Fundamental-change

I have experienced a fundamental change in my future life, due to circumstances beyond my control. I am leaving my home, which I expected to live in for many years to come. I will be living on my own, which is also unexpected.

It all came as quite a shock, but with hindsight the signs were there. There have been a range of emotions. Anger, resentment, sadness, some fear, but also acceptance, gratitude and a looking forward to new opportunities.

It was a teaching on impermanence. Of how our expectations that things will remain the same will always trip us up. This is the type of event we train for in our mindfulness and compassion practice.

Shortly after this change became apparent I was fortunate enough to have a retreat scheduled. It was the perfect retreat for my circumstances. Almost as if the retreat was scheduled purposefully to meet my requirements. The focus was on how to spend our short and precious human life. I was grateful for the chance to contemplate and practice and apply the teachings to myself and to my life.

I came out of the retreat understanding that no one was to blame. Myriad causes and conditions had led up to this situation. The majority of these causes and conditions were beyond mine or anyone else’s control. I came out of the retreat grateful for the life I have shared and to those I have shared it with. I came out of the retreat grateful for new opportunities and grateful for the freedom to make the most of them.

Back in my normal life, I don’t always feel this way. The resentment is often there, as is the sadness. But that’s OK. I aspire to drop the storylines that fan the flames of anger and rest with the underlying feelings. I can do this with regular practice. I notice that if I have less time to practice that I start buying into the stories again and begin acting out my anger. Passive aggression is my style.

It is a great opportunity to learn what I do when the going gets tough.

I notice my identity, based on my expectations and assumptions of myself and my life circumstances is dissolving. I notice I am scrambling for certainty about my future self. I have a desire for a replacement identity to form and to form now. It feels uncomfortable, that my old familiar sense of self is being so challenged.

This is all fascinating. I don’t feel too scared. I trust that this change is for the best. I am curious about what will unfold. Above all I am grateful. Grateful to my teachers. Grateful for my practice and the teachings. Grateful for my wonderfully supportive friends and family.

Thankfully, I have practiced acceptance and appreciation for many years. They have been my parachute as I tumbled out of the aeroplane.

So I encourage you to take the time to practice today, in preparation for your next tumble!

Kind Wishes

Heather

 

You can practice mindfulness with Heather by joining her on the following courses:

Level 1 – Being Present at Samye Ling – 25-27 October 2019

Level 2 – Responding with Compassion – at Samye Ling 5-7 June 2020

Teacher Training Level 1 at Samye Ling – 29-31st May, 2020 (date subject to change)

Heather also teaches on the MSc Studies in Mindfulness.

Heather will be speaking at the Mind Body Soul Festival – 18th – 20th October – Alexandra Palace, London & at the Mindful Living Show 6-7 March 2020 at the Business Design Centre in London.

5 Comments

  1. Dear Heather, thank you so much for this deeply personal text and your perspective. Just in the right time for me as my life as I know it – relationship, place to live, some things that I thought were quite permanent – is dissolving as well.
    I realised that it has been dissolving for some time now just as my physical life on this earth is coming to an end every day an inch. Since it is my motivation for my meditation practice to be a little bit closer to the Truth every day, I think my life stopped to be completely mine. The Truth, my inner guru, Reality doesn’t really care if I feel comfortable with it or not – impermanence, constant change are the facts of life. And although my small ego says no, something in me also knows that it’s for the better, because truer life; that there is nothing to worry about and nothing to resist.

    And yesterday I saw a little rainbow on the cloud covering the sun. I didn’t know it was possible. Let’s this be a good beautiful sign for your new life as well.

    Metta

  2. Written from the heart; I am touched by this open and honest account of your recent unexpected life changes. I am wishing you a path full of soft landings on this rocky journey forward. There is no doubt in my mind that this can only help pave the way for you to find the springboard for greater things. Having been through similar your words make total sense and I’m sure many others too would relate to similar feelings of uncertainty in the midst of traumatic events happening out of the blue. Thank you for sharing Heather. You really bring the practice alive! 💖

  3. Thank you for sharing this, which caused me to reflect on my own life which as I knew it came crashing down in spectacular fashion a little over 20 years ago. Although this was not the case at the time I feel grateful for the opportunities this treated and my openness towards life and its opportunities in general which might have remained blocked without this change.

  4. Wow Heather – what a time for you. May you always find the tender warmth in your heart at the start of every practice or the start/finish of every day (or at least once a week ha ha) so that the rest of you life takes care of itself, just as you say xxx

Comments are closed.