“Everything you have done until now has prepared you for what is next.”
When I heard that message shortly after Leah died, I had no idea that it meant EVERYTHING; every little thing that I have ever gone through in my entire life. I came to that realization after a week of book events in Chicago shortly after my book launched. I kept going back to experiences from my childhood. Things like the difficulties I had with some of the kids in the neighborhood, the hard time I had fitting in at school, the mixed messages I got at home, and the fact that I had a severe stutter.
I would find myself saying after remembering each memory, “Surely not this too?” And then I would receive the gift of that difficult experience; every, single, time. It became so that I stopped questioning the events of my life, I knew almost as soon as something came into my awareness what it was there to teach me how it had prepared me for what’s next.
Does this sound daunting to you?
It did to me too when I first heard the message. I wanted it to mean that only the helpful things were what I needed to prepare me for my next. Things like courses I had taken or practices that brought me joy. I wanted only the “good things” to be my helpers. If the “bad” things were also there to assist me, that would mean that I would have to pay attention to them, and I didn’t want to do that, any more than you want to do that. I came to see that “good” and “bad” are labels that we put on our experiences. Yes, some may be more pleasurable, some more difficult, but they are all there to be in service to our awakening; our saying yes to stepping into the fullness of who we are in any given moment.
One thing that helped me tremendously in navigating my “everythings” was presence. When I can be present to the feelings that arise in this moment about difficult experiences I can begin to unravel the sticky stories that my head continues to spin about those experiences. Bringing the feelings to my heart to be shifted, further understood, and eventually transmuted. This is the process that I use when I work with grief clients, and it is also the process that I use with every client who is following the breadcrumbs of their “everything” in order to reclaim their lives and live an engaged life. The life you’ve always dreamed of living.
I’m often asked to describe presence, and I can spend a lot of time talking about what it is. I’ve written a lot about it and have done several videos about it. Because presence is a direct experience practice, until you experience it for yourself, you will not really know what it is.
I am offering a Zoom call for you to experience presence. You can register here.
I will guide you in the present moment awareness practice that I teach my clients and use in my daily life. Yes, it’s helpful for grief AND for everything else. (There’s that word again!)
If you would like to experience presence for yourself and learn how you can begin to incorporate it into your daily life, I invite you to join me on Friday, April 16, 2021 at 1:00 PM Central Time.
Let me know if you have any questions.