The world is spinning. I am spinning. I want to say we are spinning out of control. I begin to tumble into thought processes of negativity. Some I recognise in short, sharp language negative self-talk. Some just feel like a heavy sigh or a knot in my stomach. It happens in milliseconds, this thought to somatic flatlining. I try and inhale a more useful perspective but my mind jumps in fast. It wants to justify my ‘right’ to these thoughts and feelings. It stands tall, an air of righteousness about it and states clear and firm, “It isn’t negativity, it’s reality.” And for a deflating moment, I succumb and believe that thought. My heart sinks, an army of justification allies charge at me and resonate a little hopelessness into every cell. That’s the trap of a depression, it throws a joyless blanket over everything around me. It’s a melancholic filter and all my senses fall for the illusion. I’m on the edge …
I take a combative deeper breath and summon all my powers of will and choice. It feels like skiing uphill but I conjure my inner truth, my higher wisdom, all the teachings that at one point glittered as mini-satoris (awakenings into Truth). We rise up together and face to face with my self-saboteur I say out loud, “Back off!”. I say it louder and louder. Slowly, I pull myself back from the precipice of despair and remember the promise I make to my soul every day on opening my eyes.
Follow your bliss.
And because often in these strange times I feel down or at best neutral, I have to expand this often worn-out old spiritual adage. I have to adapt. I have to make it work for me in these challenging times. So my new and refined promise to myself is…
Follow your bliss and if you can’t do that, follow someone else’s.
It’s a fantastic reframe for me and it really works. I will then seek out something that is creating joy externally. Something that might blow a little on the embers of my own internal joy. When I follow these thoughts I naturally invoke curiosity and a desire to move from my current state of doom and gloom. That’s the hardest step, it’s the bravest step and it’s the magical first step. I just focus on that one small giant step, move my body, shift my focus, to change my state.
I rummage through my mental archives to find where the joy is referenced or stored. I’m always surprised how much positivity there is in there. I delve into old memories or photos. I watch healthy observational comedy so I can laugh at the absurdity of the human condition. I look at the miraculous foliage and flowers all around me. I listen to classical music or poetry. I meditate. I walk slowly in nature. I read passages from my favourite books. I sit under a tree and examine the light dancing through the branches evoking the sheer beauty and mystery of this miraculous life.
This morning I stirred long and hard at a cutting I’d taken from a ground creeper that I’d placed into a glass of water just a few days ago. I looked at the newly sprung roots, delicate, fibrous, thirsty, determined… and I literally couldn’t believe my eyes. This beautiful plant with its DNA code literally replicating and renewing before me. Just one of a billion life forms obeying its blueprint from consciousness. Its rhizome nature willful without an egoic will.
Classic FM was playing an instrumental cello version of Nessun Dorma. It was as if I could see the roots growing in time with the music. The oxygen in the water animating and feeding the roots in a slow-motion ballet of biological life and grace. The cello has always been my favourite instrument. Its strength and resonance with my heart is unmatched. I was suddenly in the sweetest sorrow. It was rich, exquisite and alive. My need to be anything other than alive in this beautiful emotion was enough. I felt compelled to google, ‘Nessun Dorma Cello Instrumental’ and a video of the world-famous Croatian cellist, Stjepan Hauser, came up. There was music, a children’s orchestra in nature and my favourite musical instrument brought to life by a wonderfully talented human being. This little film-clip brought me to tears. It restored my faith in humanity and therefore this world.
I borrowed their bliss and it ignited my own.
Find a quiet moment for yourself and watch this very short film. Listen to this bliss. See the children’s dedication and shared vision. See a master musician in the role of master of inspirer. Open your heart and let God out.
Please let us know how this touched you. Please share your authentic self here in the comments below. We love you always and especially when you humbly and courageously open your heart and let God out.
Paul and Team UPLIFT