One the keys to mastering the freedom practice is learning to welcome your suffering, because it is showing you where you are not yet free.
During the year before I finally woke up to freedom myself, to the realization that I was not even this “I,” this “self” I’d taken myself to be all my life, my personal manta was this:
“Ah, I welcome this situation, this suffering, because it is showing me where I am not yet free.”
However, a lot of people have trouble welcoming very unpleasant experiences. It is difficult enough to even be present with them, but if you want to experience the joy and freedom that is your true nature, you have to learn to be present with what you are feeling or experiencing.
If you can do this, then in time, as you become freer of all that binds you, welcoming will be easier. As I said, welcoming opens your heart. It teaches you to embrace your conflict and suffering, rather than turn away from it. When you are kind and welcoming to yourself, you are more open and compassionate toward others.
As welcoming becomes more familiar to you, you may even begin to develop an attitude of “Bring it on…” You want to see where you still get caught in suffering or reaction, because you want to be free of those inner “demons” of yours.
After all, it is what is. Whatever is troubling you is your reality—and as the spiritual teacher Byron Katie says, when you argue with reality, you always lose. But when you accept what is, then you are in harmony with it and you can work to change it, heal it, fix it, or at least adapt it.
Welcoming your suffering because it’s showing you where you are not free becomes a very powerful, liberating mantra. The more you live in welcoming and openness, the more life feels smoother, more harmonious, more flowing.
Love and blessings,
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My book, End Your Story, Begin Your Life published by Hampton Roads ($16.95) is in paperback. It has been widely-praised as one of the best and clearest guides to being free while fully engaging in the marketplace of daily life. More details on the Books page. Also available as an audiobook.
An article about Jim and his work, by Joyce Tate Dvoren, is in the December 2011 issue of LA Yoga. Titled ‘Three Steps to Freedom,’ it can be read online at http://www.layoga-digital.com/layoga/201112#pg22
After the Esalen Workshop, September 9 - 14, 2012
Pix from our wonderful workshop can be seen on the Teaching Schedule page below the schedule.
My new blog, Reflections on Freedom, can be viewed at: http://jimdreaver.blogspot.com/
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