Peace in Times of Traffic...
"Life always gives us exactly the teacher we need at every moment. This includes every mosquito. Every misfortune. Every red light, every traffic jam. Every obnoxious supervisor (or employee). Every illness. Every loss. Every moment of joy or depression. Every addiction. Every piece of garbage. Every breath. Every moment is the Guru."
This quote touched me in a very special way. So often are we stuck unable to "see the forest for the trees". When troubles approach, our dark hour nears it is easy to become caught up in the whirl wind of "oh woe is me".
But, what if we were able to see even the slightest hiccup in life as potential for a lesson to a greater self? What if we could soar above and view the picture as a whole?
In a relationship we can easily be overwhelmed by a moment and feel our world crashing around us. But what is that moment in a 90 year long life? Will it really hold it's weight 5 years from now? How about 5 months?
We so easily forget the resilience of the human spirit. We so quickly fail to remember our inner strength is just waiting for us to tap into it. We, with great simplicity, often, over look the peace within which patiently awaits our beckon call.
The moment we decide to see our journey as a way in, a path through our mental muck to our spiritual bliss is the moment beauty overwhelms, joy floods in and peaceful love pushes out all fear.
But, what precisely does this mean, and how can it be accomplished? It is a constant battle to remain on the "internal journey" when so many external things truly seem to affect our joy.
Here's what I've learned:
'joy' is a result of tapping into the ever-flowing inner peace we sometimes never know is even within us (skewed perception will do that to you - society will do THAT to you). This being said, NOTHING external can ever 'affect our joy' only an internal skewed perception could have us 'not see it'.
Don't get me wrong...
External things can affect our 'perceived happiness'. Happiness is the result of seeing a situation and judging it as desirable, pleasurable or the like. This means we can also perceive 'un'-happiness externally, but still our joy CANNOT be affected it can only be disguised by our point of view.
Allow me to give an analogy...
Joy is discovered and the truthful perception of it maintained when we are living NOT in yesterday, NOT in tomorrow, ONLY in right NOW.
So, let's say you're living in the 'Now', you're flying up the freeway, you're belting out a Bob Dylan song (or a Miley Cyrus - stranger things have happened ;-)) then, all of the sudden, out of nowhere, - and oh, it's only 2PM - BRAKE LIGHTS appear before you. A sea of brake lights remove any and all road from your view and you have somewhere very important to be. (For those of you who love traffic and don't mind sitting in it for hours on end, this analogy need not apply.) For all the rest of us, this is a potential moment which can lead to perceiving a growing sense of unhappiness.
So how do you even know where to look for 'inner peace' or 'joy that can't be affected' when CLEARLY there isn't an ounce of joy in sight. At least, not unless you can maybe drive up the emergency lane and pass all these "SUCKERRRRS!!" (I have sooooo nevvvver ever done that. Like, not ever. Okay, shhh!! Stop judging me.)
Outside of gaining perceiving happiness by breaking the law (oops) you can take this (and any) moment to turn inward.
Here's how I do this... (Inner, sometimes outer to myself like a crazy person, dialogue to follow)
"Ohwow you seem pissy."
"Uhm, yeah stupid, are you not stopped in traffic like me? We're the same person."
"Ohhhh, so all these people have the power to ruin your day?"
"All these cars? The people in them? You've given them the power to ruin your day? Is that what you're saying?"
"I haven't given them power over anything, I just don't effing like waiting in bumper to bumper traffic. But, apparently YOU do (you're so NOT a part of me)."
"I could say the same for you but that is beside the point. No. No, I don't 'like' waiting in bumper to bumper traffic, BUT I can stop bumper to bumper traffic from ruining my day."
"I'm listening...(to myself). Weird. Continue..."
"I have three choices in any situation: (1) Change it, (2) Accept it, or (3) Walk Away from it.
I realize I can't 'change' the fact that there are a million cars in front of me. I could take the alternative side streets, but those may take just as long, and the truth is: even with traffic this is the best route - so, I can't 'walk away' from it as I have to get to where I'm going.
I'm left with 'Accept' it (this is where joy can be present during perceived 'unhappy' times). So... I choose to accept that there are a gazillion cars on the freeway at 2PM in the afternoon which I also accept makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE (unless you live in LA), but nevertheless I am here and although I may not like it, it is happening."
That's what acceptance is: it IS. I cannot change it because 'IT IS'. I don't want to walk away (perhaps, just yet) but I also don't want to be miserable so through acceptance -non-resistance - I realize I can survive the moment by acknowledging IT IS happening and that is that.
Seems simple enough. It's difficult to apply as it goes against everything we're ever taught but what we've been taught goes against us... So I'm always one for changing the old way to create one anew.
I suggest next time you have a moment where you feel negative energy forming -whether it manifests itself as anxiety, anger, sadness depression - start asking yourself "Am I resisting?" "Am I wishing something that 'IS' isn't happening?" Then try to apply acceptance. Just see how you feel after (and feel free to comment below if this works for you). I love reading stories of people using acceptance and maintaining their awareness of their inner peace during dire times or even while merely sitting in traffic (which can also fall under 'dire times').
With so much love and light...xxx A