Tonight I learned a new lesson on how to become formless. My husband and I were giving our 3 year old daughter a bath, listening to music, when Aladdin’s “A Whole New World” began to play. My husband and I began waltzing around the bathroom, much to my daughter’s amusement. After the bath was over, my daughter insisted on dancing with her daddy to the same song. I caught this beautiful moment on video.
After the fact, my ego took over and I became proud of myself for being totally engrossed in this moment of time. I stayed in the now, completely absorbed with each giggle, twist, and turn of the first dance between this daughter and her daddy, knowing full well that this moment, captured on video, would one day be playing at her wedding, knowing that I was right there, knowing without doubt that I will NEVER forget these precious 2 minutes of my life.
Once I allowed my ego into the picture, my thoughts weren’t too far behind. Remember what I discussed yesterday- our thoughts are not our friends. They rob us of joy by keeping us from living life, trapping us in the past or in the future and making us completely miss the precious moments of the now.
My thoughts were no different. They told me, “Oh, you poor thing. You never once danced with your father. Your father was always too busy, too macho, too disinterested. You were never really loved. You didn’t deserve to be loved.” And then, before my thoughts went any further, the quiet, gentle voice of my heart asked me one very important question: “Are you going to allow the thoughts of your past to ruin this beautiful moment between your own precious daughter and your beloved husband?”
And that’s when I learned my new lesson on becoming formless. We must not let our deepest, darkest part of our past ruin the joy of our now. The past is past. It does not control you. It is not who you are. Your memories are yours to keep. They are the pieces that make up the puzzle of your life. They helped make you who you are. They taught you valuable lessons. Honor them as such. However, let the negative emotional ties that some memories bind you with loose. Free yourself from the bondage that is the darkest part of your thoughts. It serves no purpose for you other than to destroy the joy of your present moment.
If I had allowed my thoughts to continue, instead of feeling the joy of remembering this special moment in my family’s history, I would have gone around feeling sorry for the little girl that I used to be. I have a choice. I can let those hurtful, negative emotions go and choose instead to live in the light. I can choose to give up the forms that are my thoughts and choose to become formless.
You have a choice. Choose to remember the joy of each moment. Refuse to allow the thoughts of your past to ruin the beauty that is your life.
“You are what you think.” You have probably heard this more than once during your lifetime. Have you ever stopped to think about what it really means? Have you ever really paid attention to what your thoughts are saying or how they are making you feel?
My thoughts were once a complete mess. My last conscience thought before I drifted off to sleep was what I needed to get accomplished the next day. I would wake up each morning already feeling stress over all of the things I had on my list of things to do. Becoming a mother intensified these feelings of stress by a tenfold. Not only did I have things that I needed to do, but now I had another person that I had to take care of as well. Add being a perfectionist to this mixture of thought and you are left with one very highly emotionally charged and stressed out person.
While I was trapped in this cycle of thought, I never once actually enjoyed what I was doing while I was doing it. My thoughts were focused on what I needed to do next, how much time I had left before I could move on to the next item on my checklist of life. We keep winding ourselves tighter and tighter, pushing ourselves to be more, to accomplish more. You can’t do this to yourself without eventually snapping. This snapping can look different to all of us. For some, it means migraines and tension headaches. For others, huge knots can form in your shoulders and back. For others, it can manifest outward in fits of road road, bursts of anger triggered by something insignificant. It can grow out of control and some might physically hurt themselves or someone else. Some continually manifest all of the stress internally and will experience awful diseases and cancer. Scientists have proven that approximately 90% of all illnesses and cancers are caused by STRESS. You are what you think.
How do we turn these nagging, stressful thoughts off? It’s so simple yet so difficult. All you have to do is to be present in this moment, right now. Have you ever been driving somewhere, gotten to your destination, and can’t remember the drive? Where were you? Trapped in your thoughts. Have you ever had dinner with a dear friend and later can’t remember what you talked about? Where were you? Trapped in your thoughts. Be present. Be alive. Live your life RIGHT NOW. Do not worry about the future. Let go of the past. Turn those nagging thoughts off. They do no service to you at all. They are killing you. They are taking away the joy of your life.
When you are driving in the car, be present. Look at the trees, look at the clouds, look at the faces of other drivers around you. Remember the joy you once had when you were first learning to drive? The freedom you felt while you were driving? You can have that feeling about driving and all other aspects of life again. Be present. When you are playing with your child, be present. Put the phone down. Turn the television off. Get off of the computer. Be present. Be alive. Life is made of precious little moments. When our thoughts are somewhere else, we are somewhere else as well and we miss life.
Refuse to be a slave to your thoughts. Be joyful. Be present. Be in the now. Be yourself. Be alive.