Life Is But a Dream?
Many of us have seen a movie where the entire story line turns out to be a dream at the end. Some may even see the similarities between story lines and life and imagine that perhaps life is a dream and one day we will wake up to know it as such. But for now I like to believe that life is like a dream. It’s not quite a dream and but it’s fairly close. While dreaming we seem to be both creating the dream and a part of the dream. Its almost as if we are participating in creating it but also watching it. When we wake up we realize it was just a dream and the man that was chasing us, or the fact that we forgot our clothes in first period, is no longer causing the panicked fear or embarrassment the way it did while we slept.
We may wake up relieved feeling glad to know it wasn’t “real”. The attacker chasing us can’t hurt us now. The embarrassment will cause no residual feelings of despair. Those feelings dissipate and we realize we were safe all along, it was only a dream. What if life itself was that way too? What if once we pass on we came to realize that the high-paying career we were fervently pursuing with anxiety, or the body we were obsessing over perfecting, turned out to be a story line that made no bearing on us? Would we let go of that stress a little the next time we realized the external situations in our life were not perfect?
I believe that essentially we are all safe from these fears and anxieties once we realize the truth of who we are, however it doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t frequently get caught up in my own story line. But at this point, the key is seeing it for what it is. The projected film that plays in our minds at night is actually quite similar to the project film that our five senses participate in our daily life. Seeing the parallel helps reframe the way I approach my day. Perhaps the massage therapist who triggers you for cutting your treatment short is just another frame within the movie reel that one can view from a distance and not get too tied into the emotional reaction that we are used to playing out.
Who Are You?
Anyone on a spiritual path has come across of the question of how does one describe themselves. If you’ve read enough texts you know by now you are more than your roles, your gender, your race, or even the positive characteristics that make up your personality. But without all those labels and definitions – that often work well to separate us – what’s left and how do we identify ourselves without identifying with a concept? If we know we are the essence that is aware and perceives human experiences in this world, how do we get to know this more deeply and connect with our true nature? Luckily many wise people, though out time, have set out paths for us to take this journey. However, in a modern Westernized society where judgement and opinions are heading up media it can feel counterintuitive to say that we are not our body, not our actions, and not even our thoughts. To transcend these ideas one needs to bring in stillness. Put down the iPhone, turn off the TV, and just be. What, who is this that is experiencing this moment? What does it feel like to reside here?
The Psychology of the Soul.
Why is psychology so spellbinding? In school it’s fascinating to learn how the human psyche functions. This understanding allows us to better relate to others while providing a base knowledge of who we are. This information helps us make better decisions, have better relationships, and often results in advantageous outcomes. Understanding human dynamics seems to gives us the inside advantage to get what we want. Or so we think! We may get what we want externally, but often it won’t last and barely lives up to the fantasy we imagined.
I spent years doing my best to manipulate situations and others (not even realizing this!) thinking I was just chasing after my dreams. I learned all the corporate politics tricks and succeeded on a certain financial and status level, but my satisfaction was temporary and underneath it all I couldn’t shake the deep yearning for more. Some would call it spirit, some intuition, some just a curiosity. For me, and for many of us who are fortunate enough, there was (as is!) an earnest longing to know who we are on a experiential level, not just an intellectual one. This is the path of learning the true psychology of the soul.
What does this mean? For many of us it’s a path to knowing ourselves beyond the ordinary. It can manifest itself through our search of a higher love or seeking our purpose. It can show up while your chasing a mindless career. It’s a journey that puts us in line with a spiritual wisdom that we often had no clue was commencing. Have you started your joyful path? How can one know if they are on the right path? If you think you’re just in need of finding the perfect career, or the best boyfriend ever….guess again sista! Best!!
Feeling Stressed? 3 Tools to Moving Towards Relief.
When anxiety hits you can’t sleep, your eating habits may shift, and you feel overwhelmed and maybe even out of control. Control is a great word here. We feel we are suffering when we’re not in control. When we aren’t getting what we want. The good news is having high anxiety is often a precursor to higher love. Letting go of control is something we are not quite good at, so don’t try so hard to “let go”. Focus on what you can work with. It’s what you decide to do with the suffering that can truly transform it.
1) Notice the inappropriate amount of attention you pay to a hurtful situation or experience. Are you thinking about that person who betrayed you constantly in your mind. The appropriate amount of attention rarely aligns with the situation. Half of your day thinking about the person who betrayed you is not in line with the experience. Listen to the broken record. Notice and make an effort to focus your attention on another subject. When your mind floats back to that betrayal, notice it, and re-focus again.
2) Are you identifying with the stress? Do you tell your friends how stressed you are? Identifying with anxiety is somewhat a badge of honor in the Western world. We often seem to compete with how stressed we are. Look at how you identify yourself as a depressed person, an anxious person, a stressed out person. Now, challenge yourself to view yourself as someone experiencing stress and not being stressed. This allows for some space between the feeling and yourself. Once you define yourself it is hard for the ego to detach unless it can choose to perceive it in a new way.
3) Accept what is. Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean you’re okay with being abused by someone. It’s that you acknowledge what has occurred has occurred. You can’t change the past by thinking over and over in your head at how you should have responded better or will have a clever comeback in mind the next time you encounter your enemy. What you can control what you can do is say OK!, this happened. Now what? Now how do I want to move forward, versus sitting in misery thinking NO! this shouldn’t have happened to ME! It did happen. Now how can you use this?