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Being the Change We Seek

by Nancy Hopps

Only as our consciousness is changed, will the world around us change

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These are profound times we're living in. Most everyone I talk to these days has a sense that things are "heating up." Whether viewed as a quantum physics phenomenon, a Mayan calendar prediction, or simply a gut feeling, the pervading energy is just more…intense. The highs are higher, the lows are lower. There seems to be an urgency to really listen and act upon the soul calling we may have been resisting for a long time. Clearly, individually or collectively, the old ways aren't working anymore.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness." If there is change we wish to see, we must first light our own candle. Most of us readily agree this all makes great sense. But when it comes right down to it, how do we do that? One simple way is to remember the adage: "That which we resist we give power to."

When we resist what is, it's like damming the flow of a river--we obstruct the flow of energy, creating tension and dis-ease. Think Gandhi or martial arts--true power comes from going with the flow not resisting it. In so doing, you transmute the energy. Isn't that a fun paradox? The more we can embrace what is, the more power we have to facilitate change.

Although the outer circumstance may not be immediately altered, our experience of it can be profoundly changed in that moment. Only as our consciousness is changed, will the world around us change. Awareness and choice are powerful tools of transformation. We cannot control all the outer circumstances in our world, but with present moment awareness, we can always choose our response.

So how does all this lofty stuff apply in our everyday life? Let's look at a rather mundane example. Perhaps you're at work, trying to focus on a pressing project, and you keep getting interrupted. The phone rings, or a co-worker needs your attention, or another project lands in your lap that has to be dealt with right away. The more uptight you get, the more this keeps happening. It becomes "just one of those days!" The more you resist, the more stressed you become, and the more frustrated and victimized you feel.

However, if you can pause, take a deep breath, and center yourself, you'll stand a much better chance of being able to calmly and effectively deal with the situation. You can choose to reprioritize and shift projects if need be, or simply say "no" to additional work demands until you've completed your present task. With the collective consciousness energy "heating up" as it seems to be, it's more important than ever to be able to keep your center in the midst of the "small stuff," as well as the more major challenges many of us find ourselves dealing with.

Okay, great, you may say, but how do I stay calm and centered in the midst of the fire? It's not always easy, is it? Often you feel like "I'm too busy to relax!" When you think you can least afford a re-centering break is probably when you need one most. When you're in an over-stressed state, it literally blocks the flow of energy and information in your electrochemical systems. You literally can't think clearly. When you relax, you open the channels and solutions appear, where before the situation seemed hopelessly overwhelming. Suddenly the thing you were trying so hard to remember pops into your mind.

Another good example is what occurs when you "should" be sleeping. Have you ever tried to sleep? Trying to sleep is a sure way to prevent doing so! Trying implies tension, which of course is the opposite of what you want. Trying usually means you're resisting what is: "I don't want to be awake! I've got to get some sleep!!"

Allowing sleep to occur by relaxing into it is a much more effective approach. The same principle is true during your busy days--the more you can relax into it, the more smoothly things will go and the more productive you will ultimately be.

Most of us waste an enormous amount of energy anticipating the future or replaying the past. There is great power in the present moment. As we learn to be more fully present, we begin to feel that power at our creative disposal. We then waste much less time and energy in projection, resistance and regret. The well-known "serenity prayer" comes to mind:

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

A Simple Way to Relax and Let Go…
Here is one of the simplest, quickest, most effective relaxation processes I know. It can be done in moments, anytime, anywhere, to return to "center" in the midst of inner or outer turmoil. Take a moment to actually do this as you read these next couple paragraphs slowly, at your own comfortable breathing pace.

Sit or lie in a comfortable position, eyes open or closed, and bring your awareness gently to your breath. Let your breath be as deep and full as is comfortable, without forcing.

As you breathe in, mentally repeat to yourself:
I AM… and as you exhale… RELAXING.

Allow whatever other sensations or thoughts you may be experiencing to just be there…not resisting...just being with what is.

Again, breathing in I AM… and exhaling… RELAXING…

Allow your own breath to relax your body more and more deeply with every breath you take and feel your body respond.

Now, inhaling, I AM… and exhaling… LETTING GO…

Let go of any excess tension in the body… inhaling I AM…exhaling LETTING GO… let go of any resistance, anger, frustration or fear. Let go…just for now…just in this moment. I let it all go. I allow what is, to be.

Among the many benefits of deep relaxation and self-awareness practices are the ability to reduce blood pressure, enhance the immune system, heal physical and emotional dis-ease, improve performance, strengthen spiritual foundations, and gain a sense of overall well-being and joy.

In short, by making time to connect with the peaceful place that is always within, simple as it may seem, you can quite literally change your life. Especially during these times of profound global changes and challenges, remembering to care for yourself in the most basic of ways is absolutely essential. Making time to deeply relax is not a luxury. It is a necessity. In order to truly bring peace and healing to the world, each of us must take the responsibility--today, now, in this moment--of cultivating peace and healing in our own beings. We must pause long enough, and listen deeply enough to remember who we truly are. Returning, if even for a few moments, to the peaceful place within, is a very effective way to begin to "be the change you seek."

Nancy Hopps is a nationally recognized author, speaker, and mind-body-spirit healing consultant. For more information about her award-winning Relax Into Healing CDs please visit www.relaxintohealing.com

Related Info:
Cancer: Embracing the Healing Journey
How To Heal Yourself by Bernie Siegel, M.D.
Letting Go
Experiencing Intrinsic Freedom
Lynne McTaggart on the power of intention
Marci Shimoff on being happy from the inside out
Brian Tracy author of Create Your Own Future
Lama Surya Das on spirituality and meditation

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