We delight in the beauty of the butterfly,
but rarely admit the changes it has gone through
to achieve that beauty.
-- Maya Angelou
As we begin to attune to our inner world, our emotions subside, our mind becomes quieter, and we find that deep within, we awaken to our Soul, our true Self. We are open to receive and feel Spirit as it touches us. Look, therefore to your awareness, not to your thoughts. Our thoughts betray us since they often are colored by emotions. Our awareness cannot. Awareness is everything.
We learn by direct personal discovery. Think about learning how to ride a bicycle. One moment, you couldn't ride the bike, the next minute you could. Once you have learned it, you know it forever. A shift occurred in the instant the new ability became yours. You became confident in this metamorphosis. The smallest shift in perspective can transform a life. You observed what is.
Transformation is a metamorphosis, a shift, a transition. It is creating the next 20, 30, or even 40 or more years, after you have stopped and looked at what you have, or do not have; what you have done, or have not done; whom you have been, or not been, and what you are still becoming. Whatever your religious or spiritual approach -- or even if you have no approach at all -- transformation is more than change. That awareness is everything.
There is a profound distinction between our thoughts, perceptions and beliefs around illness that make up our interpretations and stories that keep us stuck in no possibility or future. The impact of believing our stories, as if they were real, is cause of our suffering. For example, my father had a stroke. This is what happened. But his (and society's) interpretation of that event was that he would no longer be able to fully participate in life. He observed what is or what was so. He then observed what he thought about what was so. He kept his sense of humor and was passionately vital until he passed many years later, to the surprise and delight of his doctors.
Most humans tend to integrate these two distinct actions and view them as one, which, going back to Buddhist philosophy, causes them to suffer. But suffering is not necessary. New possibilities can be created when we separate these phenomena. We step into freedom, i.e., we are not our illness. Who we are is bigger than that.
Just observe what is. Then, modeling my father, observe what you think about what is so. Then ask yourself, "Why am I thinking that?" And, more important, "What would happen if I thought something else?"
Transformation is a process of growth, of becoming something bigger.
As author, poet, dancer, actress, and singer, Maya Angelou reminds us,
"Let us bring our awareness to the divine presence within each one of us."
* Who are you for yourself?
* What is there to be transformed?
* What actions will you take?
* Inside of those actions, what now needs there to be transformed?
* Can you hold yourself accountable?
Be here now. It's as simple as that.
WHETHER YOU OR A LOVED ONE ARE NEWLY DIAGNOSED OR HAVE HAD PHYSICAL OR EMOTIONAL CHALLENGES FOR MANY YEARS, YOU HAVE COME TO THE RIGHT PLACE TO GET CONNECTED.
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You Are Not Your Illness: Seven Principles for Meeting the Challenge, is available on Amazon.com. Also available in both paper and e-book editions.
COMING IN SEPTEMBER!
Wheelchair Wisdom: Awaken Your Spirit through Adversity, soon to be published by Berrett-Koehler & iUniverse.