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I listened to a podcast the other day featuring Marisa Peer (writer, speaker, therapist to the stars) where she discussed self-talk.  I found it quite compelling, the premise being that what we say to ourselves, especially what we say about ourselves, causes manifestations in our reality, particularly in our bodies.

For most of us, our self-talk is negative.  We go through our days chastising ourselves over our perceived inadequacies, shortcomings, and flaws.  We look into the mirror and don’t like what we see, focusing on the imperfections – the blemishes, bulges, and creases – rather than what is good and whole and pure.  We look for what’s wrong – the problems and pitfalls – rather than the opportunities and achievements.  As a result of this narrative of negativity and lack, we typically find that which we don’t like or what we wish to avoid, repeats over and over in our experience.

A meditation I recently listened to encouraged listeners to “expect great things today.”  It occurred to me that I almost never expect great things.  Like many people, I’m conditioned to wait for the next problem, the next dark cloud, the next challenge to appear.  In a misguided effort to soften the blow of these personal disappointments, we sabotage our opportunities for success and happiness by presaging failure, loss, and misfortune.  (“I’m sure someone more qualified will get the job.”  Or, “Why would he/she want to date me?”  Or, “My team will probably lose.”)

Likewise, to spare our children the pain of disappointment, we feel justified in tempering their hopes and dreams.  When our little ones run up and excitedly tell us they want to be astronauts or professional athletes or princesses when they grow up, a perverse sort of love instinct kicks in, prompting us to smile and remind them that what they want may be too difficult, too expensive, too dangerous, or too unrealistic, thereby imposing limitations and restrictions on their goals and beliefs.

But why is it so easy for us to accept a negative version of reality and so difficult to believe in positive outcomes?   I’m beginning to understand the reason correlates to this idea of our negative internal dialogue which is a byproduct of our reactions to our life experiences.

Shaltazar tells us we are in a time of great change, and this energy of change is intense, surging forth in powerful waves.  Consider a warm summer day when off in the distance, a thunderstorm builds on the horizon.  As the black wall of clouds gradually marches closer, blocking out the sun, slowly erasing the blue sky, the world feels ominous, foreboding, and many of us react with fear, worry, or panic.  We head indoors and hunker down, waiting for the storm to pass.  When it’s over, we cautiously return outdoors to assess the damage and observe the carnage.

For a time, we are able to relax and wind-down.  But before long, another storm cell approaches, dredging up those familiar sensations of discomfort and fear.  And while we know these storms will pass and the warmth and sunshine will return, we tend to accumulate scars from these unsettling experiences which cause us to dread what havoc the next storm has in store, adding layers of fear and negativity onto our already darkened perspective.

Shaltazar says that our response and reaction to each challenge determines what comes next.  The idea being that the storms are not a linear parade of misfortunes entering, wreaking chaos, then leaving our lives, but instead a cycle.  These are not multiple storms coming one after the other, but the same storm repeating itself over and over. And the purpose of those storms is for us to learn and grow. To increase our level of consciousness.

It’s like an online class where you aren’t able to advance to the next section until you complete the competency exam for the current section.  The course forces you to keep revisiting the material in a circular fashion until you achieve mastery, at which point it progresses you to the ensuing lesson.  So if you allow the scared, fearful feelings to revive upon the onset of each storm, the universe sends the storm back around for another opportunity for you to react differently and thereby achieve mastery.

So how do we rid ourselves of the scars of our encounters with life’s storms, trials, and tribulations and move on to the next level?  Shaltazar advises us to rethink our perception of reality and shift how we choose to see the world.

We’ve all seen news footage of the devastation wrought when a hurricane makes landfall.  I always found it interesting that, while ships at sea are tossed and turned and battered about by waves and wind, it’s the vessels moored near shore, lashed tight to piers in defiance of the storm, which seem to suffer the greatest damage.

So it seems the answer is to accept that these storms are beyond our control, and let go.  Rather than dread or resist the storm coming, detach and observe like the ship at sea, allowing the wind and waves to wash over you, jostle you, take you where they will, perhaps in a different direction than you had anticipated, but nevertheless toward a desirable port in a favorable destination.

Here’s the rub… achieving mastery over these cycles of change doesn’t mean the storms will stop coming.  Like a video game, advancing to the next level just brings greater challenges.  The good news is, as you achieve each new level, you become better at weathering the storms.  Your past experiences bolster your ability to deal with what comes.  You are stronger, better prepared, more competent.  As a result, the storms don’t seem so big, bad, or scary.

When it comes to healing the scars of past storms, Shaltazar encourages us to use tools such as meditation, exercise, walks in nature, or other affirmative techniques to cleanse the painful energetic remnants left behind in our auric field.  Release any unpleasant feelings.  Move beyond the discomfort.  Embrace the experience as merely an expression and release of cosmic energy without qualifying it as good or bad, positive or negative.  By remaining objective and maintaining neutrality, you can change the narrative; you change the stories you tell yourself and thereby prevent the scars from forming.

So what story do you want to tell yourself?  Will it be, “Here comes another storm,” “It’s going to be terrible,”  “I can’t take it anymore,”  “My day is ruined,” or will it be “Look at the power of nature in action,” “See how the rain nourishes our planet and sustains the plants and trees,” and “How wonderful the air will smell after the storm passes?”

Shaltazar reminds us that always we can choose how we want to respond to what comes to us.  We are lovingly advised to choose wisely.

Finally, as the words were flowing through me for this article, I kept thinking about the lyrics of a favorite song from my youth.  To me, they really feel connected to this message from Shaltazar so I wanted to share them with you:

Carry on Wayward Son

By Kansas

Carry on my wayward son
For there’ll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Don’t you cry no more

Once I rose above the noise and confusion
Just to get a glimpse beyond the illusion
I was soaring ever higher, but I flew too high
Though my eyes could see I still was a blind man
Though my mind could think I still was a mad man
I hear the voices when I’m dreamin’, I can hear them say

Carry on my wayward son
For there’ll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Don’t you cry no more

Masquerading as a man with a reason
My charade is the event of the season
And if I claim to be a wise man, it surely means that I don’t know
On a stormy sea of moving emotion
Tossed about I’m like a ship on the ocean
I set a course for winds of fortune, but I hear the voices say

Carry on my wayward son
For there’ll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Don’t you cry no more

Carry on, you will always remember
Carry on, nothing equals the splendor
Now your life’s no longer empty
Surely heaven waits for you

Carry on my wayward son
For there’ll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Don’t you cry no more

 Mark Layne

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Applying the Wisdom:

In order to advance to the next level in this game of life, we must learn to reinterpret the difficulties we face and begin to see them from a different perspective. What if you truly began to see all your challenges and troubles as opportunities? I am not saying that you should become a Pollyanna. Life can be very difficult at times. But if you are prepared to begin to see the learning and growth in all your adversities it can lighten the load. It can even help to make your future look a bit brighter.

How do you do that? By moving above, by becoming the observer, becoming more objective. It is difficult to see our life lessons when we are in the midst of the storm. In the midst of the emotional upheaval, it’s hard to be objective. It requires a calmer approach. Wait for the storm to pass before you begin to look at what has transpired through the lens of learning and growth. Often when the storm passes we feel so relieved that we forget about what we just experienced. Unfortunately, that just leaves us susceptible to the next storm that is coming our way. The key is to take time when the calm is back in our lives to reflect on what happened and what the possible learning could be. The more you do so the more you will respond differently the next time the storm comes knocking at your door. Awareness leads to choice and choice leads to change.

Be patient because this new way of looking at adversity will take some time. When you can attain this newfound awareness of how your difficulties are your greatest teacher, it will allow you to change your life for the better. It will take time to relearn this new belief, but it’s worth the effort. You may even get good enough at this game of learning that you can avoid some of your future hardships by responding to life’s adversities in a different way.

Jeffrey Eisen

 

 

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