Turbulence on the flight, a run of bad luck, encountering problems on the path towards transformation – what is to be done? Here is an example from my weekly column in which I reply to readers’ questions.
Hello Olesya! A few months ago I decided that enough was enough. It was time to change my life. And not like before, when I would make slight progress and then give up. For a long time I refused to let go of my old things, worries, beliefs and convictions. Then one day I realized that this meant I was making no progress, and living in the long-gone past. I made a decision. I threw away old things, cut toxic people out of my life, avoided too much unnecessary information, cleaned up my thoughts and tried to live positively. And that’s when it all started… In one of your articles there is the phrase “Taking flight will always be tumultuous…”. But right now it feels more like the plane is crashing! I embarked on change with the motto “it can’t get worse”. But it turned out that it could get much worse! And it is still getting worse. I am overwhelmed with problems from all sides. Even my friends are starting to say that I am having a terrible run of bad luck. Now I almost miss the normal, comfortable order of things that I left behind. I don’t want to complain, that is not why I am writing. I know I can’t go back to my old ways and, deep down, I don’t even want to. I hope that what is happening to me now is just the turbulence of taking flight. And I just have to ride it out. But sometimes I am scared: what if it’s like this forever? What if, seeking change, I have taken the wrong path? Is this the way it’s supposed to be?
Sveta, you write that you started off with the motto “it can’t get worse”. So, am I to assume that you are currently bedridden and paralyzed without so much as one eye to blink?
The film “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” is based on a book that was dictated by the author through blinking one eye. A stroke left him entirely paralyzed except for one eye, and with it he dictated his story, which went on to become a cult film. Based on true events. But judging from the way you address the Universe, you clearly don’t have so much as one eye to blink.
Yes, it could. It could be worse.
This is an entirely logical response from the Universe, to knock some sense into such ungrateful, ignorant creatures as we.
Every evening before sleep I thank the world. I say thank you for the events of the day, highlighting the things I am most grateful for.
When I presented this activity as a part of my “Marathon” course, opinions were divided. Somebody seriously tried to convince me that they did not have 10 reasons to thank the world every day, and someone, considering themselves advanced in the questions of self-improvement practices, wondered – what is the point, when does it get hardcore?
We didn’t come here with nothing, they said, we have Reiki and Roerich under our belts, not to mention transurfing, yoga, Osho, Castaneda, Vipassana, and we still read “The Bhagavad Gita” at night, and translations of Yogananda, and you say “thank the world every day”? Yeah, sure, but where is the difficulty, the complex practice and ritual, the ultimate Wisdom? Give me something for an advanced level!
And yet it is one of the most powerful spiritual practices that I have ever come across: you enter into resonance with the present moment, channelling it through genuine gratitude. Only by riding the wave can you control the movements of the board (this is the essence of life).
Sveta, I believe you are correct to use the term “turbulence” for what you are going through, but something tells me that your problems are not all as awful and terminal as you think. Perhaps you are exaggerating, like when you said “it can’t be worse”. It is a fact that everything we feed with fear appears to grow larger. I don’t know the whole picture, so I cannot judge; I can only give this advice:
Speak to the universe from your heart
Return to the point when your heart started throwing big words around and… ask for forgiveness.
Explain why it happened. Tell it like it is. But remember: do not ask for forgiveness from the point of view of your guilt or fear of punishment. There is no guilt. Speak to it, not because you have to or out of fear, but because you recognize that you were foolish.
Wise people are made, not born
Speak to the universe like an old friend – as equals. Don’t fawn before it and certainly don’t ask it for anything. It reverberates with your inner state. It is your friend and God; it is yourself. But while we live in this state of duality, it is certainly possible to make friends with the Universe and listen to its answers – so keep doing it. It does not take long for it to reciprocate.
The Universe is a surprisingly talkative conversationalist if it finds grateful ears. I know this from experience.
Take back your words “it can’t be worse” – repent. You have no reason to think or speak that way. Be grateful to the Universe that you can blink your eyes; that is already a lot. Then think of everything else you have and say thank you. Discard your ignorance and you will be surprised at the generosity of the universe. Say that you want to change, to grow and develop, and you will already be changing. You are doing and will do what is within your power. And that it is the only thing required of you.
Most of the “problems” (can I write that in quotation marks? I mean no offence) will be resolved only through this sort of heart-to-heart dialogue.
You cannot stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.
When a person takes a steps out of their comfort zone, they fall in the ocean of life with all its tides and currents. Yes, there are waves. Big waves. But the stakes are higher. Until you learn to deal with your new reality, you will constantly be hindered by bumps along the way.
You ask, is this normal? Go to the beach and try to ride a wave on a surfboard for the first time. The centrifugal force of the water will make you hit your head on the board the first time, the second time, maybe even the tenth time – it depends on the place of entry. It is scary. And not at all fun.
You simply have to “ride it out”. Once you have ventured out to a new plane, you need to learn how to live there. The main thing is to clearly define what you want and maintain a rhythm, but this is practically impossible if you are constantly looking back at the shore. Make a decision: will you learn to ride the waves or return to your familiar stability? Decide resolutely. Both choices are acceptable; the most important thing is not to create internal conflict through the lack of a concrete decision.
I have already written about the fact that beyond the comfort zone lies the discomfort zone, and this will continue until you increase your inner capacity; until your new reality becomes normal to you. Sometimes it takes a few weeks, sometimes a few years – it depends on the level you are currently aiming for (the eternal advice being: from lesser to greater and progressing stage by stage). Do it and don’t stop, and your chances of getting to grips with your new reality will increase. The waves will stop getting the better of you; with practice you will learn to ride them.
Be the changes!