Finding Paradise in the Jaws of Hell
Lately I’ve been gratefully experiencing more moments of Nirvana: “a transcendent state in which there is neither suffering, desire, nor sense of self.”
I’m certainly not at the end of my journey… So much still to learn/remember and so much to let go of… Yet my life experience is reaching new depths of joyful peace, even though very little has changed on the outside — there’s still slow growth in my business and right now I’m living at my mum’s place to save money (definitely not ideal! haha) and I miss my kids terribly (who I haven’t seen for 3 months) and I have had another seemingly serious health complication (a heart issue) and … well, there are other things I could focus on too but just don’t feel the need to.
It could be hell, but it feels like paradise.
So how did I get here? Let’s take a look…
10 keys for finding paradise in the jaws of hell:
- Seeing that challenges are here as an opportunity to learn and grow.
- Knowing that there is a curious, loving, intelligent force at play (and that we are, ultimately, an aspect of that force).
- Letting go of what doesn’t serve us (that can be something as simple as excessive caffeine and alcohol, or as complicated as abusive relationships, and everything in between).
- Ensuring I don’t externalise my happiness (“I’ll be happy when…”) — knowing that real bliss is what is left when we let go of desire/need, judgement and rigidly fixed constructs around our self, others and the world in general.
- Staying present: now is all there is (and the only place we can access transcendence and Divinity) — pretty much everything else leads to fear and fantasy.
- Just saying “yes” to whatever presents itself (and then letting it slide on by if it doesn’t serve us — ask me for my “rock in the stream” meditation if you’re having trouble with this).
- Looking after the physical body — this body is our temple and our experiential home, so to start with (as Michael Pollan puts it) “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” and keep active.
- Understanding that our stories about life are just that; stories, judgements, perceptions and projections — not reality (see this article for more about this).
- Daily meditation.
The result? … Bliss.
I almost feel bad talking about how good I feel (for no reason at all other than my embodied beliefs and a willingness to let go of any thing or thought that restricts the flow of good that is always and ever available to us all) — even when things seem to fall apart on the outside — because so many people are having a challenging time around me right now….
But at the same time I have this growing compassion, deep love and drive to find a way to help more people awaken to their inherent bliss as much as I can, so part of that is showing how it’s possible with my own story I guess. So here we are!
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” —Lao Tzu
Which step will you take today?
Note: this is a pretty simplistic post, so please check out the rest of my articles to get a broader perspective on some of the topics covered here.