How can we navigate through these turbulent times?
So much intense polarity of opinion and sentiment! So much wildly varied information! So much fear!
I’ve found that holding the vision for the ‘right’ information to come to me, which is in alignment with my values and truth - really helpful. Trusting our openness to our truth. And being open to whatever forms this may come from - conversations, articles, nature, personal reflection and insight etc.
And also daily self-caring, especially in nature, being so important, for helping us to maintain a clear sense of our integrity and our powers of discrimination and intuition.
But wow nevertheless, our perceptions of what we feel is right or true in these times are constantly, I find, in review, being tested, or adapting or transforming!
How to navigate this?!
There is an age-old proverb in which a man experiences many apparent fortunate and unfortunate events in his life. To all of which he replies, ‘Good or bad? We’ll see!’
It is interesting to apply this wisdom to our current series of apparent fortunate and unfortunate events!
The Covid-19 situation: ‘Good or bad? We’ll see!’ Vaccines: ‘Good or bad? We’ll see!’ Being unable to work as we used to: ‘Good or bad? We’ll see!’
This correlates with the Vedic, yogic and tantric philosophies upon which this proverb is based - that there are powers of illusion (Maya) in this Universe which we are all subject to that can inhibit our ability to remember who we are, to experience our truth. Yet ultimately these strong forces of illusion that can keep us shackled in our mind prison under the belief that we are limited beings, are benevolent as they offer us the potential of grace (kripa), transformation, devotion, and all that is good within human beings.
I feel there’s truth in the adage that within every challenge there is a blessing, and equally within every blessing there is a challenge. To paraphrase from Alanna Vaikalpa’s gorgeous book, Sacred Sound.
I am finding Ganesha and his mantras very helpful to navigate these times. The reason we chant Ganesha - what is nearly always quoted - is to ‘remove the obstacles.’ This is clear and true, but I have always found the intention ‘to remove the obstacles’ a little limiting in scope. Ganesha is representative of our innate limitless capabilities.
Chanting Ganesha’s mantras helps us also to identify the obstacles or problems and reveal new possibility and solutions, often very cleverly and creatively.
And often the obstacle or problem is our mind! Oh so many times I have been humbled to learn from the gift of hindsight that my mind needed to make a shift in perception to accommodate a changing of external conditions. And I’m sure many many more times to come!
All the times when I have felt resistance, anger or frustration or overwhelm or fear in response to changing conditions, when I held on to them I have suffered. When I was able to be with them and let those feelings pass in their own timing, I could move forwards in harmony with peace in my heart once again. Which often required of me a shift in my perception.
It’s those embedded old patterns of fear / reactionary response that can cause us a lot of suffering. This is where mantras such as ‘om gam ganapataye namaha’ are so so helpful for shaking up these deeply lodged patterns and revealing them to our conscious mind, so we can begin to notice the obstacles, the problems we’ve often created for ourselves. Jay Ganesha Sharanam!
And at the same time to acknowledge that it’s totally okay and totally normal and perfect to be reactionary, in fear and overwhelm, whatever experience we are having. In fact of course this acknowledgement is the key to self-healing.
Wow, it’s kind of a ‘new normal’ to live with strong emotions like frustration and resistance on a daily basis as external ‘reality’ keeps changing! And what blessings these can bring, as well as challenges!
The cards were: Radiance, Competence and Focus.
Radiance - remember that the gifts we bring shine from our inner radiance. You ARE the change the world needs!
Competence - trust that what you are gifting to / doing in the world is perfect, is competent, is enough.
Focus - focus on your radiance and competence - on your light. This will help you navigate through these times with peace in your heart, and will help others in turn immeasurably.
As Geeti Julie Rogers so lovingly reminds me, it takes just one candle to light up a dark space.
Acknowledgements to Sonika Agarwal for the photo from unsplash.com
Blessings on your day. xxx