One More Moment

It's very easy to think that all these personal and spiritual development practices and master manifesting techniques are "supposed" to produce an existence that is free from all undesirable scenarios and hardships. Almost as if you can achieve some state where nothing bad ever happens. While conscious recognition of your behavior patterns may certainly assist you in avoiding many unnecessarily re-occurring "negative" life experiences, I believe it would be totally unrealistic -- and even delusional -- to think that you won't encounter any undesirable challenges ever again.

A healthier "goal" is of course the perspective that allows you to view the hurdles as lessons -- opportunities to grow and to learn as you came here to do -- as opposed to disasters meant to undermine or destroy you.

Isn't equipping yourself to better handle a new challenge a desirable evolution beyond the over-reaction and sloppy muddling through of the past?

You likely have themes among your karmic life lessons -- repeating scenarios --

  • You date the same kind of loser over and over again
  • You make the same mistakes
  • You start strong but fall off before the follow through
  • You drag your baggage from one period of your life to the next

You know -- that wonderful definition of madness as "doing the same thing and expecting a different result."

I don't believe that just because you've solved a certain problem one time that you will never encounter it again -- actually, I believe it's often like you're playing a video game, where each level you successfully reach can bring bigger badder faster uglier versions of the monsters.

Don't be disappointed that you can't always eradicate the problems once and for all -- there's great peace and power to be had by simply becoming more adept at recognizing a graduated version of a lesson you've already learned and applying your wisdom to change current and future experiences:

  • You can avoid another round all together
  • You can decrease the duration of the lesson
  • You can move through it with fewer interruptions or lesser disruptions
  • You can reduce the effects that may have been devastating in the past to only mildly annoying

"This can't be happening!" Oh, if only saying it was enough to make it so... You can handle anything thrown at you and still be okay.

I love Meryl Streep's portrayal of author Isak Denisen, Karen von Blixen in the film version of Out of Africa -- it's a gorgeous study in the perseverance of the present moment -- how to be transcendentally existentially OK, in spite of the trials and tribulations that just keep coming...

There's a wonderful moment near the end of the film -- after Karen has survived decades of gender discrimination and feminist humiliation, financial devastation, infidelity and syphilis, the coffee plantation has burned to the ground, and she's finally surrendered to being driven -- literally -- out of Africa. She sits in her empty home, having sold off all her possessions, quietly smoking and looking through those last few books waiting to be boxed up, and probably thinking What could possibly go wrong now? What could be left?

The Baron comes to tell her the news that the love of her life has just been killed in a plane crash.

There's a bit of dialogue that I can (almost) quote verbatim:

Karen says "When it gets so bad, that I think I can't go one moment more... I do. And then I know I can do anything."

To me, this is one of those moments when you are so reduced to surviving in the extreme present -- the next tick of the second hand on the clock, the next breath -- that just breathing is all that is required of you to "succeed."

No thinking, no problem solving, no traveling into past or future, but simply taking that next breath. And when you make it through that one, you take another. And another.

The Common Denominator of All Living Moments

If all you can do in this moment is breathe -- just breathe.

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