Deal With Stress

Can You See Things As They Are?

Woman's quiet time to see things as they areWith our current political climate heating up, it’s clear that we still operate under a false belief—that we see things as they are.  This belief underlies most every conflict.  Each side believes that they see things accurately, that they have the “right” belief, and that other points of view are, at best, misguided, if not completely “wrong.”  If the results weren’t so serious, that idea would be humorous.

One of the first insights I learned in philosophy was “perspective.”  Every experience we have is the result of where we are coming from at the moment—our perspective.  Far from being able to see things as they are, we are embedded in our own little worlds.  Our “worlds” are made of intentions, thoughts, feelings, beliefs, inner sensations, habits, personal history, cultural assumptions, prejudices, and environmental conditions.  All these coalesce to create our point of view at the moment—quite a complex web.  Our perspective is a thick and heavily colored lens through which we perceive what is happening.  We are far from seeing things as they are.

Yet, we still argue as if we do.  We still argue as if we have the truth.  We hold onto our points of view as if they define our very existence.  We identify “who we are” with the words in our heads.  We have a constant stream of self-talk that tells us that our words express what is real, true, and possible—and their words “don’t.”

This is where the second insight I learned in philosophy comes into play.  There is another part of us, some call it our soul, Higher Self, or essence.  I like to call it Core Energy. This part of us is in touch with the whole field of existence.  It is simultaneously connected to everything, to the unity that is underneath it all.  This part of us can observe the comings and goings of perspectives, thoughts, feelings, and actions, and not be caught up in it all.  This part of us knows that these are like clouds that float by across the sky of a deeper truth—a unified Field in which we are all related and interdependent.

If there is a deeper truth, it is not to be found in the words of our arguments.  It is in a dimension beyond words—a place of deep silence, stillness, and clear awareness.  If such awareness is possible, it is not found by defending any perspective or point of view.  If such awareness is possible, it is discovered in letting go of our thoughts, reactions, and differences.

Our worlds are so busy, noisy, anxious, and frantic. If we are to find a deeper truth, it is by making time and space for listening to the silence.

Deal With Stress

Why You Need to Hear Me Brag About My Kid’s Soccer Game (And How It Will Change Your Life —No, Really!)

kids soccer gameWith two kids on a league this season, I feel like I’m officially a soccer mom, and I always look forward to the kids’ soccer game. Some parents seem stressed out by them, but I’ve never been the kind of mom who pushes her kids to win. (No judgment; just not my personality!) I just love watching them so focused and energized, even if they do let the ball roll right past them sometimes! This weekend’s games were no different, but perhaps I was in a more receptive state of mind. At any rate, I came away with more than just the usual sense of pride and excitement; I also learned a few lessons I‘d like to share with you.

  • Sometimes winning is everything.

I love it when my kids’ teams win the soccer game, though as I said, I usually just encourage them to have fun. This time, my son’s team did win, and it meant the world to him. He’s been developing his skills, and his coach allowed him to play the entire game for the first time, so when the team won, he felt justified in taking ownership of it. And it was just what he needed. He’s been struggling a bit with school lately, and it lifted his spirits immensely. The euphoria lasted all weekend. We always hear that winning isn’t everything, and most of the time, that’s true, but this Saturday, it was everything for my kiddo! It made me think differently about the times we lose in life as well, when we don’t get the promotion or feel like we’ve missed out on an opportunity. Maybe it was someone else’s turn to win, and maybe for them, it was everything.

  • Teamwork feels good.

Billy didn’t get a goal, but he did get an assist, and it thrilled him. The boy he passed the ball to is one of his best friends on the team, and they were both ecstatic when they pulled it off. Neither took full credit for the point. They shared equally in the victory, and that made it all the more sweet. As I watched, it occurred to me that we take teamwork for granted sometimes and occasionally, we even grumble at having to collaborate, perhaps thinking it would be so much easier to just do the job ourselves. Watching the boys play, I was reminded that teamwork is not just effective, it’s immensely rewarding. We weren’t made to do this life alone. We need each other in the bad times and in the good.

  • Perspective is important.

Billy’s team traveled to another field to play this weekend, and instead of sitting on the sidelines as I usually do, I sat on the bleachers atop a hill, so that I was looking down on the field. I realized how much better I could see what was going on from that perspective. Up close, it was hard to follow the ball or even find my kid at times, but from afar, I could see everything so much clearer. I could even see the plays being set up before they happened. It was pretty incredible! It also reminded me that the same is true in our lives at times. We get so caught up on the day-to-day, zeroing in on the problems that seem so important in the moment that we forget to look at the big picture. With perspective, though, we can sometimes see a method to the madness and pick up on things that we would otherwise overlook—like all of the blessings we enjoy.

I learned a lot from the soccer game, that’s for sure, but the most important thing I learned is that when we’re receptive to hearing it, the universe can speak so much truth to us through our everyday activities. Have you learned anything extraordinary from an ordinary experience lately? Please share your lessons with us!