Flourish in Life!

Here is the audio and below, is the written essay of my talk at Everett Unity church a few weekends back.  Enjoy!

20190614_142940Flourish in Life!  I used the word ‘flourish’ because it implies that regardless of what is going on in your life, you can learn how to come through it with grace and ease and with a sense of lightness.

I feel, as both a counselor and Reiki teacher, there are several tools I have worked with that can help one flourish in life.

In my last talk a few months back I discussed cultivating the quality of being able to surrender and let go.  Today, the focus will be on developing ways to cultivate resilience, endurance and patience.  These 3 qualities contribute to a flourishing life.

So let’s begin.  Resilience is the quality of being able to bounce back from the disappointments that may accompany you.   Resilience implies flexibility and a certain amount of stamina to keep going.

We develop this quality over time.  Positive and encouraging people in our lives often help us cultivate resilience.  I’m one of those positive and encouraging people, so if you are ready, let’s strengthen these inner tools.

First, I want you to visualize what I call your existing Resilience Rucksack.  You all have one.   It is a metaphor for the tools you already have to help you when things get tough.  You can even close your eyes for a moment.  Pause.  Take a mental inventory of this inner equipment.  See what your resilience rucksack is made of.  What color is it?  How big is it?  Is it new or well worn?

Let’s work on making that rucksack even stronger.

Feel within yourself the tenacity and strength you already possess.  Think of a time in your life you had to go the distance.  Perhaps you were involved in a complicated work or school project.  Perhaps it was having to rebuild a  relationship, or you had to deal with your own or a family member’s health crisis.

Whatever that past challenge was, I’m sure you can reflect and remember that it was a hard time, but somehow you got through it. Something within you and perhaps others around you encouraged you to go on.  You wouldn’t be here now if you didn’t find a way through it.

I’m going to encourage you to tap into that strength now, and I’m going to send some Reiki your way to assist the process.  So let’s take a few moments again to go within and give ourselves permission to feel that strength now.  Pause.

See it infusing every molecule of your being.  Breathe it in deeply.  Pause  Receive that strength download.

Also, perhaps with that strength is the community of friends and family that you have that also have helped you in the past.  Give gratitude for their assistance and realize they also are a source of support when you need them.

Now, pause, notice what you notice?  Check back in with your Resilience Rucksack, how is it doing?  What’s changed, what’s new?  Do you feel you have some shiny new tools of ‘strength’ and ‘gratitude’ to add to your rucksack?

We’ll add some more tools in the workshop after the service.

Now, moving to the next topic, another great quality to cultivate that allows you to flourish in life, is developing the quality of endurance.

This is different than resilience.  Endurance is the power, strength and stamina that lets you be resilient.

I recently went for a hike up near Paradise at Mount Rainier.  At a lookout point around 6000 feet in elevation, there was a lone pine tree growing tall against the stark rock background of the mountain.  It’s trunk was well weathered but sturdy.  One side had more branches than the other due to how the wind flowed over the lookout.  And yet, this tree was healthy and thriving.  It had been growing there for many years.  This tree reminded me of what image of endurance can look like.

Cultivating endurance requires you to go deeper into the present moment of your current challenge.

Endurance is the opposite of what I call ‘future tripping’.  You know what that it is, right?  Tripping ourselves into the future.  Worrying, over-planning, basically doing anything other than being present.  It’s difficult to endure anything if you are worried about what or how something is going to happen.

Cultivating mindfulness and being in the now are tools to work with developing endurance.  When the situation you are in gets challenging, and there isn’t much for you to do but just endure it, see what happens if you just drop into it.

Getting stuck in traffic is a good example.  Can’t do anything about it, not right now, sure, you could have left earlier, but in the moment of being stuck in traffic, you are stuck.  What might happen if you just accept that fact.  Just acknowledge to yourself, ‘I am stuck in traffic’.  When you do that, you aren’t fighting against ‘being stuck’ or fighting with yourself for the situation.  There is nothing to ‘endure’.  You just are in a circumstance.

This way of being, is one way to cultivate endurance.  To be very present releases attachment to result and to the struggle.

So, again shifting to your powerful inner world, I invite you now to be with what is. Feel free to close your eyes again. Pause.  Take a moment and breathe all the way through your body.

Perhaps in doing so you notice tension in your body.  Thinking about traffic can do that.  So, take a few breathes into these tight areas.  Notice what you notice.  Scan your body from head to toe.  When your mind is distracted, gently bring it back to your body and awareness of breath.  Let go, let it flow.  Stay present in your breath.  Taking one, then two, then a nice long exhalation.

Take your time coming back.  Notice where you are now in body and mind, what’s shifted, what’s changed.  Perhaps you sense a greater awareness of inner strength and tolerance.  Over time, cultivating mindfulness permits even the most unbearable circumstance to be dealt with grace and ease.  And being at ease allows one to flourish.

And finally, a gentle and easy way to conclude our journey today will be jumping into the Pool of Patience.

Many times in life, there are no known answers in sight.  Not knowing is the step before manifestation.  It is necessary, it is part of the process.  You can’t force knowing in not knowing.

Patience requires inner listening.  What is your mind and your body saying right now?  Perhaps you sense you are tired or hungry. Maybe you are frustrated.  Maybe you are more at peace.  Whatever the inner state is, honor what you notice.

Honoring the pause, practicing gratitude and noticing what you notice are hallmarks of patience.  They are the cornerstones of your practice and what we teach in working with Reiki.

Reiki energy naturally flows through you.  It’s all around us.  We all have the ability to be channels for this healing energy.  As you connect to this infinite universal life force energy, you can’t ‘make’ it happen.  You allow it to.  You let your ego step out of the way and you let the healing light effortlessly flow.  It’s not about you, it’s greater than you.

This is patience.  The quality is yielding, witnessing, observing.

For this final meditation, I invite you now to incorporate these qualities of yielding, witnessing, and observing into your being.  Think of times in the past where you were simply observing.  Perhaps you were on a trip or out in nature and you were taking in the view.

You don’t ask anything of the view, you take it in.  You give yourself permission to receive.

Patience is like that.  You give yourself permission to be patient.  You allow yourself.  It is a choice.

And the more that you permit patience, the greater your own capacity for the other attributes of resilience and endurance.

Take a breath now.  Close your eyes.  Bell

Witness your breathing

Witness your mind

Witness your body

You are taking this time now to swim in the Pool of Patience.  Lay back as if floating in a calm warm pool on a lazy summer afternoon.  The pool contains your waves of reassurance.

Feel the rays of the sun on your face as you effortlessly float in this pool of patience.  This place is exactly what it is.  Nothing more and nothing less.

There is nowhere you need to be right now except right here.  You are in the flow.

Any concerns or worries you have dissolve into the gentle currents of the pool.

Take another breath now

Witness your breathing

Witness your mind

Witness your body

Take several breaths and see the worries floating away.  You are supported here as you float in this place of non-effort.

Honor this pause.

Release the urge to fill this place with anything else.

Make Space for the Potential that is Emerging..

I am going to go quiet so you can deepen your own connection to patience and be with the healing energy of Reiki through the sound of the drum.  Bell

Pause

Take your time coming back.  Move your fingers and toes, open your eyes, take a stretch as you need to.

As you come back, take several deep breaths and feel yourself now in your body and mind, patience as well as resilience and endurance integrated within.

Copyright 2019 Eileen Dey Wurst

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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