Open Your Eyes & Breathe In All of Life's Richness
There is a grace that lies within adversity. A disaster has a way of breaking open our rigid mindsets and allows us to see their flaws. It is as if our eyes are suddenly forced open. The more traumatic the misfortune, the more likely it is that we will never look at life the same way again. 

Are you totally absorbed in circumstance? Are you hyper-vigilant in monitoring how situations affect you, and then judging them as “good, bad, acceptable, or unacceptable?”  Do you echo your sentiments to others, so they may be validated? 

Consumed by our life story, many of us compulsively review previous chapters or attempt to forecast the next. In doing so, we create expectations of how life should operate, how things are supposed to work out, and what is fair or unfair. We strive to write the story of life and, in the meantime, miss out on living it. We find ourselves pining for only the “good.” But this is like wishing every day were Christmas, or that we could always be on a dream vacation. Would we truly recognize happiness if all we ever felt was happy? 

Many of our thoughts are repetitious opinions, criticisms and fears, or comparisons to the lives of others. If we can learn to downplay this aspect of thinking, the mind becomes much more effective. When the mental chatter loses its predominance, our creativity is suddenly free to help us solve problems.  

We are a society which requires noise and action; something to interpret or talk about, compare or analyze. We willingly and mechanically hold out our hands to be shackled into this world of slavery to our minds.In a frenzied state, we find ourselves jumping from thought to thought, while simultaneously inviting more thoughts in. Events produce instant reactions of euphoria when we like them, and despair when we do not. Too often we turn to pharmaceuticals to stabilize pendulous emotions, or when unable to fall asleep, we use medication to cause a “forced shutdown” for our minds. The inordinate use of antacids speak to such levels of stress that our bodies can no longer handle the process of digestion.  

Nothing is as important as you think. Nothing. When you begin to live without as much concern over events, both happiness and unhappiness are acceptable because you realize both are necessary. Is life not delivering what you expect? Slow Down. Relax your expectations. Once in awhile, choose silence. Stay in the present. Engage in fewer discussions about anything that is disturbing, scandalous or out of your control. To those who suffer, send wishes for joy instead of imagining their agony. Stop obsessing. Take cues from nature; it seems to have it figured out. Breathe in ALL of life’s richness and open your eyes to what is really here. Don’t wait for them to be opened for you. 

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About the Author
Sheila is a speaker, writer and counselor who specializes in plant-based nutrition and coping with stress and loss. She teaches the self care techniques of mind-body medicine to elicit the power of healing in each of us.