I've felt quite tired in the last two days.
Not quite feeling shit, but certainly tired.
I've had my instant messaging switched off.
I've cancelled my meetings.
And I’ve made time to stop and do nothing!
Some of those moments of doing nothing (or meditating) have been blissful, and some of them have been filled with thoughts.
It's easy for me to just keep pushing myself and I’m so grateful for my knowledge of mindfulness and meditation that remind me of the value of stopping.
Step Back and Look At Your Last Month
When I stopped and looked at my schedule for the last month, I realised why I’m tired!
I’ve travelled across many time zones, driven for hours, had hundreds of meetings and phone calls, organised events, attended workshops, completed a crowdfunder and send hundreds if not thousands of messages. I had the insight of opening the door of my heart to my feelings of tiredness - and it felt so peaceful and re-energising!
What’s your schedule been like in the last month? Maybe you’ve been very busy too. Or maybe your mind has been very busy - that’s even more tiring.
Are you ‘Shoulding’?
In my moments of thinking, I noticed many ‘shoulds’ in my mind.
I should have that meeting.
I should be better at meditation.
I should have made my presentations by now.
I should transfer that money.
I should be more organised.
I should eat more vegetables.
I should exercise everyday.
I should be talking to more people.
I should create and launch that new program.
I should, I should, I should!
Then I had an insight.
Why should I?!
What’s wrong with not getting my work done? There’s always tomorrow.
What’s wrong with rubbish meditating? There’s no such thing as a bad meditation anyway.
What’s wrong with being unhealthy or tired? Life is impermanent, and all feelings pass.
I can enjoy being whatever I want to be in each moment!
And so can YOU!
What to do if you’re feeling shit
“Just like the lotus, we too have the ability to rise up from the mud, bloom out of the darkness and radiate into the world”
So, yucky, dirty mud is transformed into a beautiful lotus. How miraculous is that?
You too can transform the shit of your life into beautiful flowers.
You just need to embrace and make good use of the shit rather than avoid the shit.
What’s the shit in your life?
Your feelings of sadness and depression? Tiredness and loneliness? Fear and anxiety? A death in the family? Ran out of money? Lost your job? An injury or operation gone wrong?
Start there! This is juicy shit! This has the power to be the mud from which lotus flowers grow in your mind!
In my experience, those people who have gone through the most suffering and discovered how to transform that suffering, are the kindest and wisest of human beings.
That can be you. Or maybe that already is you!
A practical exercise
If you’re struggling to turn the shit of your life into beautiful flowers, try this exercise:
Grab a piece of paper and write all the shitty things that have happened or are happening in your life.
Tear the paper into tiny pieces. Not in an angry way, but in a calm way, as if you’re transforming one thing into another. Be present with your difficulties and know you are in the process of transforming them.
Dig the paper it into your garden or put it into your compost heap.
Use the compost and plant some seeds of your choice!
Before long, you’ll be able to enjoy delicious tomatoes or admire a scented rose. You shall reap whatever you sow.
Open the door of your heart to your difficulties.
Have the courage to allow the feelings to enter your being.
Breathe them in and out.
Relax into them.
I guarantee you, if you’re patient, they will transform into the most beautiful flowers in your beautiful mind.
And if you are to believe the greatest teachers from wisdom traditions, within you, you have a very beautiful and luminous mind, waiting to meet you.
Just be aware and be kind.