherwise it would not have happened. The future is unpredictable and outside my control. Therefore, I focus on the present moment and enjoy it — even cherish it. I go with the flow of life and let life take care of me.

 


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Unstuck

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I become stuck when I force my unrealistic expectations on others and the world. I have lived long enough to know that things don’t always go according to plan. There will be always delays, mistakes, missed opportunities, failures, disagreements. The list goes on and on. If I believe that the world and other people should change so I can be peaceful and happy, I will always be disappointed. It is not in the nature of forms to make me satisfied.

So how do I become unstuck? How can I move beyond my unhappy state? The answer is to allow the world to be as it is. I accept people as they are and each moment as it is. But most importantly, I permit myself to experience my emotions and watch them pass through my body. I am out there watching the situation and at the same time watching me and my reactions. I forgive myself for harboring negativity, and in doing so, I create space within me. I no longer add fuel to the situation.

I cut the link between my emotions and the stories that accompany the emotions. I  drop my unreasonable demands so that I  feel my essence as well as that of other people. I am able to connect with them on a deeper level and experience the beauty of each moment.

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Fellowship

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When we are in an argument with somebody, we lose our control. We try to impose our point of view on the other person. We defend our stance and attack the other’s position, which triggers an emotional or defensive reaction. Before we know it, the argument escalates into a fight.

Let’s step back and see what is happening here.  We have two people who identify with two opposing points of view.  Each tries to wield power over the other in the mistaken belief that the other is wrong.

But in the grand scheme of things, does it really matter if the other person is right or wrong? Isn’t the other person’s being more important than his or her opinions, attitudes or viewpoints?

How much better it would be if we allow others to be who they are.  We let them express their opinions without getting defensive. We listen to them with detachment and look at the situation as if it were happening to somebody else. We do not identify with the anger, fear, drama, or stress. We do not personalize the situation. We allow it to be as it is. This doesn’t mean that we do nothing. It means that we accept the situation, and then we act.

The strange thing is that when we accept and allow others to be who they are, they begin to change. When we stop fighting them, we feel their essence and they begin to feel ours. We experience a true fellowship and flowering of consciousness.


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Surrender

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When something bad happens, our mind plays tricks on us. It creates stories about the situation. It reaches into our past and forms a fictitious identity. Or it jumps into the future and builds hope. Both are illusory and not real. Only the present moment is real, and it is neither good nor bad. It just is.

When we surrender, we are at one with the present moment. We suspend past and future and focus our attention on this instant. We then see a different side of the situation. Suddenly, the big obstacle fades away and is replaced by something that is manageable, even a blessing. We are compelled to do right action and see the benevolence of life. The harshness is replaced by gentleness.

For instance: I had been helping my friend with a financial issue. She submitted the paperwork and waited for a confirmation that the transaction went through. She waited for two months and still nothing happened. Then she received several letters but since she did not understand any of the documents, she assumed the worst. She thought she lost a lot of money. She was fearful, stressed and agitated. I felt responsible for this and was blaming myself.

But as I was driving to her house, I realized that I don’t know the whole story. I haven’t seen the documents. My job was to look at all the facts and feel the solution bubble to the surface. In other words, I surrendered to the present moment.

When I arrived at her house, I could feel her tension. I suggested that we both look at all the documents and talk to the brokerage firm. We found out that the paperwork she submitted was missing some information, so they did not process the transaction. They tried to get a hold of her to resolve the issue. She did not lose money; her funds were still intact. We triple-checked her paperwork  (just to be sure!) and re-submitted it. My friend was relieved and happy.  I was glad that the issue was resolved.  

At times like this, the words of Eckhart Tolle come to mind: “When we surrender, the world loses its power to intimidate us and it also loses its promise to fulfill us. We then become free of the world.”


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Travel in peace

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photo by anantakasainlife

Terrific. Absurd. Fantastic. Ridiculous. These are some labels that we attach to our travel experiences. We are always interpreting, commenting, judging a person, object or situation that we encounter. But the truth is that when we travel, things will always go wrong. We miss a flight. We booked the wrong hotel. Somebody spills coffee on us on an international flight (oh no!). Our wallet got stolen. We left our cell phone in a taxi (yikes!). The list goes on.

We can read all the travel books and blogs to prepare ourselves for our trip, but the key to keep our sanity while traveling is to accept situations and people as they are. I do not mean to say that we take no action. I mean that we observe what it happening to us as if it were happening to somebody else. We watch, then we take action. This is empowered action and aligns us with the flow of life.

For example: One of our friends was in-charge of booking our hotel in Stavanger, Norway. He thought he booked a nice hotel in downtown Stavanger. But when we arrived in Stavanger in the afternoon after a day spent hiking, we went in circles looking for our hotel. In desperation, we called the hotel’s registration desk. To our surprise, we were informed that it was 10 minutes away and that it was attached to a hospital. Yikes!

We’ve never been in a hotel that was connected to a hospital. This was a totally new experience. After some discussion, we decided to make the best of the situation. After all, we were only there for two days. As it turned out, we were happy with our decision: the rooms were affordable, the beds were comfortable, the showers were clean, the staff were friendly and helpful, and we had free breakfast! We saved some money along the way, which is always a plus.

Had we insisted on staying in a hotel in downtown Stavanger, we would have missed out on the whole experience. Years from now, we will always remember our stay in a hospital room!

When traveling, it is always best to go with the flow of life.

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Travel tip

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Photo by anantakasainlife

A tip to keep in mind when traveling is to be present whenever something unexpected happens (and it will). We allow each moment to be as it is. We live in it fully and enjoy every aspect of it. This gives us peace of mind and keeps our sanity. We may even encounter a wonderful surprise waiting for us.

For instance: we were looking forward to our trip to Norway, with a stopover in Iceland. We looked at maps and travel blogs. We talked about it for weeks. Finally the day of our departure arrived and we enthusiastically got into a cab. But when we got to the airport, we found out that our flight to Iceland was cancelled (we didn’t sign up for flight alerts). This meant we would miss our connecting flight to Norway. We could either fume and get mad and demand that the airline gets us on the next flight to Iceland or else. Or we could work with the ticket agents to help us get to our destination. We chose the latter. While we patiently waited, we watched and observed the people around us. We started talking and joking with our fellow passengers. We were having a great time. When the ticket agents informed us that they will put us on a late-night flight to Iceland and will book us for one night at a hotel in downtown Reykjavik for free, we were ecstatic! What a nice surprise! Suddenly, things were looking up! We spent a glorious day exploring Reykjavik and then went on to have a marvelous trip to Norway.

Had we allowed our emotions and negative stories to creep into our heads, we would have had heated arguments with the ticket agents. The situation would have gone from bad to worse. We would have been stressed and anxious. But when we went with the flow of life, we experienced wonder and delight!

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