I am here because it's not where I would choose to be. I am here because where I work isn't where I would choose to work. I am here because so much of what takes up and requires most of my time and energy isn't what I would choose to dedicate it to. I am here, because so much of my life right now isn't what I want. And if none of that makes any sense, and you're wondering why on Earth I'm overflowing with gratitude right now in spite of having just said that the town in which I live isn't where I want to live, or the work I'm doing isn't the work I want to be doing, and you're wondering how in heck I'm thanking God profusely for it all in this moment, then you have stepped into my shoes and are sharing the same train of thought that was running round in my head for the last months, but no longer is. No longer is, as of about three minutes ago.
In previous posts and conversations I've mentioned that in one of my jobs I have some particularly hard groups, and the classes don't go so well. They've been torturous in some ways, and have taken a major toll on my energy, my mental health, and my overall state of Being. This has caused a ripple effect, and instead of living in a state of gratitude, I started to live in a state of dread. Getting out of bed in the morning was nearly impossible, and on most occasions, I just wanted to run away. I'd imagine just walking off and never looking back, and feel so deeply inside of me that life would be much happier that way. My face must have portrayed it, and my actions certainly did. I just didn't care about anything I was doing, and was certain I was just going through the motions, living entirely without passion or purpose. I guess I could say I was a bit depressed, and I know I could say I was bitter, angry, and disgusted with everything around me, but worse, in me.
All the while I've known and believed in the power of thought, and figured I could make some drastic changes if I simply applied my mental energy to thinking well of these groups or students, but haven't been strong enough to muster the energy to do it. I didn't know where to start, because, to be honest, the negative and adverse emotions/thoughts/feelings I had towards them were too strong and constant, and well, I just didn't want to. Satan had me strung up, and he wasn't about to let me off that easy. When facing this adversity a couple times a week, each week, there isn't much time in between battles to recover, gear up, get strong, and be loving when entering the next. It's a perpetual cycle, that while there are lag moments, it never really stops. Kind of like the washing machine. But finally, a break came! I've had some time and I have finally implemented a practice I decided I wanted to take on in order to test the power of the mind, and see some positive changes occur: 5 minutes a day of meditating love on these students and groups. Ya know, just to see what would happen..
Just moments before I started this post, I finished my first Five Minute Meditation, and moments before that, I decided to one-up it, and follow the Five Minutes Meditation of Love, with five minutes of meditating on thoughts/feelings of gratitude. So I set a timer for 6 minutes, allowing myself one extra minute to settle in, do an introduction, and begin; and stopped myself when I heard it buzzing. Then, I said some closing comments (everything done mentally), opened my eyes, and restarted the timer, this time shifting into Thankful Mode.
In just those 12 minutes, my entire life and perspective on my situation changed.
The love that I felt when picturing my students' faces was pure, was real, and was not a love I knew I could project on them considering how our time spent together goes. It overcame all the dark energy I felt before, and there was no doubt in my mind that I love them. I love them, because God fills me with love, and His Love is unconditional (a love I pray to have as best I can as a human). I invited the whole high school into my heart, and told it I was enveloping it in my love -- God's Love. I imagined certain groups, certain students, and spoke powerful amounts of love, understanding, and acceptance into them. It was a real love, and now that I've felt it and sent it to them, I know I can make it happen when I look into their eyes our next hour. And then, just like that, while I was still heating up, *buzz, buzz, buzz,* time to stop. And I did.
In the book I recently read, Choose Yourself, by James Altucher, he says that when we're working on something, it's good to stop when we're really excited about it (he's talking about writing a book, but it can apply to anything). He thinks that if we stop what we're doing while we're just starting to get really psyched up about it, it'll make it easier for us to return to it the next day. So, I'm applying this principle to these meditations, even though I didn't want to stop.
It would have been so easy for me to keep going. Love is an endless fountain and flow, so is our energy, so once it gets going and flowing, wow, it's really hard to stop it! But I want to be looking forward to the next Five Minute Meditation, and go straight to my mat excitedly, so I didn't let myself keep going for more than 30 seconds after the timer went off. Then I shifted gears.
I firmly believe, that if we give thanks for the good things in our life we will attract more of them. I also firmly believe, that we can trick ourselves into loving something we don't really love if we give thanks for it. What it is doesn't necessarily change, but our State of Being/Thinking/Feeling does, and well, that actually does change everything else that comes with it. So, during my Five Minute Meditation of Gratitude, I focused a lot of my thanks on this place I'm in, Écija, and my job.
Écija is a small town in Andalucía, an hour from Sevilla. It's a beautiful, historic town, and there are a lot of good people here, but as I've mentioned before, it's not my place. It and I do not mesh as well as we could, and it was incredibly hard for me to come here, after having spent an amazing year and a half in Sevilla, a city that suits me so well. But I came, and have been trying to love it as much as I can since. Or have I?
I spent a lot of time here not appreciating it, and finding it even harder to love it, because I am still working in a high school, and to leave a city that's been ranked one of the top five cities in the world to visit/live in (Sevilla), well, pretty much any transition is tough. I'd wanted to stay in Sevilla and assist in a primary school, change up the scene a bit, learn a new way of teaching, be around a different age group, and definitely, leave high school. (I mean, can you blame me? How many years do YOU want to spend in high school? My experience was relatively great, but it's still high school, and four years are enough.) But, it's not what God had in mind, and I've spent a lot of my time here questioning why this is what He chose for me instead. I trust God 100%, and know he doesn't make mistakes, but in light of my struggles at work, I just couldn't figure out what it was He had in mind for me this year. Until now.
Just now, during my Five Minute Meditation of Gratitude, God revealed to me why I am here, and I am SO grateful!
It's not because He wants me to change anything here, that's just going to be a ripple effect of my colorful, foreign presence; it's not because He wants to torture me, it's not because He wants me to feel like I'm wasting a year I could be using to volunteer and travel, nor any of the other pessimistic things I've been thinking. Simply put, it's because the largest factors of my daily life (where I live and the work I'm doing) are not what I want. Confusing? It was for me at first too, but let me explain...
He chose this situation for me, to give me a huge opportunity to put into practice and master all the practices, thoughts, and things I've been learning over the last years: Be Here Now, Give Thanks, Love Through Everything, Emit Your Own Frequency, Accept As Is, Be Your Best Self (all the time).
I'm here, because without this situation, I'd be in one that I am in love with, and these practices would flow freely from me, but that's not what really counts. It's easy to live and love in the now, accept and give thanks for what is, and Be My Best Self when things are going my way and what surrounds me fills me with love. What's not easy, is to apply all of this, to do all of this, to Be all of this, when the largest targets of time and energy are in contrast to what I want. (This applies to all of us.:)
He brought me here, to give me the chance to really practice what I preach, and watch what happens. He's giving me a chance to take a break from the fairly easy life I've had, and struggle with some stuff a bit. Wrestle with some alligators and figure out how to smile and give thanks the whole time I'm doing it! I've spent so long knowing all these things, and freely, easily practicing them while I travel, meet new people, do this, or do that, but those are all things that light my fire, they're my passions. It's important to apply these practices and Be my best self in these moments, but it comes naturally. Now, here, in this place, in these situations, it does not come naturally in the least, and that's why He's brought me here: to do it anyways, or at least, figure out and practice how to do it anyways.
Now, when I say thanks to Him for bringing me here, for this being my life and circumstance, it's not something I'm saying simply hoping to make it come true. I'm not just saying it because I believe I can trick myself into feeling it, or expect it to magically change something around me. No. Now when I give thanks for Him bringing me here, I can say it with passion, because I finally know why I'm here! It has been revealed, and it's awesome! It's just another great chance in life to improve myself, and set myself up for an even brighter future!
I can't wait to keep up with this practice, and keep you guys informed of the results I'm seeing and feeling from it. This is going to be an amazing way to finish out my time here in Spain, and an incredible way to set myself up for an even more wondrous pattern than I expected before!
I hope that if you're facing adverse circumstances, you can perhaps embark on this practice and journey with me. We can support each other, tell each other how we're feeling, and keep each other mindfully living. On those days we don't feel like meditating anything beautiful, we can remind each other of how beneficial this practice is, and how important it is to keep up with it. Let's be here for one another, and be amazed by the results we see from it! Get in touch with me anytime you need, I'm here for you, I love you.
I send you all my love and gratitude, and wish you a very happy Sunday!
Blessings, Love, Light & Wonder,