Saturday, February 4, 2012

It is moments like these....

       It is moments like I had tonight that provide a perfect opportunity to teach compassion for ourselves.  Tonight I experienced what I call a professional hiccup.  I presented in front of a large group and well, if I had to grade myself, I would give myself an F.  I absolutely did everything they teach you NOT to do in Public Speaking 101.  I spoke in circles, didn't stay on task by following my "script", froze and actually asked for a moment to collect myself.  Of course those that were with me, disagreed with my perception and because they have seen my presentation skills before they also know that I am not only comfortable speaking in front of a large group, but that I do it rather well.  None the less, it felt awful, awkward and it was most embarrassing for me.  It was a train wreck folks, make no mistake.
You see, no matter how well we do something, and how often we do that something well, there will be moments that we hiccup.  A moment where nerves get the best of us, we feel flustered from being late to a meeting, feel scattered, have an argument with a loved one, or feel tired.  It could be anything that triggers us enough to block us from doing that thing well!  
The truth is, it only takes but a moment of embarrassment to ignite those good ole' sayings we say to ourselves to make us feel worse than we already do.  "You idiot, I can't believe I just screwed up something so simple" "What was I doing up there?" "What was I thinking?!" "They must think that I am a scatter brain."  Insert your mind's degrading chatter here.  Your "mind chatter"most likely beats you up too often for your own good.
The truth is you are a perfect being that experiences hiccups in life.  It is also true that these hiccups or embarrassing moments offer healing opportunities, a growth spurt toward your awakening.  When we are aware and present we can recognize the embarrassing or painful experience as just that, an experience.  Nothing more, nothing less.  We can then begin to forgive and have compassion for ourselves.  
So how does one teach compassion for self?  
  • As each ugly, hurtful and abusive thought comes in to our mind, release it as if it were a dandelion seed letting loose from the cotton puff, and blowing away in the wind.   (This takes practice, so be kind to yourself, if your mind wanders) 
  • By not attaching to those thoughts, simply witnessing them and then releasing them.  For we are not the fear or the drama that surrounds those thoughts.  We are infinitely more.
  •  Breathe normally while focusing on the inhalation and the exhalation
  •  Sitting in silence.   (This too takes practice, so be kind to yourself, if your mind wanders) Just focus on your natural breath. 
    Through this minor yet life changing exercise, our spirit becomes lifted and we reconnect with our inner core being.  Breathe and silence are fundamental toward a compassionate life.  We will begin to recognize that we are not the experience, but a whole perfect being and so much more!
So you see, each "horrible" or "awful" moment we experience, is a perfect opportunity to remind ourselves that it was nothing more than a moment in time.  We are not defined by that one experience, and to judge ourselves as if we were is inaccurate and unfair to you and others that we judge.  When we are without judgement, we are free from shackles that have been placed on us in our formative years and the ones that we allow to continue in our adult lives.  To focus on that hiccup is living and clinging to the past.  Live in the present, where self doubt, fear and judgement have no residency.  

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