This is a No Fear Zone.
The first time I set foot inside CSL Kelowna, I was depressed, lonely, struggling as a new mother, and juggling the challenges of a high stress job while caring for a step-parent in the premature throes of death at the age of 57.
It was one of the toughest times in my life. I knew I needed help. I also knew that counselling was only one piece of the puzzle. I was craving a place where I could come into my own in a bigger way – a place where I felt I could be seen for who I was, despite the appearances of challenge all around me.
Through a variety of experiences, I was led to the doors of this community, and they opened wide, beginning with that first hug that truly felt like a warm embrace from the Universe Itself.
Slowly, I learned that what I felt in that hug was actually the True Me. As we like to say: “you can’t see it, if you aren’t of it”. In other words – life mirrored me back to me. That was a shock. And then came the revelation: I could choose to believe that, or I could choose not to believe that. It was my choice. And the choice I made about how to use my mind made a difference in my lived experience.
As I learned to deeply accept myself, my ability to witness my choices, my actions came more easily. I was able to pause and reflect before acting. The consequence was that life started to truly feel like it was “for” me, not against me anymore. I was no longer “victim” to it. I was part of a greater whole, being asked to do or not do, as I saw fit.
I also noticed that I had bad days and good days. What kept me on even keel was a two-part formula: Sundays filled up my Spirit, while mid-week classes supported my brain and kept my tank full. When I missed classes, or a Sunday, or (gulp) both, there I would be… back in the pit again, unable to see my way out.
This past week, I had to make a difficult journey to see a family member who had a medical procedure go awry. The unexpected call from the physician rocked me to my core, and in a matter of minutes I had to make a massive number of decisions – how do I get there, what do I do when I get there, how can I be of service, and most of all: what if the worst happens.
It was rocky. I was rocky. And so sure enough, as the airplane came in for landing, the steward announced that it was tricky. There was a lot of fog, and the plane might have to turn around and head straight back to Vancouver.
In that moment, I knew I had a choice. I could maintain a place of fear, or I could do what I have spent 20+ years doing: I could pray.
For the next 30 minutes, I flooded my mental stream of consciousness with one continuous prayer. I have never felt so buoyant. Of course, the plane landed exactly as it should have.
Equally important was that I arrived exactly as I wanted: filled with love, filled with appreciation for being part of this world, filled with the awareness that life is forever giving of itself.
This is the gift of this teaching. It’s a real thing, because it changes our experience of life so we can be more present to what is in front of us – the people and the events.
As this month unfolds, I invite you to get curious about when you pull away from life, when you think life might be just a little too much, or even when you find yourself in judgement. Then ask:
What do I want right now?
Who do I want to be right now?
What can I do to make this moment more alive and meaningful for me?
As we lean into life, we find ourselves in the warm embrace of Spirit itself.
I feed myself words of positive reinforcement, knowing this supports both myself and those around me.
Peace and blessings,
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