Repeating the Same Emotional Cycles? Some Mindfulness Required!
Updated: October 19, 2012
In yesterday’s blog, “Do You Like Where You Are Right Now?” I talked about the benefits of describing your state of mind in the form of landscape archetypes. Now let’s take this concept one step further by recognizing what we can do when we find ourselves revising the same landscapes.
How many times have you found yourself in a repetitive cycle you just can’t seem to break? Are you back to that same situation again, the one that makes you feel powerless and miserable?
There is no shame in having slipped back into old territory. We all do so when we experience our triggers, or on anniversaries of losses or events that caused us pain. Remember, we’re all on an adventure that has its dramatic elements.
There is no escape from any terrain on the Map except through surrender to the present moment and accepting that you are in it, however unsettling and upsetting it may be. Denial will take you to the Field of Poppies, where you’ll repeat the same experience over and over until you change it. Be here, now and watch the magic begin as Spirit shows you the shadow and light of this land, providing you wisdom and insights that will empower you on your adventure.
As soon as you access your mind’s ability to step back from the Sticky Swamp or Valley of Loss and remember that you hold the power to interact with your Map, you’ll know that no feeling lasts forever and that you are not your emotions. It’s not that emotions sustain themselves indefinitely, but rather that you continually regenerate them.
You can’t erase distressing landscapes from your map, but mindfulness will help you stay grounded in the present, where you must embrace your emotional experience.
For many of us, mindfulness – that is, the ability to keep our thoughts on the present moment – must be learned, because it’s not our habit.
The paradox is that just being able to recognize that your mind is “somewhere else” empowers you to choose where to be. To feel compassion for yourself for not being “here” right now actually brings you back into the present. As you learn to work with your map, you’ll increase your power to remain there; to leave a difficult landscape when you’re meant to, not prematurely; and to avoid unnecessary trips to lands of sorrow and suffering. You can stop feeling lost in the past or the future, running away from what you have to face.
In service and love,
(The preceding is an excerpt from The Map: Finding the Magic and Meaning in the Story of Your Life, Hay House, 2011)