“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”~ Charles Dickens
Does this sound familiar? In 1859 Charles Dickens wrote these words in his epic novel, A Tale of Two Cities.
As the calendar year nears its end, we are entering a time of reflection. Some people say they can’t wait for 2020 to be over—it’s been the worst of times. Others say that although 2020 has been challenging, it has brought opportunities for growth on many levels. They’re excited about what’s to come.
How can there be such a dichotomy in how people are experiencing what’s occurring on the planet at this time? With that in mind, I’d like to share what I’ve discovered this year.
Five steps to a life of well-being, delight, and joy:
1. Stop trying to fix things about yourself, others, and the world. Stop and examine your thoughts. Are they true? Stop looking for a better experience. Stop running away from unpleasant emotions and sit with them. They may offer some gems of wisdom.
2. Be still. It’s not so much as stilling the body as being the stillness that you already are. Try sitting quietly with your eyes closed and notice what’s arising from moment to moment without trying to change anything. Adyashanti calls this true meditation. Many ancient modalities such as yoga, qi gong, tai chi, and others, can bring you to a still place through conscious movement. Spend quiet time in nature and feel the stillness all around.
3. Be conscious of your attention. As you go through the day, take note of each time you check the news, the latest COVID-19 statistics, and communicate with people who speak of doom and gloom. Notice how your body responds. You always have a choice as to where to place your attention.
4. Feel the goodness. What do you appreciate? What are you grateful for? Visualize it, say it, feel it. When coherent emotions are combined with the feeling that they evoke, a powerful field is created. More of the same will come your way.
5. Follow your bliss. Ask what you enjoy and what brings you joy. Whether it’s planting seeds in your garden, reading a good book, watching the birds sing, listening to music, creating a work of art, solving a mathematical problem, or playing a game. When you express and create with excitement, joy, and passion, you’re in alignment with source energy.
These five steps are merely suggestions. You may want to try them for yourself and see what happens. Remember, you create the life you experience. Are you willing to take responsibility for that?
Maybe this can be our spring of hope that Dickens was referring to.