Looking at the Big Picture: Part 2

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Looking again at the Big Picture has been one of the most important lessons I have learned in life.    I have been contemplating on this concept in more depth.

When we have a problem, something that worries us, we tend to focus on that problem obsessively.  We don’t think about anything else except what worries us.   And while we continue to focus on this obsessive “problem”, we tend to miss everything else.  The rest of our lives which we miss is what I consider the Big Picture.

For example, I may start worrying about the car that I have in the shop under repair.  I would start worrying about how expensive it can be to repair it.  I can start obsessing about how I would go places without my car.  So I can go on and on focusing on the situation that I have chosen to identify as a problem.   But if I choose to Look at the Big Picture, I consider other situations that would give me a different perspective and therefore a new feeling.  I can choose to think about the good health I still have.  I can think about the job I still have.  I can think about the possibility of learning to catch the city bus or using a taxi.  I can so thinks of so many other scenarios that will diminish the stress of having my car in the shop.

Consider also how small our planet is compared to the rest of the universe.  When we think only about our community, our neighbor , or even our personal lives, we can easily become preoccupied with self righteousness and anxiety.  We can get easily upset when things don’t go our way and start feeling angry, anxious, or afraid.   But when we broaden our perspective to include the universe around us, we begin to see how miniature our worries are, and how small we really are.  Our “rights” become more insignificant.  The whole universe surrounds us and continues to function without caring about our individual preoccupations .  planet

When we also consider how we perceive ourselves individually and worry about our mortality , our fears can be alleviated by recognizing that we all experience the same fate of death and that we are simply in a journey to something bigger than our limited lives .

When we focus on our faults and shortcomings, we tend to put ourselves down. We tend to punish ourselves with rituals and traditions in an attempt to make things better. But again, when we look at the bigger picture , at the fact that we are all imperfect beings, and we all live on the same planet with almost identical needs, we can then begin to forgive ourselves (and others) and commune better with others.   We can begin to accept ourselves with our limitations.  We can better see the commonality among us.

So the next time you feel stressed, angry, or afraid, pay attention to what is it that you are thinking about.  What is it that you are looking at?  Are you looking at your individual preferences and desires?  Are you thinking only about your individual agenda?   And if so, consider looking instead at the Big Picture. 

The Beauty of the Present Moment

Every thought , every idea we have and memories, are not in the present moment.  We cannot experience the present moment if we are constantly thinking about other things, ideas … The only thing we can know for sure… what we can be certain of is what we are experiencing right now.

Everything else is an illusion .   A fantasy.  A fabrication of the mind.  Even if our thoughts and ideas seem like they are tangible and sometimes objective, the reality is that that they are simply subjective ideas.  Which can then create anxiety, sadness, and resentments.

Not all thoughts trigger anxiety and sadness; but being in the present moment never triggers these feelings.  Being in the present moment can only bring peace.

We can make ourselves feel peace and tranquility by simply being in the present.  Only with patience and practice can this be achieved.  As soon as we allow ourselves to focus on our thoughts, then we are prone to uncomfortable feelings.  We may start feeling insecure.  Sad.  Angry.  Anxious.

Focusing back in the present… the here and now, will bring contentment… and peace.

That’s the beauty of the Present Moment.

 

Never  Mindful 

I have never been completely mindful. Most of my life I have identified with my thoughts, perceptions, and assumptions.  This blog is mainly about my ever ongoing  journey into a more mindful lifestyle.

As I write this post, I am waiting in a car shop for my van’s tire to be repaired.  I can try to be mindful , but it is hard to do with a TV blasting in front of me, cars driving by the window , and hundreds of thoughts about all the things going on in my life, including work , the bills, appointments for my child, etc. It is almost an endless ordeal when I try to quiet down my mind.  It is almost like trying to stop water from falling from a waterfall .  It is also difficult to take deep breaths and relax my muscles when most of what I do is tense up and take shallow breaths.

But I still recognize the importance of managing my time wisely and continue to try to do mindfulness .

Two weeks ago, I went with my family to pick up strawberries at a local farm . First I was hesitant about it.  But while I walked on he farm and picked up fresh strawberries , I began to appreciate this simple yet important task.  I was being mindful .  My family and I enjoyed it.

I have also been able to be mindful whenever I draw.  It is relaxing and enjoyable .  I try to be aware of my surrounding whenever I see myself having to wait for something.  It is an opportunity to be in the here and now.

So even though I have not been completely and fully mindful, I plan to continue to be more aware of the present moment. To be gradually more mindful.