This, Too, Will Pass

Chapter 8, The Discovery of Inner Space

In Chapter 8 of “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose,” author Eckhart Tolle explains how we can discover our inner space. That inner space is realized when one recognizes the enormous empowerment of four little words of wisdom from an ancient Sufi story, expressed in “This, too, will pass.” The author uses these words in a story to relate to readers the importance of finding peace in every situation in our lives by remaining in a state of detachment.

Consider this: “Nonresistance, nonjudgment and nonattachment are the three aspects of true freedom and enlightened living.” –page 225

When you recognize that “This, too, will pass” signifies detachment from outcomes and past occurrences, you will find that inner space. By not judging and not resisting, you gain a better appreciation of and understanding of that inner space. The realization comes as a stillness and a space develops between your thoughts. The space between your thoughts is the discovery of inner space. Peace is there. That peace is the peace of God.

Can you be still long enough to know that “This too, will pass?”

Worth A Minute of Your Time-Latest Images from NASA and Hubble

I invite you to sit back and quiet your mind for one minute with these amazing images from NASA and the Hubble Project. It’s truly amazing, isn’t it?

Who Am I?

Chapter 7: Finding Who You Truly Are

In Chapter 7 of A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, author Eckhart Tolle suggests that people discover who they truly are after a process of discovering who they are not. Knowing who you are not typically happens after a loss, such as the death of a loved one, a loss in your social position, a divorce, or some other loss where there is great suffering. While you may feel that part or all of you has died along with your loss, acceptance of your loss will bring about peace.

Your loss is really a story that author Tolle refers to as a tapestry. When you accept your loss, (as opposed to resisting it by complaining or re-telling it over and over again, causing more suffering), you can begin to see the light behind that tapestry. In that light, there is an emptiness that is left by the loss of form. There is peace to be found in that space. In that space, you will discover who you truly are.

For many years, I believed that my identity was determined by the many roles I was playing in life: as a mother, a wife, an only child, and as a professional career woman. Then the suffering came. My marriage was falling apart so I overly emphasized my roles as a mother and as a successful career woman to compensate. Then my father was dying of cancer, which further intensified my role as an only child and the emotional issues I had with my mother. Soon I was laid off from my job and found myself eventually a thousand miles away from my children because that was where I finally found a job. Shortly thereafter, my father died. I was living in New York City and a witness to the terror attacks on the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. I spent two years struggling and fighting in a very contentious custody battle in the courts with my ex-husband, with the result being that I took on a new label: that of “non-custodial mom.” The label made me ashamed for awhile as I cared about what others thought about me because of it.

All of this is to say that I suffered a great deal throughout an intensified 2 year period. Looking back, I can now see that I made it worse by telling and re-telling “my story,” for feeling sorry for myself and my children for being a “non-custodial mom,”and for the things I did or didn’t do when I left Iowa for New York. There were many regrets, many tears, many prayers begging for forgiveness, yet no forgiveness for myself.

But somewhere in all of that suffering, I had an “aha” moment. I could see the light on the other side of the tapestry. I started to find peace there. I realized that no amount of being upset, sad, resentful or bitter about my situation was going to change things. I learned to accept my situation, slowly, but surely. As I did so, it got easier. I forgave myself. I forgave my ex-husband. I made amends with my mother just in time before she developed dementia.

Then one day I realized that I could be happy, irregardless of my situation. It has only gotten better and better since.

Eckhart Tolle has suggested that the way to know if we are developing spiritually is to see how we react to situations or deal with the troubling situations and emotions which arise in our lives. This is how I can see the progress I have made. While there is still much growing to do, I am happy in knowing that these roles do not define me. So I, too, know who I am not and I’m having fun discovering who I truly am.

Promoting a Local Musician: Jason Reeves

Do you like contemporary folk/love ballads? Then I believe you will love Jason Reeves.

I discovered this artist through my two daughters and I personally find him to be a very talented singer/songwriter with a promising future. He has co-written quite a few songs and performed with Colby Caillat (who has become quite popular these days), but also stands alone very well on his own.

So in the interest of promoting a local talent from Iowa City, I have joined the movement in promoting him so that others can hear his music.

Take a peek and listen to his music on iTunes and/or the song I’ve posted called Entwined and let me know what you think.

Breaking Free of Our Pain-Body (Chapter 6)

While author Eckhart Tolle suggests in his book “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose,” that “it takes no time at all” to become free of our identification with our pain-body (page 183), he also says that breaking free of our pain-bodies doesn’t generally instantaneously happen. It is usually accomplished over a process over time. Staying unaware of your pain-body only increases our ego and the identification that we attach to it. Every time you become aware of the pain-body within you, your pain-body is reduced.

Breaking free from our pain-bodies doesn’t mean that we ignore the emotions and drama that arise in our lives. To break free from these past hurts, we need to accept the emotions, no matter how unpleasant, in the moment that we experience them. Eckhart Tolle suggests that we sit with the emotion and allow the feeling, no matter how unpleasant and allow it to be. In doing so, we need to remember that we are not the emotion itself, but rather we are the awareness of the emotion.

Here again, we must not make the emotion our identity. It is not who we are. If we make our pain-bodies part of our identity, it causes suffering. We re-live the past and this keeps us in a state of unconsciousness. Yet our past has no power over the present moment. Once you bring the pain to the present moment, the pain-body is diminished in some way.

The best way to break free then is to practice being still. Practice it everyday. Become present as much as possible. As Eckhart Tolle says, “The pain-body needs your unconsciousness. It cannot tolerate the light of Presence.”–page 180. Awareness is everything.

It may seem overwhelming or impossible to move yourself into a positive place when your pain-body is heavy and roars, but when you become aware of your pain-body, you can then move yourself into a space that allows for a stillness by going to a better feeling or thought. This creates an awareness that will move you closer to consciousness. You will feel better.

So take a deep breath and start from there: ask yourself, “Am I still breathing?,” take a bubble bath, walk around the block, or close your eyes and see yourself in a happy, beautiful place. These are only some suggestions and you will find the right strategies that work for you. Breaking free is a joyful place to be and brings you closer to finding who you truly are.

The Pain-Body (Chapter 5: A New Earth)

The Pain Body-What We Carry With Us

In Chapter 5 of “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose,” author Eckhart Tolle states, “The energy field of old but still very much alive emotion that lives in almost every human being is the pain-body.” –page 142

Our pain-bodies are the energy of our past hurts: the bumps, bruises and scars of life that we never really dealt with fully in the moment. The result is that we carry that pain in an energy field within us.

We all experience pain in our lives and pain-bodies are both individualistic and collective. Whether that pain is from individual circumstances or part of a collective pain because of our identity with a particular group in history that has suffered, negative things do happen to people.

Some people and groups have heavy pain-bodies and it is precisely these people who have a better chance to awaken spiritually than people with lighter pain-bodies.

Most people probably do not want to recognize that there is something within them that seeks negativity, pain and drama. But the reality is that for many, negativity is an addiction. Pain-bodies feed on negative emotion.

Nowhere are our pain-bodies more obvious than in our relationships. Often each partner will re-enact their drama frequently. The pain-body knows exactly which buttons to push in your partner, and it feeds on this drama in personal relationships.

So how do you recognize your pain-body? Becoming aware of your pain-body is the first step in diffusing it. However, it is not often easy to see the pain-body in ourselves, so it is often much easier to see the pain-body in another.

How do you strive to continually diffuse your pain-body? Author Tolle suggests that we must constantly strive to be present. Instead of being “caught up in the mental movie making” of our thoughts and emotions from the past or concerns for the future, he says that we can learn to not add to our pain-bodies by becoming as present as possible in all situations.

It doesn’t matter if these negative thoughts and emotions are from years ago or just minutes ago: continually practicing being present diminishes our pain-bodies because in doing so, “our very Presence then becomes our identity.”

Pain-bodies will fight hard to stay alive, so you may be thinking how could you let go of past hurts or collective suffering? Some may argue that we have to remember; that it is part of our collective identity as women or minorities, for example. Alternatively, individual pain-bodies may heavily identify with traumatic things that happened in our childhood. While there is nothing wrong with remembering, there is a difference if we define ourselves by our suffering. This is the pain-body feeding upon itself and in doing so, the energy of all that suffering becomes our identity. So the challenge is to move away from defining ourselves by our past and we do this by becoming present.

Consider this: “Nothing ever happened in the past that can prevent you from being present now: and if the past cannot prevent you from being present now, what power does it have?”–page 141