I’d love to share with you some thoughts on observation. The purpose of making your life your practice is to live your spirituality, to bring your spiritual values into your daily way of being. Knowing which values you’ll keep close to you as you move through the day is hugely important. Being able to honestly assess where you are with those values, being able to know whether or not you’re truly living them or just giving them lip service is key. In order to be vigilant, to continue to live in your states of kindness, patience, your energy your inheritance of love, you’ll need to enlist the tool of observation.
Let me be clear for you. This isn’t about watching others. Watching yourself is what I’m talking about. That’s always our work. In the world of spiritual practice, it is always about us. It’s our progress, our honesty, our ability to show up. Observation of self is critical. It will be important to notice your behavior without judgment, to notice, to take a look. Staying in non-judgment is initially as difficult as being aware in the moment. This discipline can be achieved with consistent effort. It’s well worth the endeavor. You can practice observation daily.
You might begin by choosing one value to focus on.
Years ago, when I started to observe myself, I started with the value of patience. I found that waiting was extremely difficult for me. I had lots of energy. Being patient felt like being confined. I started here and was extremely surprised at what I found. As I began my journey to observe myself around patience, I began to note all of the times that the need for patience showed up. That was it. I just started noticing, when I was asked to be patient I didn’t try to change. I didn’t try to do anything about it. I just started noticing when it popped up. Suddenly, or so it seemed, the need to be patient was everywhere. It was almost as if the world was nothing but situations and people that demanded my patience. That’s how the universe works. You choose a course of study to put your attention on, an area to improve upon, and suddenly the universe gives you lots of practice 🙂
After noticing all the opportunities I was being given, I started seeing each in a different light. I realized that my experiences weren’t there to test me. The universe wasn’t not paying attention to the fact that I was already trying to practice, patience. It wasn’t even about the people involved or each of those situations. Suddenly, the juice that had been present in each experience was gone. These experiences were being given to me so I could practice patience. Instead of focusing on each situation and getting mad at people or placing the energy on them, I realized everything had changed. The juice in each experience was gone. I no longer made the experience of waiting for the person struggling to find change ahead of me at the grocery store about them not respecting my time. It was a chance for me to see where I was not patient. It was an opportunity for me to change my behavior.
When planes were delayed and I missed connections while traveling, it was no longer about the inefficiency of the airlines. It was about me and my ability to be patient, to practice letting go.
Over time, I saw that I was not just letting go of my expectations of each situation, I was letting go of my expectations of me. I knew I had to view myself and each situation without judgment and at that time this was particularly hard for me.
I kept finding myself not in patience. My first reaction was anger with myself. Suddenly, I saw that my anger was directly tied to my impatience. I knew that the cycle of impatience and anger, me being impatient, being angry, would continue if I didn’t stop my judgment then and there.
It was then that I had the true experience of feeling how my impatience was not of love. I recognized that it continued a cycle that didn’t serve me. I felt it in my body. This wasn’t just an intellectual thought at this point. It was a full body, full blown knowing.
Forgiving myself, being in non-judgment with myself for my impatience was what was needed in order for me to have patience with others. This was a huge aha moment. It was once again, all about me. If I shifted me and how I was, that’s all that mattered.
One of the truths held by many spiritual students and the lesson I learned is that I’m responsible for everything that happens in my life. I know that all people, circumstances, and events have been generated by my soul in order for me to learn, grow and be everything I already am. This is a huge truth. This is the same for you. You need to use it. You need to use these experiences to grow. Many people will stop and they’ll look at the situations that annoy them. They’ll lose their patience and they’ll stop there. They’ll place the blame, place the energy on the situations and the people, never using the opportunity of the situation to change themselves.
This is a big one. It’s what I discovered when I began to practice the observation of me and how I was around the energy of patience.
And You. How will you use the power of observation? What value do you aspire to? Is it living in truth? Walking in a state of loving kindness? Does acceptance call to you? I challenge you, I ask you to choose a value that you seek to incorporate into your daily life. Then begin to observe where you are now, where you truly are. Be kind as you observe yourself. Get ready for a remarkable journey.