I turned 50 a couple of weeks ago. For me it was like any other day living and working in London except that in what we humans have labeled time - I had reached half a century here on earth. My birthday was a time for reflection and on the day I remembered something that I recently read and that was that we are all spirits having a "human" experience rather than humans who occasionally have spiritual experiences. This sentence stuck a chord for me as I quickly realised that I had been living my life the wrong way around. It's a fascinating concept and of course completely whacko for those of you who are reading this and don't believe in spirits or believe that we are all just flesh and blood.
I used to read a great deal about spirits and how to lead a life that is "spiritual" with the hope and desire to find answers to so many questions that I used to ask. Always dreaming that the next book would hold the key - a great deal of my time was spent searching. Book after book, chapter after chapter, always seeking and asking and not a great deal of "doing". Ironically I learnt something very valuable reading the last book that I ever read on such matters and that is fact that in asking the big questions about life there is nothing that we need to learn, no great lightening bolt moment and no key that will unlock the secret. All that we need to do is to remember what we were like when we first entered this place, and remember what our life was like as a child. We need to find a way to take us back to that time when we were pure love - the time before we created destructive thoughts and emotions such as fear, jealousy and anger. Emotions and thoughts that for many of us continue to be a part of our every day life.
My life as a child was insanely happy - a life that was full of joy, laughter and love.
My way of taking myself back to this time is to practice Mindfullness as much as I can. There are many people now teaching Mindfullness and I have been very fortunate to have been shown how to practice this form of meditation by my good friend Andy Puddicombe. Andy taught me some very simple techniques that have allowed me to find a way to be still and "watch my thoughts". He taught me how to stop and listen to what I am saying to myself and to know that I am not these thoughts and that I do not have to act upon them. By practicing this as much as I can I am learning to make better choices in life and learning how to be happy and not have to ask so many questions. I do the best that I can in the moment to be this way and when I fall down and act on those negative thoughts and emotions I sit quietly again and reflect and know that I next time that this happens I can choose better and more loving options.
He is a clever lad is Andy and many of the techniques that he taught me all those years ago are now part of my every day life. His wise words have even taken me to the finish line when I ran my first marathon in New York. Andy suggested that when I hit the wall that I start to count 10 steps and when those 10 steps are counted count another 10 and then before I know it I have taken over a million steps. I finished that marathon thanks to Andy and I a better person for having met him. What forms of Meditation do you practice? Have you tried Mindfullness? Thinking of all of you who have taken time to read this blog and sending you my best wherever you are in this crazy mixed up world.